, , , , , ,


Image via Wikipedia

I used to think that the word “hootenanny” meant dance, and in some ways I suppose it does in that it can refer to a party, but it’s original meaning was simply referring to something one couldn’t remember the name to, or didn’t know in the first place.

We have become so engaged/disengaged electronically.  Yes the computer is convenient and keeps me in touch regularly with those that I love and care for, but how truthful are our words through an electronic device? Have we stunted our growth by stunting our words?

Now we have this saying “don’t drink and text or email….” I think it was once called “don’t drink and dial”.  What I’m getting around to saying is that I miss hand written letters. Even if they were once written on an old typewriter it was still somehow hand written because of the speed. One could not write and “send” immediately with a Smith Corona. Well, I guess they could but then they were probably written by a serial killer (or do serial killers prefer collages?) or didn’t care much for words in the first place. Thank goodness for carbon copies.

(Before you begin your critique, try using a fountain pen on beautiful paper…)

I began this blog because I could not communicate in a painting what I felt in my heart. Or if I did communicate it through oil, I would never be able to tell you what I truly felt.  My first art show I named all my pieces after Miles Davis’s Kinda Blue. Why? Because someone told me that my paintings had to be titled, so I used all the tracks from the album.  But what you see in my work may not be what I am trying to convey, and that is okay. I want people to feel what they want to feel with their own heart, and sight.

I’m certain there are young scholars around the world that love the beauty of words, and Victorian poetry or any poetry for that matter but I am also fairly certain they text message, and use email.

The beauty of our thoughts can be so eloquent, and dangerous, and with the immediacy of “modern” technology the art, and sincerity is lost.  Yes, I’ve hand written and sent letters I should never have posted (with something called a stamp)…but I was in college and I think that was what we were supposed to be doing. Do I regret it? No.

I began this blog because I was tired of feeling ashamed of how I felt about what I saw around me. This is, or was my cross to carry (terrible reference but apt). I did not care who saw what I wrote, and it liberated me from whatever negative perception I had of myself. Do I care that you read? Yes, I care deeply and I thank you. But I did it so that I could embrace a part of me that I had lost. My love of beauty, romance, brutality of words, literature, art…I had lost it. I know why and how but I won’t share that just yet. Just try to imagine having a father who was/is a professor of Medieval Spanish Literature…it has some irony.

I will share that I am now unwilling to let fear take the helm of my life.

I am not a writer; I just enjoy the act of writing. Someone once said to me; “Keep a diary, you don’t have to ever read it again but keep one, and pull those thoughts out of your head, it’s therapeutic and it works.”  I have found this to be true.

Recently I told (emailed 🙂 some friends that when the electricity goes out (and it will), how will we communicate if we do not know how to write, or express our hearts desires, and fears with a pen? You won’t be reading a Kindle I can assure you.

I’ve kept certain letters from my past because no matter the misspelled words or poor penmanship, I can hold them in my hand and know that once someone was thinking of me deeply when they wrote it. It was not written in 30 seconds and with a casual, unthinking, index finger pushed “send”.

(Yes, I threw away what I call my “hit man” letters from people who clearly wanted to hurt me, but their words are forever ingrained in my memory)

Poetry isn’t revered as much as it once was but I know one or two poets (alive) that can speak for me with imagery I could never paint.  Scott Wannberg is a poet I admire. I bought his book Strange Movie Full Of Death last year because I remembered him from reading his “hootenanny” when I was in high school.

(By the by, I am fully aware that I could never have written this so quickly if I had used a pen…but I still know how.)

If you have gotten this far, I hope you will read Doorstop Of Love.

Doorstop Of Love

By Scott Wannberg/ Strange Movie Full Of Death

Put the cold wind in your back pocket

it wont be necessary for our little chat

humorous men and women are disappearing with alacrity

the parking tickets keep going up

the next dance supposedly was ours

but the bandleader gave us a very odd look

the doorstop of love allows the sun to enter

inhale that fresh air if it doesn’t make you sick

the cold mornings come and inevitably go

two strangers sharing body heat beneath the floodlights

what little it takes to upend the applecart

down here in the street everyone claims to be casanova

the way you enter a room

the way you sing those awful songs you bought into

makes my cantankerous ears actually listen

does anyone truly ever know anyone else?

every home is a potential missing persons office

the homeless orchestra sees us coming they pull their instruments out of the gutter

and begin to cut loose

in the deaf new morning of still one more day

that may or may not be kind to us

don’t hurt me, you say, i don’t want any more hurt

i’m no doctor, i say, but i will go slow

the statute of liberties eventually runs out

bring me your wounded and torn

the hearts pumping in the pawnshop windows

they will be redeemed soon

a lucid-enough idea man once claimed

the human race was an amphorous mess

we row our leaky canoe back and forth

across the life-sustaining water

there’s an island with our name on it

somewhere hidden in this fog

we’re damaged goods

in some kind of hootenanny rehab

when i touch you

the locked gate blows wide open

when you touch me

i remember how to move

the city is crowded with emergency rooms

full of lovers who slipped over each other’s feet

the nurses begin to sing our names

they must have been in on the rehearsal

put the war back in its box

it won’t need to sit in

we are nothing more than imperfect human beings

searching for the not-alone

it takes a long time sometimes to get there

sometimes alone is very persuasive

pour a shot of good single malt scotch

toast all infections leaving office

the king and queen of hope

will be coming downstairs soon

in this bed-and-breakfast of the soul

it’s table stakes from here on end.

Thank you Scott.