I’ve been a bit ambivalent, in this blog, as to whether I should share the whole story of my art career- the bad with the good. I wouldn’t want to weigh my readers down, but I do feel that while it’s difficult to be altogether honest, it’s also the only substance I can offer. And so, I’ll share my thoughts today.
My wife’s car gave up the ghost a few weeks ago, and has been quietly decomposing in the driveway until we can get the Chrysler to an automotive necromancer that might be able to call it back from the underworld.
We’ve been rolling around town in my pickup truck, baby in tow, happy as can be in the holiday season. All the while, I’ve been painting constantly, finishing up the five works I will be showing at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan. The drop off date is tomorrow, Sunday. And so, I’ve been looking forward to packing my truck with paintings- one of them is seven feet tall, and so my truck is perfect. I even had the truck completely looked over by a mechanic, so as to be sure that nothing would go wrong- oil changed, fluids checked, wiper blades replaced.
But as we sat in the truck, the truck suddenly had a burst of something resembling vehicular seizures, followed by a fainting spell. So there we sat in the truck, silently wondering which person in our lives was pricking a voodoo vehicle with pins. Hours later, the tow truck arrived. At the mechanic’s, I was frustrated to hear that it could not be even addressed until Monday- the day after the art drop off.
I made my way across town, face being lashed by winter wind and small pieces of airborne rock salt. What a day. My face red, my hands raw, I entered my house and threw myself down on the couch. I sullenly looked out the window.
There is a boxwood bush outside of my window, an unruly tangle of branches that resists all disciplinary efforts of my pruners. Today though, I beheld a sight as meaningful as Moses’ bush in the desert. On this bush’s branches were dozens of robins, maybe even scores. They were so densely packed that it was difficult to see the green leaves that they hopped around on. I watched the robins, redbreasts silhouetted against the colorless winter sky, gorging themselves on black boxwood berries. And suddenly, as clear as day, I remembered how Jesus said to the weary crowd: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life… Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” The robins ate to their hearts content, all the while conversing back and forth like happy, noisy kids in a school cafeteria.
When news spread that my second vehicle had broken down, my phone began to ring. My friends and family offered to loan me a wide range of SUV’s, family vans, a Jeep, a truck, several different work vans… I now have so many options, I can choose which model, year, and color vehicle I want to drive. Off I go tomorrow, to bring my paintings to NYC.