Wednesday, April 28, 2010
A kind soul and a wise mother she became as the day continued to progress and make sense. I think I understand. I know what I must do. I must give myself and skim only the surface of her frozen spine. I must not push or pressure the ebb and flow of this dance. I feel so weary and confused as the day comes to a close. A full day dedicated and yet denied, no pass, no easy way out, no one piece of you was given without a play. I see you and I know you. The rise and fall of many will not be explained today, no, not today. She will hold her silence tight to her bosom.
She will not break and will not soften her lips to speak on high; rather she will flutter her lashes in the wind and sleep again under the sky above. I anticipate our next exchange of words and long for your presence as I invade your space again and again, please wait for me. Another day complete with nothing left to speak. Her given name is Lone Peak and she resides in Big Sky Montana. ……………………………………………………….JP
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
This is a story of a man who lived life on his terms, he really did explore, evolve and question. I can hear it now "evolve?", yeah I said evolve. True serenity or enlightenment is sometimes based on the amount of quiet calming peace one has between the ears, if you don't believe me try and quiet the mental chatter you experience on any given day. Much harder than it seems. This man spent years with himself and his thoughts and never reached out to outside stimulus to replace a missing piece within himself. He felt whole. I went fishing in the Salmon area with Dave Winn one year and he pointed him out to me. I really wanted to talk to him but talked myself out of it. Mainly because of the mental chatter. "He's a hermit for a reason, he is probably easily annoyed, a loner, maybe even crazy, he might growl at me and tell me to leave him alone". I wish I would have taken a risk and asked him......"why?".
Death of 'Caveman' ends an era in Idaho
Richard Zimmerman, known to all as Dugout Dick, succumbs at 94
BY TIM WOODWARD - firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright: © 2010 Idaho Statesman
A lifetime of living alone in solitary places shows in Dugout Dick's face in this photo shot in 2002. Born Richard Zimmerman, he was the last of Idaho's legendary loners. Zimmerman died Wednesday.
Dugout Dick's caves, dug with a pick, shovel and prybar, became an informal tourist attraction on this hillside near Salmon.
Dugout Dick's caves, dug with a pick, shovel and prybar, became a virtual tourist attraction on this this hillside near Salmon.
Known as the "Salmon River Caveman," Richard Zimmerman lived an essentially 19th century lifestyle, a digital-age anachronism who never owned a telephone or a television and lived almost entirely off the land.
"He was in his home at the caves at the end, and it was his wish to die there," said Connie Fitte, who lived across the river. "He was the epitome of the free spirit."
Richard Zimmerman had been in declining health when he died Wednesday.
Few knew him by his given name. To friends and visitors to his jumble of cave-like homes scrabbled from a rocky shoulder of the Salmon River, he was Dugout Dick.
He was the last of Idaho's river-canyon loners that date back to Territorial days. They are a unique group that until the 1980s included canyon contemporaries with names like Beaver Dick, Cougar Dave and Wheelbarrow Annie, "Buckskin Bill" (real name Sylvan Hart) and "Free Press Frances" Wisner. Fiercely independent loners, they lived eccentric lives on their own terms and made the state more interesting just by being here.
Most, like Zimmerman, came from someplace else. Drawn by Idaho's remoteness and wild places removed from social pressures, they came and spent their lives here, leaving only in death.
Some became reluctant celebrities, interviewed about their unusual lifestyles and courted by media heavyweights. Zimmerman was featured in National Geographic magazine and spurned repeated invitations to appear on the "Tonight Show."
"I ride Greyhounds, not airplanes," he said in a 1993 Statesman interview. "Besides, the show isn't in California. The show is here."
Cort Conley, who included Zimmerman in his 1994 book "Idaho Loners", said that "like Thoreau, he often must have smiled at how much he didn't need. É What gave him uncommon grace and dignity for me were his spiritual life, his musical artistry, his unperturbed acceptance of life as it is, and being a WWII veteran who had served his country and harbored no expectations in return."
His metamorphisis to Dugout Dick began when he crossed a wooden bridge over the Salmon River in 1947 and built a makeshift home on the side of a hill. He spent the rest of his life there, fashioning one cavelike dwelling after another, furnishing them with castoff doors, car windows, old tires and other leavings.
"I have everything here," he said. "I got lots of rocks and rubber tires. I have plenty of straw and fruit and vegetables, my dog and my cats and my guitars. I make wine to cook with. There's nothing I really need."
Some of his caves were 60 feet deep. Though he "never meant to build an apartment house," he earned spending money by renting them for $2 a night. Some renters spent one night; others chose the $25 monthly rate and stayed for months or years.
He lived in a cave by choice. Moved by a friend to a care center in Salmon at age 93 because he was in failing health, he walked out and hitchhiked home.
Bruce Long, who rented one of his caves and looked after him, said the care center "had bingo and TV, but things like that held no interest for him. He just wanted to live in his cave.
"People said he was the only person they'd ever known who was absolutely self-sufficient. He didn't work for anybody. He worked for himself."
Born in Indiana in 1916, Zimmerman grew up on farms in Indiana and Michigan, the son of a moonshiner with a mean streak. He rebelled against his domineering father and ran away at a young age, riding the rails west and learning the hobo songs he later would play on a battered guitar for guests at his caves.
He punched cows and worked as a farmhand, settling in Idaho's Lemhi Valley in 1937 and making ends meet by cutting firewood and herding sheep. In 1942, he joined the Army and served as a truck driver in the Pacific during World War II. When his service ended, he returned to Idaho and never left.
He raised goats and chickens, tended a bountiful vegetable garden and orchard and stored what he couldn't eat or sell in a root cellar. A lifelong victim of a quarrelsome stomach, he survived largely on what he could grow or make. Homemade yogurt ranked among his proudest achievements.
He was married once, briefly, to a pen-pal bride from Mexico. The other woman in his life, Bonnie Trositt, tired of life in a cave, left him for a job as a potato sorter and was murdered by her roommate. He claimed to see her spirit in the flickering light of a kerosene lamp on the cave walls.
He rarely went to church, but read and quoted continually from the Bible.
Services are pending. A brother, Raymond Zimmerman, has requested that his remains be sent to Illinois.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Amazing how it can all change is seconds and when you least expect it.
Note: Painting done by Peter Gric, title: Event
Check out his website to purchase original works.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
A few years ago I received a call from a close friend who spoke to me about his son who was suffering with some pretty hefty addiction problems. He explained (with an angry tone) how he wanted me to visit with his son who was ready to change. Hoping it was true I agreed to meet with him to see the amount of “buy in” he had regarding the treatment process. Since I work as a substance abuse counselor and I was a close family friend it only made sense that I be the one to point them in the right direction. I had no idea what I was getting into.
My first meeting with him was obvious in every aspect. How? He lied and nothing I said seemed to penetrate the glossy residue or the distant melancholy in his eyes. It feels a lot like talking to the elderly in the stages just before they pass. Lost and swimming in a sea of confusion he stated his case and action plan. Unlike the elderly that almost always come to grips with death, my friend was not ready to die. He was dying before me nonetheless, he just didn’t know it. The gray of his eyes glistened as the salty tear held on to the rim of his eye lid and then gave way. The uncontrollable flood of emotion visible and genuine couldn’t be concealed any longer. His upper lip quivered as the face muscles lost hold of control. Nose wrinkled, and gnashing of teeth couldn’t keep the secret from being exposed to the light. Lies turned to truths and the gray leaking eyes wept away the guilt. I sat and I listened to the endless stories of tragedy soaked memories. I couldn’t help but think of his little kids sitting at home wondering where their father had gone. Not just today. Where had he gone many days or months before today? How many times had he fragmented this way?
“I haven’t been able to sleep, I fell asleep for three hours last night, they gave me the highest dose of Trazadone and some other crap and I couldn’t sleep. The first night I was crawling out of my skin! My legs were cramping and my toes would curl and it felt like they were trying to make fists! Runny nose, diarrhea with the sweats and then the chills, like dying, but knowing you’re going to live, wishing for death, I know I’m going to die if I don’t stop. My wife will leave and the kids will grow up without me”.
This after 6 days without heroin, oxycontin or cocaine, I saw blue eyes; flesh toned skin and shaky hands. He wept like a small child being pulled from his mother’s arms as we left him again, this time at the actual treatment center. I felt the tears well up in my eyes as I walked away. It was the most horrible combination of grunts, sobs and saliva spewing exhausts of sorrow. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had never seen this up close. Personal.
Note: I created a painting out of this blog, a way to expel and express it more fully. The title of the painting: Bubbles named after the character featured in the HBO series The Wire.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
What finally did it (along with feeling ready) was the inability to make sense of twitter. That's the truth. I want to expose the process of art as it occurs in and out of me in hopes of finding like minded individuals who are stubbornly creating art out of self taught techniques. Twitter gives you so many letters to update, I wanted to fully express. I want a place where I can write about the influence behind the art. (without giving away to much) I don't usually expose the meaning of the art other than the basic theme. The other big draw for me was the idea that all confused feelings, thoughts and overall negativity needs to be exposed in order to live more free. I would like to dispose of the unpreventable by-product of art. Van Gogh might have had success with the blog before he decided to hack off his ear! Theo might have welcomed Vinnie seeking support from fellow art nuts. Now that I think of it Vincent was blogging, old school blogging!
Anyway, here are the random thoughts of the first entry.
Always explore, evolve and question.