I didn’t take a picture of it. I didn’t take a picture of any of them. Hell, truth be known, I thought each and every one of them would be trucked back home with me.
I didn’t think that anyone would or could appreciate what I was trying to convey to, oh, the World At Large.
It’s not just about getting the money and ushering people on their way. It’s about hearing them, about receiving their story. Where is the art hitting them, in the face, the guts, the spirit?
I sold ‘if’, ‘amok’, ‘go’, ‘onward’ and ‘vivid’. Looking at it like that, doesn’t it look like some strange, staccato portry, like some theme is emerging?
No? Then I’ll go you one further: I traded ‘pow’ away. Rather, my kid did. He traded it for an empty round vial nestled into a cage of leather. I pretty much equate ‘empty’ with ‘potential’; I can’t help it. ‘Pow’, incidentally, was that boy’s first word. Not ‘dada’ or ‘mama’ or anything remotely like what I expected (he’s super-good at Not Remotely Like What Anyone Expects). His first word was ‘pow’ and he’s pretty much been living up to that shit since his heels hit fresh air and the doctor announced him with a triumphant flourish.
I came on the day I was due, POW. You never saw that particular bit of magic coming, Mom, now did you? No, son; no, I did not. You took the lead from day one. If I’m any kind of mother, though, you’ll never know that until you have kids of your own.
Someone pondered ’spirit’, but then left it on the wall. Just as well; it came out slightly crooked anyway, and I probably should tear it down and remake it.
::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::
The fact that I didn’t take a picture of it only struck me later that night, when I was turning over the day’s events in my perpetual-motion, over-excitable brain. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a picture, though, because the buyer gave me a story, and my God, why on Earth would you ever prefer the flatness of a thing As It Was to the full and round something that it becomes when shored up by a personal story told to you in frank, even tones?
I knew the whole time I was painstakingly laying it out in its long, lacy brass frame that ‘onward’ would have a purpose and then I stood in the middle of the little shack that last year wasn’t even there to hear the woman say, in essence, “Here is why I connect with this thing that didn’t exist last week in this place that didn’t exist last year. Old things have passed away and now it is time to walk in the newness of life.”
She bought one for herself, but the important thing is that she bought ‘onward’ for a friend. She told me that it was perfect because that friend had lost everything she’d had to the tornadoes; her whole art collection was gone and now it was time to start rebuilding that particular aspect of her life. “So it’s fitting, the fact that it is made of found things, that it’s a piece of artwork that says ‘onward’. It will make a good start to her new collection.”
I watched her smiling face hanging out of a car window the next day. They were headed home, she and her friend for whom she bought the piece. I beamed at her, we waved. She was beautiful, so beautiful. I never did tell her about what the tornadoes did here. It was enough that the knowledge I have of them deepened my heart for her friend’s experience.
::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::
I’m hearing the tumblers click. The Mayans forgot to mention that 2012 would equal struggle and magic in plentiful amounts and that I would be lucky enough to see the value of both. This is a Theme in the world right now. I don’t know if you know that. All over and all over I have been talking to people that are being reborn, getting new eyes, giving over to fatigue and frustration and saying, “I am done with being this way. There is a better one and I am going to look it in its big scary face and say ‘HERE I AM, HERE I COME!’ while wearing a silly-ass grin.” They (you) are ready to make a new world. Which, you know, would make the Mayans correct: The world is ending. Some people –as, you know, Some People are wont to do– maybe took that little bit of hinting to mean something more literal than originally intended.
To which I say, “Sorry Mayans. Our bad. Thanks for trying to give us a little supernatural ‘FORRRRRE!’ Good looking out. Really.” And then I pat the Mayans and they are happy and forgive us for being so short-sighted with the whole world-exploding-and-annihilating-mankind thing. We always carry things too far, we humanity-folk (some of us, in fact, got like ten truckloads of whatever dab of DNA is responsible for narcissism and histrionics, holy shit, right?).
The Mayans will be happy to know that crooked spirits are being torn down and getting remade.
You, dear reader, may be relieved to know that, in fact, you are not the only one. Not by a longshot. Godspeed.
::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::
“It seems that all my bridges have been burned / But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works / It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart / But the welcome I receive with the restart”