Category Archives: Changing Seasons

Nourished & Nurtured

I woke up this morning to hear the rain on the skylights above my bed.  This generally means it’s beginning to warm up in Montana.  The snow has been melting out of the back yard.  I realized it’s only about 6 weeks until the bulbs will begin to bloom.  I miss my garden in the winter and do not realize what a big part of my life it becomes.  I put a lot of time in my garden last year and it was stupendous.  Gardens take time, and that is the beauty of them.  I had visualized what the garden would look like when I was designing the space.  I came up with what I called the 10-year plan for it’s creation, but last year I leapt ahead several years.  My garden is against a hillside below a vast mountain beyond.  I have been digging into the hillside and building retaining walls of concrete stones.  I also have an old irrigation ditch that runs through the back yard that used to feed orchards that were once below the property.  It now only flows in the summer, I have completely landscaped it to look like a creek.  I have beautiful old willow in the back with enormous trunks that look like giant hand emerging from the ground with a bank of cottonwoods beyond them.  Raiding everyone’s garden I know last spring I transplanted an entire area of the hillside with about 2000 Lilly of the Valley pips.  They took me three days to plant.  They did nothing last year, but this year I anticipate that part of the hill be spectacular.  I have begun to build cedar fences around the yard and did a great job of keeping the deer out.  Last year I began to build low beds of stonewalls to contain the contour of the north side of the building, and nourished and nurtured the Virginia Creeper I transplanted there 15 years ago.  It became a massive wall of green completely isolating the yard from my neighbors.  I also found a tin of variegated red to white cosmos seeds that I saved from previous years and threw them into the beds creating bursts of color within the green vines.  I also managed to expand the irrigation system to the hillside so most everything becomes self-watering.  Then in the later part of the summer we excavated where the patio will eventually go and laid a bed of crushed gravel.  Of course I have to do everything by hand because it is too narrow to get back there with any kind of equipment.  Now you can see why I didn’t have much time to blog.  The garden has a restorative power of me.  It nurtures me as much as I nurture it.

I see now this project is very much like my garden.  As I am beginning to work on it again, I see so much of myself within every element of it.  Initially I thought it was about investment, but now I as I look back I realize it’s about something more, my creation.  It is more the story of myself, the sharing of my life, and the celebration of my creative existence.  I can’t seem to let it go and keep digging at it, as if I were weeding it somehow.

This is an image of Grant looking out the studio window into the garden and the garden as I was beginning to dig the patio.

A Shift of Consciousness

I have to say I was a bit lost most of yesterday.  The website went up at about 11:30.  Glenn left at 1 pm for a week of UPS training to become a utility driver for peak season to spend the week in Billings.  I went for a long walk along the river to clear my head.  Though the sun was out it was not warm enough the melt the snow dabbled on the pine trees.  The leaves have not completely fallen yet and now there is snow.  It feels like I have been asleep for a very long time and have not really felt the changing of the season this year.  My fall has been inside, focused on a massive project and suddenly my senses are awake and alive again.  I did some light shopping and found some lamb chops at the store.  I love grilled lamb, but never have it because Glenn dislikes it so much. I went home and settled into a lazy afternoon of lounging about wanting to somehow celebrate, but mostly trying to figure out and put into perspective what I have accomplished.  I dabbled on cleaning the website here and there, not wanting to delve to deeply but to savor the unfounded glory.  It was time to see what has happened in the world in the past two months of my absence.  I began to look at fellow artist and what they have been producing.  It seems Facebook has now become a means of tagging and posting and less a means of communication.  And I began to ponder have we all run out of things to say to each other?  Perhaps we are all just becoming more focused.  I tried to watch a movie on Netflix, but it no longer seems to work.  Here one of my greatest passions has somehow imploded itself.  I had shut down getting the discs by mail when they raised the prices and I was so involved in the project, that I wasn’t watching them anyway and only kept the streaming, but had forgotten that it simply doesn’t stream on Sundays.  How could something so brilliant completely destroy the foundation of its livelihood.  I was very resentful at their decision to split the service, but I guess I vote with my dollar and I have said “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore”.   The theater world seems the same, Phantom is still running after 22 years with no end in sight, the new musical Pricilla seems to have grown stronger from its initial lukewarm start, and Hugh Jackman is returning in a one man show.  Now there is a talented man who can do it all, he was ever so brilliant in The Boy from Oz as he flashed that big warm smile at me in the 4th row many seasons back.  Avenue Q has down sized and moved to a smaller venue that seems to have revived its longevity.

I spent the afternoon drifting in a universe of my own creation, so near, yet so far from my current existence, drifting in and out of consciousness.  It was almost like I could see myself separating from itself.  Am I am even slightly aware of my own life?  Somehow it doesn’t feel like it.  As I began to realize I was caught in that post partum creation lull that I used to feel at the end of the tour or the jet lag you feel from flying across the ocean west.  I finally understand the meaning of lost in translation.  Oh yes and today it’s that odd shift toward or away from daylight savings time, which I can never figure out, where we are just naturally out of sync with the day.  It feels like my life has come to a stand-still and yet I look back at this year and am astonished by my own accomplishments.  All I can think is it’s time to somehow renew the creative process again.  I am now ready to get back into the studio and shoot something new.

The Changing of a Season

It’s official, it’s the first day of winter in Montana, and I woke up this morning to see the trees above my bed, through the skylights covered in a blanket of white snow. To me this signifies the turn of the season as this also signifies the turning point of another phase of my life and existence as an artist. The chosen sampling of galleries for the website were finished last night and many of the bugs worked out through out the day so it will be officially up and running tomorrow morning. I am cleaning up link adding articles, and getting the blog transferred over today. Wow what a trip this has been!!!!! A peaceful calm is settling into my body this morning as I ride the edge of nervous energy of anticipation. I remember this feeling well from my days of working in the theater. It’s the dress rehearsal right before the show opens, when you know everything is in place and you are ready for the audience to see the production and you are just tweaking and refining the details. In a sense my entire life has been a production of some sort. As a kid I was always producing something. I think back to my brothers and cousins and all those shows I made them create in the barnyard on summer eves when we were little kids, they some how always believed in my crazy ideas and followed my strange endeavors. Will I always be this creative? Probably so, organizing the senior citizens in what ever center I end up in our scooter carts creating some sort of show.

I finally got a good night’s sleep last night and sleep in this morning. The truth is I feel like I could sleep for a week.

It’s game day in Missoula and I am still not feeling too well from the nasal thing that I have been fighting all week and so I have opted to stay home and watch the game on television, bummer. Though today’s image isn’t naked, I have to be with the Montana Grizzles in spirit so I am posting some images I took a few weeks back so I can feel like I can be there in spirit. Now that I think about it I feel like the Griz players about to emerge into the arena through the cloud of smoke to a stadium of avid and adorning fans. GO GRIZ!!!!!

The good news is I am catching up with myself and getting all the stuff done around the house that I have been neglecting for the past week.

Taking a Break

I have been battling a sinus infection all week and slept in this morning. I think we all have been pushing a bit too hard on the web project to get it up by tomorrow and are running into issues as we have been testing it that need to be resolved. At this moment I am utterly exhausted and need to take a break. We all need a break. I have to take some time off today to recover myself physically, mentally and emotionally. Sorry to announce that we will have to push the launch date back to next weekend. I am a bit disappointed to have to do this because I am generally a person who follows through with something when he says he will do it and bust my butt to make it happen when it needs to happen. But right now with my head I can no longer even think clearly and need the break. It is another wondrous fall day here in Montana and I am getting outside to enjoy the fresh air and clear my head.

Looking back to the Beginning

The coldness is beginning to set in, which indicates that I am coming full circle on the project. It began in the dead of winter and now, as I begin to feel winter come upon me, I realize this project has followed me through a complete cycle of my life. Yesterday I hit three hundred posts through the process of a year. I am beginning to look back through all I have written and created over those three hundred days, for some of the most interesting points to start to somehow work them into the new website. Although I was not sure where I was going in the beginning with this project, I knew I really wanted to go there. Now the goal seems clear and vividly laid out before me. I have never had such clarity in my life. The year began with so much doubt and a real fear of becoming lost or fading into oblivion – the fear of a man dying without ever having accomplished his greatest dream. This project has become the journal of that dream. The daily struggle and exploration in finding myself and the discovery of light, beauty, desire and art. What seemed a daunting task in the beginning now seems to have become a way of existence. I honestly didn’t think I would make it this far. I kind of expected I would end the year in disappointment, having realized what a failure my life had become, and would somehow have to jump off the Madison Street bridge into the cold icy waters in the middle of a cold winter night. But the opposite has now happened. Through the course of this year I have mended all the old wounds and have examined my life in such detail – some of it interesting, some not. I have come to the conclusion that what I have lived and experienced is relatable to so many others I have encountered along the way. I have confronted and made sense of all the nonsense of life amongst the shadows. The new website is really a gift to others who have helped me along this journey. It becomes not just a look at myself, but an examination for others who also live creative lives of desperation. To live in our time and our culture and become a creative soul seems daunting if not near impossible. It seems the world is stacked against us. I am an older man and do not seek fame or glory at this stage in my life, but look for relevance and meaning that has allowed me to live such a daunting existence. Today I feel I’ve crossed into a new arena of my life – one that is filled with possibility and hope and yes, desire. I guess it could be “It’s A Wonderful Life” syndrome – being able to see beyond oneself and find what is truly remarkable about one’s seemingly meager existence. Does everyone look back and say this is the sum of what I have become? I know the struggle is the same for all of us. I guess this is why I am so drawn to art, literature, movies and photography. I see that my seemingly rough life of living on the outside has been extraordinary and filled with a rich wonder. Today I feel lucky.