Monday, May 31, 2010

Far Away

Seconds before he was to do it a voice came unto him and it said “Terrified and shocked and even  scared I cannot take you away”, “ I cannot take you away so drive, drive far away”. He said he never understood why he heard this he only remembered the clarity of the words. I was overcome with emotion. Not because of his story but because it was a story told so many times in my office, maybe not this office but the three real offices I have worked in since 1997. He told me he was driving around Idaho Falls thinking of the many people who would wish they had told him they loved him. The friends who would question their friendship and their devotion, the family that would regret the damaging words they used to reinforce their disapproval of him and his behavior. He would drive to the hills above the city and turn himself over to the only one he said he knew would understand. God. He then told me “ He rejected me, he made me strong, he made that gun fall to the seat as I clenched my teeth and pulled the trigger”.

Tonight I was sitting around listening to music and spacing out into the vast expanse of the internet when the song came on. I listened to the lyrics and hearing them for the first time I realized I had thought of this very line earlier today. I looked them up and then I saw it. There it was, right before my eyes, an admission of the words that came to me earlier in the day. It was the same thing I heard but now it was a song. A lovely song. What could this all mean.  

Art Piece: Antoine Weirtz (1806-1865) The Suicide

This is the link to the song I mentioned in the writing. Copy and paste the link to your url. I have also attached the lyrics below the link.

 DEFTONES: Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) 
This town dont feel mine
I'm fast to get away-FAR

I dressed you in her clothes
Now drive me far - away, away, away

It feels good to know your mine
Now drive me far - away, away, away
FAR away
I dont care where just FAR - away [x3]
And I dont care

FAR - away
And I dont care where just FAR - away [x3]

Friday, May 21, 2010

The funeral : part II The trip to Nampa

I was at my desk when I got the call. It was Friday and I had just completed my scheduled DV group at 11:30. The phone rang. Amanda answered. I think she said "It's Doug", I took the phone, "Padron Counseling" I said, "Hey bud, how's it going....It's Doug, Kyal's dead. I just talked to Chris and he's on his way to Boise to be with LaDawn,..... he's dead,....... Bret killed him". I felt around for my chair, all I could say was...."no, don't say that, don't say that". I remember that much. I struggled to get my balance. I struggled to get out of the mental fog as I finally believed that Doug was telling the truth. My friend was dead. My friend had been killed by his brother. The same freckle faced kid we taught to fish. I sobbed. The director of DVIC came to my office and offered support, kind words, much needed guidance. I drove home intent on driving to Nampa right then and there. We left on Saturday.
The day was gloomy and wet. The sorrow hung in the air like a smog dragon holding a city hostage on a humid day. It was two days after the beginning of the actual police investigation and all I could focus on was my poor friend lying in his own blood. Made me sick to my stomach, makes me sick as I write this now.
I made the trip to Nampa because I was worthless to everyone, I was not in Idaho Falls, I was in Nampa so why not go. I drove and said very little all the way. I remember the Utah exit near Burley for some reason, but I can’t purge the memory that creates significance to that place. When I got to Nampa I expected to be the strong presence for his family, the one to take care of them for my friend. I wanted to be their pillar of hope. As I exited the truck I saw Chris. I saw a grown man not the kid I remember on Tabor Ave. I cried. I cried like a baby.
To be continued......................................

Posted Art: The Death of the Grave-digger by Carlos Schwabe (1877-1927)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Funeral: part 1

 I walked on firm ground with a sense of purpose, a sucker for a good tragedy I agreed to see my friend as he reentered the rehab clinic in the small town of Ashton. He had been involved in a car accident that night; he had a dulled and blunted affect and wore a dumb childish smile across his wasted face of vagrancy. That was the last time he took a drink or drug to cope with life.
We all carry our burdens, our demons, our regrets into each day and attempt to disguise them with a more appropriate shield or cover. Like a protective and stylish ipod cover. Some are better at life than others, it’s true, some go through life making all of the right decisions and making correct choices. (For the most part) I know people who read the instruction manual before taking their newly bought techno toy for a spin. People who follow the step by step guide included in their “assembly required” desk.  I also know the ones who do the exact opposite.  Diving in like hoarders at a clearance rack, not taking into consideration the possibility of a bad choice!  After the night I saw him poured into his bed I never saw him intoxicated on anything other than maybe an excess of Mountain Dew and cigarettes.  When we buried him in 2007 someone brought a 12 pack of Mountain Dew, one was buried with him, and several cigarettes were gently placed in his coat pocket by Matt.   There was a thin layer of crunchy snow above the frozen sand like crystals that still held the ground hostage. All around were muffled whimpers and the occasional snotty nose being cleared into a tissue. There is nothing like the predictable cues of sorrow, the head down, slumped shoulders, red watery eyes, and the contortion of facial muscles that almost always make a lip quiver or purse together in sadness.  Grown men and women alike allowing each other the space to expel this horrible film from the soul. Saying goodbye and pretending to celebrate the life he so bravely challenged and which challenged him.
To be continued……………………………………………………………….

Painting: Alex Grey Title: Dying
Artist website: www.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Evolve? Try the mind till the end.
Yeah, I know he kind of looks like Toby the socially challenged HR guy from The Office. If at all interested in the process of art and the brain, look closely to the paintings in the Dream Series, also images like Emotion Machine and Heal.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Grandma Gets a Tramp Stamp!

The whir of the guns is mesmerizing and oddly enough scary.  Under the needle you can see the grimace of pain on the recipients face. Wrinkled nose and clenched teeth are all the evidence one needs to make a quick side step out of the booth and out the door. Still, after watching 90 pound little girls take the initial flurry of needles without so much as a blink I proclaim my membership to the shamed and disgraced society of sensitive skinned girly men. Is it worth it? I mean come on now, what in the world would a person be thinking when they decide to have their skin invaded with a flat 15 shading needle? That’s 15 needles diving into dermis in unison.  At 30,000 revolutions per minute one can surmise that pain is a given ingredient to the process.
The process of getting a tattoo I think is twofold. First comes the decision to permanently ink a memory of stellar significance, however I still don’t see the importance of having Taz or any other Looney Toon permanently painted into skin. Maybe I’m just not open minded. Second a slightly demented and yes I admit, need to feel the pain of the gun. As people show the finished tattoo they often admit the pain and discomfort or pretend that they didn’t feel a thing. Like getting a tattoo resembles driving your car through a carwash, a sleepy burdensome task to save ourselves from back breaking labor. Or heaven forbid pull us away from American idol or Dancing with the Stars!  Give me a break people! It hurts! Admit it! Unless your head is totally void of substance P or GABA it hurts a little.
So first a decision then a hint of lunacy, yet this seems too simple. There must be more to this now that we delve further in. Why else do they do it? To prove a point, loss of a bet, waste money or is it a hurdle that leads to an experience and possible conversation starter. Really?  A conversation starter?   I don’t know but I’m beginning to think we have a theme going here….that is until I round the corner of reality. The harsh reality of gravity and the persistence of time. What will that awesome tribal design on your lower back look like when they are changing your depends at the nursing home? Yikes!  It probably won’t look great with granny undies or depends! “Grandma what’s that?” , says the grandchild. Nothing sexy going on here! Can you see where we’re going here?  I don’t think the wire arm band will be any cooler, nor will anybody be able to distinguish between the skull, rose or flames! So I guess getting a tattoo requires some amount of bravery as well. So now we are at three fold! Not all of the reasons or actions here are simple to understand. Are they? Let’s see if we have it straight now.
So, first a decision, a hint of lunacy and some bravery. Phew, glad I got that out of my system.
The weekend at the Tattoo and Art Show was a lot of fun and I even sold a painting! I had a great time and found that although different we are basically all the same. We all enjoy freedom of choice and freedom of speech; we like to express ourselves through tattoos, art, scars, and piercings.  As I move out of this new arena and feel gratitude for the new experience I look ahead to the week where I again get to experience all of the above without the tattoos, piercings, or scars. And the people during the upcoming week all though different are basically the same. Just a different branch of the same tree. 
Explore, evolve, and question...............................................JP