When evening breaks up
its mass of clouds
the grass fire can be seen
raising its smokes
flowers come up in the ravines
a little of the day is left
as a boy in an iron-grey smock
leans toward the ruts in the road
to tie his shoe
with no boredom about life
no trace of absence.
Poems for evening, I like them.
Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.Ernest Hemingway (via elige)
AWP cruisers: draw a circle on your name tag if you’re into ladies, a triangle if you like the gents, and a smiley if you go for folks of any gender. Me, I find ‘em all sexy, but you do you.
The world has lost a couple of joy-bringers, and I feel all weepy and elegiac. Within minutes of waking up this morning, I learned that since I was last conscious and paying attention, both Shirley Temple Black and Leonard Knight had passed away. I’m sure you know about Shirley. Leonard is the man who build a giant every-colored, mountain for Jesus out of clay and paint out in the desert in California. It’s become a major folk art landmark and has appeared in several films. I first met Leonard in 2009, when I spent a month in Slab City, the squatter community next to Salvation Mountain. He was already suffering from dementia then, and on the short audio recording I made of our conversation, he mostly repeats the words,”Love is simple. Don’t get it complicated.”
To have these two go on the same day gets me thinking about how people are connected. Shirley and Leonard were on earth almost all the same years (Shirley was 85 when she died, Leonard was 82), lived through the same wartimes, youth movements, art movements, cruelty, rock n’ roll, cults, gas rationing, perms, hysteria, joy, tupperware, life. Certainly Leonard knew about Shirley, would have likely watched her dance and sing in the movies when he was a little boy in Vermont during the Great Depression. I’d like to think Shirley knew about him too. In the version of the world I prefer to imagine, she visits him at Salvation Mountain. Stepping out of her car onto the hot dust, she turns and sees the impossible green and pink domes of the mountain. Leonard is there, holding one of his nameless cats. He and Shirley exchange kisses on the cheek. Wordlessly, he takes her hand and leads her up the striped path he spent years carving into the mountain’s face. From the top, they can see mountain ranges folding out on all sides. They can see the gorgeous, putrid manmade sea shimmering down in the valley. Puffs of steam from geothermal power plants rise gently into the blue. A light breeze lifts the hair off their foreheads and for just a moment, everything smells like peppermint.
The world can always use another tap dancer, another technicolor mountain-maker. Sleep well, beautifuls.
I love trains. And people. On my way back from visiting the illustrious Jamila Keba in Vancouver, I met many beautiful people. I met a professional flamenco dancer and a man who had just finished walking across the country. I met workers, vacationers, survivors, mothers, daughters. I shot some video and recorded some audio to make this little collage.
Special thanks to Keith, Glen and Kathleen.
Music: Laura Gibson’s “Sweet Deception” from her album Beast of Seasons.