So…

The question arises, what have I been up to? I clearly have not been blogging.

Mostly that’s because I don’t have a lot to say. Actually, I might have a lot to say, but none of it is very coherent these days. Much tumbling through the brain, large galactical dust clouds, but no planets forming.

However, I can report on my latest acquisition(s).

First and foremost, I have bought a painting by Dianne Mize, my painting instructor from GHP in 1970. She and I have agreed never to mention how many years ago that was, and I’ll thank you to do the same.

Here’s the painting:

click to see Dianne’s original blog post

Dianne had sent me an invitation to the exhibit opening at the Tekakwitha Gallery in Helen, GA, but since it was November 1, the Saturday evening performance of Coriolanus at NCTC, I couldn’t go. When she sent an email saying the show had been held over until Christmas, I made plans to get there.

Ginny readily agreed to my idea of returning from Virginia via Helen so we could stop to see Dianne’s work. I had already decided that I would just pick one and charge it, so when Ginny offered to make me a Christmas present of whatever one I wanted, I accepted.

I also considered this painting:

click to see Dianne’s original blog post

It was a tough choice, obviously. I may have to have the cows later. I chose the landscape because of its subject matter. I love places like this. It reminds me of a couple of places from my life, and each of them was from a time of great happiness.

One is Snake Creek over on Parks Avenue. When I was a child, we would play there constantly, plashing in the water and running through the “woods” in that narrow strip that runs along the curve of the street. It was and is a beautiful green space.

Another is a park on the outskirts of Athens by the river. I didn’t get to go there a lot, but I remember one time, the spring of my junior year, when Kevin Reid, Cathy McQuaig, and I went for an afternoon picnic there. Kevin had become my closest friend after showing up that semester, he had dropped out of Griffin High School and just come on to UGA, and all three of us were close from working both in the costume shop and in Period Dance.

Kevin and I were a lot alike: young, precocious, serious, ferociously curious, intense readers. I know I was in love with him, and he with me, in the way young men are that verges on the physical. (Jobie, remember that piece I read out loud this summer? It was Kevin that gave my reading that passion.)

He’s dead now, of AIDS, back in the late 80s I think. I didn’t know this until last year when Ginny and I went to LA and had a reunion of a bunch of UGA theatre folk from that time. I had put together a video of all the Period Dance photos, and when we came to one of Kevin, that’s when someone told me of his death. It still hurts me, as I type this even, how I lost touch with him, and then lost him entirely.

As we sat by the river that afternoon in 1975, we knew we were enjoying a halcyon moment, and we even verbalized it. I think we knew that we would lose each other to Time, and we hugged our happiness to us even as the sun set.

That’s why I bought the landscape.

I like Dianne’s impressionistic style, her loose brushwork, and her sure sense of palette. I especially like her methods of working, and they are methods, which frustrates me when I am unable to develop similar methods for my own work in music.

However, I’m not going to whine. Let’s talk about what I am working on rather methodically, and that’s the labyrinth. I haven’t done anything since earlier in the week, of course, and now it’s raining, but I am beginning to see the endgame here.

I shall finish the curves on the pathway this week, working Tuesday and Thursday on that task. Tuesday afternoon, I order the topsoil, and with any luck will have that to play with this weekend. On Thursday, I will seek out stonecutters here in town, one of those granite countertop concerns over on the bypass, to see if they can cut the stones around the center in a more precise circular pattern. I also developed a fantasy today of checking out a four-foot piece of granite for the centerpiece. That wouldn’t be expensive at all, I’m sure.

With any kind of luck, I may have the labyrinth finished, if not this weekend, then the next. I will also be working then on coordinating the mise-en-scene of the entire backyard into something whole: columns, lighting, sculpture maybe? I don’t know. As Marc says, it seems I’m determined to become the Howard Finster of College Street.

13 thoughts on “So…

  1. I love the paintings. Thanks for sharing the links. It’s precisely the sort of thing I would want to buy some day (saving link to her blog for future reference)

    I, too, appreciate the raw emotion and honesty you’ve shared here.

    Should the granite thing not work out, I am still hoping to spend some time this week or next on a submission to the centerpiece commission.

  2. Great post! I was just thinking back to how you were struggling to make sense of the Quiet Strength meditations, which I unfortunately suggested you use. I didn’t realize how awful they were and thought you could use them as a starting point for some honest emotion, like in this post. Kudos for putting it all on the line.

    And I agree: the landscape is very nice.

  3. Every time I’m inside a dark cave with a built-in wet-bar, I, too, have nostalgic longings for a particular place and a special someone.

  4. Dale- CABANA BOYS ALWAYS COUNT. (And on the off chance they don’t, I’ve be lying all these years when I say I’m not a virgin.)

  5. Actually, this would have been a more concise, funnier way to put that last comment:

    “So wait, you mean I’m still a virgin, then?”

  6. There must be a sniglet for that. (Posting something too soon, before the wittiest version has taken shape in the brain.)

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