Posts Tagged ‘youth’

the spaces in between…

Posted in beginnings, explore, gifts, home, journey, love, memory, notice, ponder, secret suffering, time, travel, UncategorizedComments Off on the spaces in between…

Forty one years ago I took a cross-country trip from Buffalo , New York to as far as you could get  in the United States –  Hawaii.

It was not planned, possibly very foolish and most certainly under the category of youthful indiscretion at it’s very best. It was exactly what youth is for and all about. I regret nothing. The right trip at the right time with all the lessons I could squeeze out of it without dying in the process. I think we remember these moments better than trips in later years because there is nothing but new adventure ahead, no previous experience to draw on and more importantly, no expectations. Every day was a gift of wonder. National Parks and Forests, a Volkswagen bus, a geodesic dome,  a 30 foot catamaran and any friend who took us in took the place of a house. Life lessons happened on a daily basis. After a few months the country stopped and the ocean appeared. The mighty Pacific Ocean! I thought I would be thrilled. Awed. But we arrived at sunset and to this day my strongest memory of that long travel to end up at ocean’s edge was – loneliness. I felt small, vulnerable, and oh, so alone. Weird, right? I am still not sure why I was so overcome with that emotion, but I suspect it has to do with the space in between. In only a few short months, I had come to some big conclusions about my young life and made some very big realizations. The vast space in between the east coast and the west, the Atlantic and the Pacific, my searching and my finding, my needs and my wants, my past and my future.

It’s funny how we yearn for youth and avoid old age. What we lose in the physical body we gain in spades in our heads and hearts, and that’s the trade off…and I’m okay with that. Those decades of the learning curve of life were long and winding. Little went as planned and much more came from finally accepting. I want to tell those in their 30’s, 40’s  and 50’s that it gets easier in your head right around the time your body says, “this is wearing me out a bit.” To which I say, it’s supposed to. We are all warriors on the road to a final rest.

I love this photo I chose for the blog header. Here I am, some thirty odd years after my first sad encounter with the Pacific Ocean with a very different outlook on it to be sure. And that’s what happens in the spaces in between – we find some joy and peace on the way.

Teach your children well…

Posted in beginnings, explore, family, home, journey, love, memory, notice, secret suffering, time, travel1 Comment

There was a time in my corporate career when I traveled extensively, both here and abroad. I suppose it was primarily why I endured the commercial art world as long as I did. Plus, it was a great paycheck and I was more than happy to be employed at least in an arts related field. I learned so much about how much I did not know, as well as how much I did not particularly want to know. As they say, it’s all good. I put in my time and have no regrets.
Back to travel and the here and now. My son, his wife and my granddaughter recently moved to Ecuador where they are in the process of immigrating. So I fired up my traveling engines and found a good deal to go see what their new life was going to entail. Like I said, I have traveled extensively, so I’m not particularly scared of international travel, but there is no denying the fact that travel has become a bit of a drag. And I’m not nervous about traveling alone, as that was my previous experience, and I decided long ago that I would travel as often and as much as I could till health or finances dictated otherwise.
Ecuador has a growing expat community of a combination of retirees from many countries looking to stretch their retirement income out and young people who are floating around the globe looking for experience and adventure. The vibe is so reminiscent of what we were doing in the 60’s. Living off the land. Heath food. Living simply. The contrast between the two types of newcomers in Ecuador is worth noting. You have the idealism of youth and the retired baby boomers taking advantage of their years of working and knowledge of how to keep the party going where it is affordable and simple. The young people consider us sell outs to our 60’s values. They can hold that view because they have not been through their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s yet and traveled the roads we have been on. Life is challenging, and meant to be so I believe. Decades of life can wear away at idealistic thinking and beliefs. The world is very, very black and white when we are young. Right and wrong seem clear. Experience, age, and life has a way of putting a thousand shades of grey (as well as some beautiful colors) in between as we march towards later years. I would have gladly taken off on their adventure given the opportunity, and in fact almost did once. Our family almost moved to Haiti had not Baby Doc become deposed leaving the country unsafe for travel. So I am in no position to challenge, criticize or impede their dream.
I often relate one of my pieces of art work from this body of work specifically to what I am blogging about, but as it turns out, almost every piece relates to this. But if I had to choose only one, it must be BUFFALO SUN. Because there is a little pioneer in all of us. We need to give ourselves time and space to play, and space in which the unpredictable can happen. And to reference others; they are expanding their world through travel, finding their happy place, determining what they are willing to give up, seeing the wonder around them, embracing the horror, and in the end…looking for what we all have in common.
Still, I miss them horribly. I regret being at such a distance to not be a fixture in my granddaughter’s life . But in the end, I admire and respect the adventure, after all, I was the role model.


moving your brain around…

Posted in explore, journey, memory, ponder, time, travel, UncategorizedComments Off on moving your brain around…

Wow… I just read the most disturbing talking point article. It was about cars and the car industry.

Posing the lead – in question,” Has America passed peak driving?” Why has driving and car ownership declined so drastically for 16 – 34 year olds? The article contends that cars no longer have the magic aura of freedom and power, and that they are unnecessary in urban areas as well as too expensive. They apparently associate driving with “brain numbing ” commutes across smoggy, congested highways. Brian Merchant, in says this is not a temporary economic downturn, but rather a social revolution. He says drivers 55 and over, rooted in the  American car culture hungered to get away from their families, towns and neighborhoods. It meant getting to go where you wanted, when you wanted and meeting whom-so-ever you wanted. ( To which I said, damn straight!!)

BUT… and it’s a BIG BUT

He goes on to say, “…now you can do all that on the Internet, and for FREE! Hang out with your friends, play games, share music and photos! A new generation has found a faster and more convenient way to…

                                                                     (get ready, here it comes)

move their brains around.”

I’m still reeling from this ridiculous conclusion and observation. Seriously?! They are ‘moving their brains around’? Oh my… I weep for the future. There is nothing that replaces first hand experience. Especially when it comes to travel. The Internet, Facebook, and other social media, while they are fun and immediate, are nothing more than the illusion of moving your brain around. If we were to believe this conclusion, why ever bother getting up to do anything other than bodily functions. ( and don’t even tell me you take your phone in there…eewwww )

This was such a sad and stupid article. I pray young people have not become so lazy, uninspired and out of touch with adventure and travel that the world will extend only as far as the text at the tips of their fingers.

I refuse to accept this viewpoint of a ‘social revolution’ to come. And if it is coming, I hope to influence as many young people as I can to see beyond this limited, brain numbing, illusion of what life has to offer them.

wishing doesn’t make it so… or does it?

I wished for love – I have been loved.

I wished for money – it came and went.

I wished for a car – it was freedom!

I wished for long hair – then cut it all off.

I wished for a job – I got a paycheck.

I wished for a warm winter – I still do.

I wished for excitement – and found it.

I wished for a divorce – and got it.

I wished for peace of mind – daily.

I wished for wonder – and it surrounds me.

I wished for escape – and learned how to leave.

I wished for a studio – dreams come true.

I wished for New Mexico – days of heaven.

I wished for connections – where is my tribe?

I wished for friends – they give me joy.

I wished for a road trip – to never end.

I wished for my youth – and I got a grandchild.

I wished for a good nights sleep – and to die peacefully in it. 

I wished for art school – where I found myself.

I wished for a pony – but never got it.

I wished for my period – most of the time it came.

I wished for a girl – and got a boy, with no regrets.

( see ART tab for  WHAT I WISHED FOR  canvas collage)