I just wanted to say thank you to Troy Blackford for the honor of covering his new book "Formland" with one of my paintings!!! This is a first for me. I have been lucky enough to "cover" a couple online books in the past... but this is the first printed book. It arrived in the mail today! FUN! Guess what I will be reading on vacation this weekend?! Thanks again Troy! This video kinda reminds me of the colors :)
yesterday someone asked me what it is i am looking for... in this case she meant in love relationships... but the question could just have easily been applied to anything... at that moment many things and people and situations flashed through my mind in a little insta slideshow... colors... expressions... music... feelings... gut reactions and both disturbing and happy memories... after a little bit of rambling i gathered up one sentence...
i need people in my life that are passionate about something.
there are bursts of knowing that come over each of us... when we hear a song that moves us or recognize someone we've never met. for me that has happened many times... when i least expect it... watching a kid splashing in the mud... listening to my friend go off on some tangent about computer programming... standing in the back of the room at a concert and watching the singer completely lose themselves in front of a crowd as if no one were watching at all... seeing people lost in themselves makes my heart beat faster-
we are animals- and despite the recent (i use that word to describe thousands and thousands of years) attempts to tame the wild beast that is within us all... it is never fully erased. we still from time to time catch someone acting on instinct- getting a little wild- and reaching inward instead of outward for joy. i believe that these moments are when each of us is our most beautiful.
i wonder as i write this- what that says about me. one of my big hang ups in adult life is feeling that i allow myself to be too transparent... too instinctual and not structured enough. it's something i am reminded of and think about often. i find myself frustrated with people... always wanting to get to the insides of them... and find out what makes them tick. pleasantries are lost on me... as is small talk. i listen to many formal introductions and conversations and hear the charlie brown grown ups voice-over the entire scene ... wah wah wah wah wah wah wah... and so on. i guess that makes me a person subject to the "ooooh shiny" distraction syndrome- so be it... the thing is i have immense patience for anything i find worth while... and people are on the top of that list. they just have to be straight with me... or i get bored real fast.
i have rambled on long enough for you to be bored... so i will wrap this up. it's after 1 and i should be sleeping. normally post midnight is no big deal but it's been a long month. i have been working on my submissions for the urban arts show...
i am hoping to have 8-10 pieces ready for that... the deadline is coming up fast and i leave town again thursday. i could say that i wish i wasn't... but the only thing that makes that true are the obligations i have here. and not much else. every time i go away... i come back altered and this month has been a battery of adjustments. such is life.
i have been on hiatus... one that was both planned and unexpected. i haven't done much painting these past weeks... but i have done a lot of living. i spent a long stretch down south exploring the nooks and crannies of new orleans, austin and st louis... this was a work trip but the "work" was more like play for me. if you break it down the trip was really made up of the things that excite me most... new cities... open roads... dive bars... music festivals... good food... good people and at the end of the day... an empty hotel room with more pillows than i know what to do with. in the car i read books and studied jazz history... once we landed in any city i hit the streets... camera in hand... ready for adventure... i will be writing a feature story in the harrelson trumpets publication trumpet times about this event and all of the clients, as well as trumpet enthusiasts i met along the way... but this blog isn't about my job.
a few days into the journey i remarked to a trumpet player at the festival that i was ready to pack my bags and move to new orleans... he said... it always takes 3 visits... 3 and then you're convinced... i said... well... this is my second... he said... there ya go
new orleans is a living breathing city that contains everything i love. there are the obvious things... a colorful decay... a rich history of struggle and debauchery... the way you can't walk a single block without feeling awe inspired in some way... but it all came together for me on sunday morning... i pulled my weary butt out of bed after a long night of music and celebration... combed (i don't own a comb... so that's not really true) my hair and slipped into heels... walking over a mile to st. augustine church for the jazz service... it was standing room only... and over 100 degrees... i could feel sweat dripping down the backs of my legs and pooling in my shoes... every part of my sensible side said... what are you doing... go down the block and sip on an iced coffee... these people are crazy... but something made me stay... there were several moving songs in that packed church that transported me back in time... and then... when i was feeling my most weak... the priest stood up for the sermon... he welcomed all of the weary travelers and thanked us for making the journey to be a part of something that meant so much to the city... i was plotting my escape knowing all too well the lengthy sermons of my childhood in a lutheran church back home... he paused briefly... and then started to sing...
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
if you were there... in a packed sweaty church on the back streets of new orleans sunday morning... fanning yourself to keep from passing out and heard a sermon that was nothing more than a simple and honest observation of what it means to be alive... you would've had the same reaction i did... i started to cry...
after the "sermon" ended i left... i assumed it was nearing an end... but i waited patiently on the roots of a giant tree along a crumbled sidewalk for almost an hour more... and when the service finally ended... the people poured out joyous and singing... trumpets trombones and costumes of all kinds... a stilted man towering above the crowd... the second line formed directly in front of me... feathers and umbrellas... dancers and passers by... men in a truck next to me were selling "cold COLD water" which was code for beer... and the celebration started anew. second lines are common place in new orleans... wiki defines them as such...
Second line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. The "main line" is the main section of the parade, or the members of the actual club with the parading permit; those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the "second line." The second line's style of traditional dance, in which participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is called "second lining." It has been called "the quintessential New Orleans art form — a jazz funeral without a body."
but to you dear reader... i will say this... in new orleans... there is a celebration for life every day... not just for jazz funerals... or special events... new orleans is full of people that have long been celebrating just because they can... google storyville... google plantations of the deep south and you will realize just what it is that everyone is so happy about. the things that most of us take for granted... freedom... health... music... are sacred in new orleans. i watched the zulu men line up on my block... old men in gold suits and little boys in the same... handing out beads and smiling ear to ear... the men in new orleans can dance with more zeal than any woman i have ever met in minneapolis... we are so careful here... so calculated... there... none of that matters...
again... i cried... my companions asked what was i so sad about... mostly i felt happy- but there was a part of me that was deeply sad. i said... "my parents will never see this" ... i have friends and family that will never come here... i wish that back home even half of the people would know this joy...
the point that i am coming to here is simple... but too hard to convey with words and stolen photos... if you don't know what it means to stand on a street corner in new orleans on any day of the week... moved to tears (trust me... i am not a teary person... i don't cry at movies... and for a woman i can sometimes be perceived as cold)... then you don't know what it is to feel truly alive. there are places... right here in america... that can transport you somewhere foreign and beautiful... do yourself and everyone you know a favor... and spend some time with the people of new orleans... people who are more alive than anyone you know here.