“But sometimes there’s a man, sometimes, there’s a man. Aw. I lost my train of thought here. But… aw, hell. I’ve done introduced him enough.” Stole this line from Lebowski, but John deserves it.
So, he’s putting together a group to do art during his healing. He has esophageal cancer and needs to start treatment. He’s looking upwards, to the sky, for support. I’ll send him some landscapes and sky shots. I don’t do sunrises or sunsets. Too beginning and ending for me. The colors shine too brightly. Life’s a slog; mostly gray, not always black and white.
John finds music in everything. He sees art in everything. Melodies, not really recognizable ones, roll around in his head and then out his mouth. He’s more Beat, than neat. Not a hippie or hip, just different. I relate to different. Not many do. Now he has to turn his body over to the men with the white coats. Seems like he used to work with the guys in the white coats, only they treated heads not bodies. All those skills will be needed.
We will all root for him, those who know him and those whose lives would benefit if they did. We know he will go through the process with the same degree of joy that he used in life. He’ll be a good patient and we will be good friends.
A guy stopped me as I shot. “Not a good day for photos, eh?” “Au contraire, monsieur [he wasn't from Montreal], gray is the favorite color for photographers. I get to control the light. Actually, the scene could use some fog.”
I stood and waited for the snow to come. Maybe later. No one walking. Here, I live in one of the coolest and most desirable places, one calling out for attention and its empty. People want the reds and blues and greens. Oh, come to the Lake for its beauty. Let’s go leaf peeping. Nothing wrong with this.
So, I tell the guy my views. As usual, he disagrees. Just like a Vermonter. Every sentence begins with I like it or I don’t like it or I agree or disagree. I want it to stay this way forever. I liked it better when there was a swamp here.”
So, I need to go on a diet. Just not comfortable with the weight. Better to do it before the Holidays. Got to cut out cheese, all kinds of cheese. I like the artisan cheeses, the low fat cheeses and the artificial cheeses. No more junk food. But, if you had to guess, would you believe the phony stuff goes back to the 1800′s. Yup. They have been Cheese Whizzing us for more than a century. Damn. Here, I was worrying about genetically modified foods.
Just let’s say people still visit the Lake Champlain boardwalk and need to go to the bathroom. But the facility is closed. In Burlington, manners predominate. I never call a “John” a ‘Facility.” Sharon’s Mother used to call it a “pissoire,” which could have been the only french word she spoke. Well, they will just have to use the facility at ECHO if they have to go.
Getting a creamy can also be problematical.
So, he sits in the park, smiling, talking to strangers. Not many on the streets of Burlington, despite its beauty and grandeur. People live elsewhere and have to work. Jack says he did as little as possible. Worked in a cemetery. I asked him what he was doing sitting in Battery Park on a chilly fall day? “Waiting for two women in bikinis to take me home.”
I could have waited with Jack, but the second girl probably had been spoken for by the General.
When Sharon and I recently visited NYC, we went to Chelsea to see Burtynsky and Nevelson/. On the corner was this gas station that had been converted to an art piece before it will turn into condos. Called “Sheep Station,” by Francois-Xavier Lalanne, this outdoor installation brings art and sculpture to a wide range of people who would not otherwise come in contact with such creative works or see creativity in ordinary things. Many thanks to the Paul Kasmin Gallery and collector Michael Shvo, who is also a real estate developer, like who else could afford to do this, but, concededly, it’s promoted in good will.
Richard Serra was installing a new piece, but he wouldn’t let me take his picture, even after I told him that I was the only person in America who liked “Tilted Arc.”
We felt very comfortable with the sheep, moutons, as the artist calls them, since we come from Vermont.