Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I've had a few good days recently.
Nothing really occurred other that a void left by relatively low work hours.
An awkward short film will likely be made based upon some of this activity. Good times.
Saturday was pleasantly free of deadlines. Biltmore Press doesn't operate on weekends. The Inn on Biltmore Estate (no relation) had me working a short day shift, one I abandoned early. It is important not to let your jobs confine you. Some days the schedule is wrapped so tightly. Then other days opportunities reveal their shiny golden heads. I yank them from the womb of the future. Whoa that is sickening. Sorry. (Kind-of)
Upon exiting the estate I took a sharp left. The first road out. It runs parallel to Biltmore Ave. and is the fastest route home. David Bowie sang to me from the speakers in my mothers purple ford.

"She finds the slinky vagabond
He coughs as he passes [in his mom's] Ford [Taurus]"

That doesn't quite work as well does it? I'll keep my creative license away from Bowie songs.

Once home I take a moment to collect myself. Lou and Jack were there. We sat in Jack's room and shot projectiles out into the world through his window. A video camera recorded our actions as we harassed passers-by with our waving.
I developed a yearning for chocolate. We decided to take a visit to The Chocolate Fetish. It too was documented.
We purchased one dozen truffles. Quite a sum at two dollars a piece. It only seems right that they go to a deserving person or perhaps twelve deserving people. This was the time to embrace a new mission.
Lou, Jack and I exited the chocolatier's shop and began to look for those who we deemed deserving of our newly acquired commodity. But what makes a person worth the such gifts.
Do they have to be pretty?

Must they be bright?

How about a hobo.

Or maybe a overworked waitress.

Who are we to even decide?

There were a few proposals. We settled on footwear.

Red shoes, socks and sandals. Only they would receive our decadent goodies.

Then we decided we would also give them to anyone else. Especially pretty people. But first we ate a few ourselves. Mine was very spicy. It made the back of my throat burn for a few minutes. We ate chocolate on Wall Street and it was a magical affair.
After the three of us felt satiated we began to hunt for lucky individuals. Sadly, no red shoes, socks or sandals were plodding along our fair Asheville streets that day. I actually felt disappointment. We drove to Tunnel road in a attempt to broaden our search. There are a few people that work in that area who I suspected may have red shoes on. No, not hookers. Although if we ran into red shoed night-walkers they wouldn't be excluded.

We three once again were shot down. No one was home.

Lou was thirsty. We had been walking around quite a bit. The Target was just up the hill a bit so we went to the retailer for liquid sustenance. David Bowie was still singing.
Target has surprisingly few resources when it comes to refreshment that doesn't involve bulk sugar water. Rather that act rationally and go somewhere else we catapulted ourselves into oblivion. We left the store with five Drumstick Icecream cones, one ginger ale and six "real fruit" frozen lime bars. They are really really really green. The ginger ale was declared to be the "worst one in the world". Sharing it together lifted a great weight off universal soda-karma. I guess you could say it was our duty to rid the world of such unspeakable Canada Dry.
We sat in front of the store debating on whether or not our current actions qualified as loitering. I thought that because we are consuming items purchased on the property in the parking lot of the property we are qualified business supporters or perhaps at worst just frivolling goofballs.

I was wrong.
loiter Pronunciation Key - (loi tr)
intr.v. loi·tered, loi·ter·ing, loi·ters
To stand idly about; linger aimlessly.

We were loitering. Ice cream isn't even mentioned in the definition and the consumption of it offers little to no legal protection.
Soon we departed in my mother's purple ford taurus.
I an effort to find a good place to drink the worst ginger ale in the world and eat our melting icy treats We drove down to the river. On the stoop of the now decrepit Ice warehouse we consumed more than our fair share of dessert.
Then we tried to skip rocks and throw stones as far as possible.
Mosquitoes are emerging from the river. Every mud puddle was crawling with spindle-legged insects who only now may be strong enough to fly. There were thousands. Not a one wearing red shoes.

That night there was a art show. Polaroid photography, puppets, photo-booth activities and of course booze. I called Lina and she seemed interested. She joined the misadventure squad at la casa de tres amigos. Her shoes were gold but she got chocolate anyway. It was a Bitter-sweet symphony.
The show started at 8:00pm but we arrived at 9:00pm. It's located in "the new art space behind Harvest Records", of west Asheville fame. The photographs are probably still hanging. The corn liqueur and photo-booth are not going to be there though.
The artist didn't make himself know. He would weave in and out of conversations and looked no different than most of his guests. That is something that I choose not to do but for him it work without discord.

A photo of the artist and I.

We have some similarities in the tilt of our head and generalized scruffiness.
He's wearing a fanny pack. I'm the one the the wookie pelt sash.

His photographs ranged from good to disappointing. Some of them struck at my sentimental cords while others felt like a more simple documentary of the willingly bohemian. It is the difference between taking a portrait of a person and capturing their style and taking a picture of the persons state of mind. Two interested me enough to purchase them. A vertical nameless diptych. I called it 'the mother's' photos. Dorothea Lange yanked on my organs. His price was ten dollars. I payed thirteen. Who knows when they will be ready.
It got quite late. Lou jumped into the folk band playing just outside the door. The man plays a mean washboard. Lina wandered around. I can't really tell what she is thinking most of the time. We all enjoyed the space bag wine... and the moonshine. Jack and I talked about film with other show-goers. Brazil, the Asheville Movie, others.
Someone asked if we were "artsy". I can never answer that question satisfactually.
So I didn't.

We departed with elation. It was fun.

At the apartment we had rum and more wine. A combination that usually leads to sword-fights. I stabbed Jack in the face with a fencing foil. He is fine but his lip bled a little. I apologized. Perhaps I should give him some chocolate when i get home. We all agreed to wear helmets next time.
Next we boxed in the living room. Lina vs. Jack. Me vs. Jack. Lou vs. Me and so on until we got tired.
The bed was a welcomed environment after all that.
I need more time off from work.
Later on today I will post images of selected new photographs.
Twelve recently developed rolls.

That reminds me.
The other eight need developing.

Hrm... expensive.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Yesterday there was a problem. I recently purchased a new saw and miters box from Lowe's as well as some nice pine shoe-molding. A canvas stretcher was to be assembled. These supplies were all that was needed once I took into account what was already waiting. The wood was cut and the glue was drying but one thing was missing... my hammer. The apartment was sadly lacking in tools that day and what could be done with a pounding stone was. Later I remembered that hammer had been left in the car. This reminded me of a poem.
The Lay of Thrym, "the finest ballad in the world." A story of great Gods, cross dressing, deception and a missing hammer. With foolish simplifications. Seriously.

Without further adue, THRYMSKVITHA.

Wild was Vingthor | when he awoke,
And when his mighty | hammer he missed;
He shook his beard, | his hair was bristling,
As the son of Jorth | about him sought.

Hear now the speech | that first he spake:
"Harken, Loki , | and heed my words,
Nowhere on earth | is it known to man,
Nor in heaven above: | our hammer is stolen."

(Thor the Hurler woke frantically and bellowed though his tangled hair "Where the Hell is my hammer!? Everyone looked around but no one in heaven or earth knew where he left it. Thor said to Loki "Some ass stole it.")

To the dwelling fair | of Freyja went they,
Hear now the speech | that first he spake:
"Wilt thou, Freyja, | thy feather-dress lend me,
That so my hammer | I may seek?"

Freyja spake:
"Thine should it be | though of silver bright,
And I would give it | though 'twere of gold."
Then Loki flew, | and the feather-dress whirred,
Till he left behind him | the home of the gods,
And reached at last | the realm of the giants.

(The two Gods went to see the Misses. They asked "Freyja, dear, may we borrow the Hawk coat. It seems the hammer is missing." She responded "Very well but do take good care of it Loki, it is hard to trust you after last time." Loki took the coat and it's feathers flapped and quickly he was in the air heading for the home of the giants.)

Thrym sat on a mound, | the giants' master,
Leashes of gold | he laid for his dogs,
And stroked and smoothed | the manes of his steeds.

Thrym spake:
"How fare the gods, | how fare the elves ?
Why comst thou alone | to the giants' land?"

Loki spake:
"III fare the gods, | ill fare the elves!
Hast thou hidden | Hlorrithi's hammer?"

Thrym spake:
"I have hidden | Hlorrithi's hammer,
Eight miles down | deep in the earth;
And back again | shall no man bring it
If Freyja I win not | to be my wife."

(The lord of giants sat on his throne petting his pets, not unlike Doctor Evil. Loki lands and approaches to hear: "How're the Gods n elves Loki. What be you after today?" "Gods rule, elves drool. Well not really. Gods drool too. Thrym and you know why I come. Did you take the Hammer?" quipped Loki.
"I took the hammer and buried it where no one can find it to spite your Master LOLz! You can't have it back until Thor forks over his hot wife.")

Then Loki flew, | and the feather-dress whirred,
Till he left behind him | the home of the giants,
And reached at last | the realm of the gods.
There in the courtyard | Thor he met:
Hear now the speech | that first he spake:

"Hast thou found tidings | as well as trouble?
Thy news in the air | shalt thou utter now;
Oft doth the sitter | his story forget,
And lies he speaks | who lays himself down."

Loki spake:
"Trouble I have, | and tidings as well:
Thrym, king of the giants, | keeps thy hammer,
And back again | shall no man bring it
If Freyja he wins not | to be his wife."

(Again Loki flew in the fancy Hawk Coat. He soared through the clouds until he met Thor in the front yard. The great God asked "Stand and tell me what you have learned of my hammer. No lies either." Loki sheepishly orated the giant's demands "I've good news and bad news. The good news is I know where your hammer is. The bad is the Giants stole it and that idiot Thyrm has the hots for your woman. He said that if you want your hammer back you have to give him your wife. Yeah it is pretty steep.")

Freyja the fair | then went they to find
Hear now the speech | that first he spake:
"Bind on, Freyja, | the bridal veil,
For we two must haste | to the giants' home."

Wrathful was Freyja, | and fiercely she snorted,
And the dwelling great | of the gods was shaken,
And burst was the mighty | Brisings' necklace:
"Most lustful indeed | should I look to all
If I journeyed with thee | to the giants' home."

(The two Gods went to see Freyja. "Wife you must get your brides dress on and come with us. I am trading you for a Hammer, a very important Hammer." Announced Thor stubbornly.
Freyja's face went red and the ground around her tried to flee. "You get your own damn Hammer! I am not whore to be traded!" she yelled ferociously. Her jewelry glowed as brightly as her angry eyes.)

Then were the gods | together met,
And the goddesses came | and council held,
And the far-famed ones | a plan would find,
How they might Hlorrithi's | hammer win.

Then Heimdall spake, | whitest of the gods,
Like the Wanes he knew | the future well:
"Bind we on Thor | the bridal veil,
Let him bear the mighty | Brisings' necklace;

"Keys around him | let there rattle,
And down to his knees | hang woman's dress;
With gems full broad | upon his breast,
And a pretty cap | to crown his head."

Then Thor the mighty | his answer made:
"Me would the gods | unmanly call
If I let bind | the bridal veil."

Then Loki spake, | the son of Laufey :
"Be silent, Thor, | and speak not thus;
Else will the giants | in Asgarth dwell
If thy hammer is brought not | home to thee."

Then bound they on Thor | the bridal veil,
And next the mighty | Brisings' necklace.

Keys around him | let they rattle,
And down to his knees | hung woman's dress;
With gems full broad | upon his breast,
And a pretty cap | to crown his head.

Then Loki spake, | the son of Laufey:
"As thy maid-servant thither | I go with thee;
We two shall haste | to the giants' home."

(All the God assembled to figure out what to do. Heimdall the grey bearded wiseman smirked and said: "I have an idea, Lets dress Thor up like a girl and send him instead... right? We can put her necklace on him. We will dress him in glittery things and he can even use this pretty hat!" Thor frowned. "I will be a laughing stock. You all will think I am a girl man! Unacceptable! Lets find another plan that doesn't involve me looking like a queen."
"If you don't get your hammer back the giants will just knock down our doors with it and we will have to see them every day. They will drink all our beer and hog the couch." Loki accuratly remarked.
Thor put on the Glittery dress, family jewels and even the pretty hat without another utterance. Loki joined him in drag as his maid.)

Then home the goats | to the hall were driven,
They wrenched at the halters, | swift were they to run;
The mountains burst, | earth burned with fire,
And Othin's son | sought Jotunheim.

(Away the inappropriately dress duo rode. Burning the grass into pitch with the speed of Thors sweet goat chariot. Away to the giant's home)

Then loud spake Thrym, | the giants' leader:
"Bestir ye, giants, | put straw on the benches;
Now Freyja they bring | to be my bride,
The daughter of Njorth | out of Noatun.

"Gold-horned cattle | go to my stables,
Jet-black oxen, | the giant's joy;
Many my gems, | and many my jewels,
Freyja alone | did I lack, methinks."

(Thrym boisterously hollered "Look! She comes! Fluff the pillows and hide the cows! Of all the wonderful things I have it was only her I lacked. What wealth I have! Get the Cows out of here I said!")

Early it was | to evening come,
And forth was borne | the beer for the giants;
Thor alone ate an ox, | and eight salmon,
All the dainties as well | that were set for the women;
And drank Sif's mate | three tuns of mead.

Then loud spake Thrym, | the giants' leader:
"Who ever saw bride | more keenly bite?
I ne'er saw bride | with a broader bite,
Nor a maiden who drank | more mead than this!"

Hard by there sat | the serving-maid wise,
So well she answered | the giant's words:
"From food has Freyja | eight nights fasted,
So hot was her longing | for Jotunheim."

Thrym looked 'neath the veil, | for he longed to kiss,
But back he leaped | the length of the hall:
"Why are so fearful | the eyes of Freyja?
Fire, methinks, | from her eyes burns forth."

Hard by there sat | the serving-maid wise,
So well she answered | the giant's words:
"No sleep has Freyja | for eight nights found,
So hot was her longing | for Jotunheim."

(The feast came to table and all was merry. But the giants thought it disturbing that after a whole ox, eight fish, hundreds of cookies and three barrels of beer Thryms' new bride still had her appetite.
"I've ne'er seen a woman that could eat and drink like you can! Those jawls are huge!" exclaimed the lord of Giants.
The Bride's mad sheepishly uttered "My lady has been so aflutter with anticipation that she has been unable to eat for the last few days. Such is her desire for your... giantness." She blushed. The Bride stopped chewing for a moment then continued.
The Giant stooped to look at his to be bride and saw something unsettling when leaning in for a kiss. "Why're her eyes like that, they burn like little furnaces?"
"My Lady has been without rest for days now. Becasue of her yerning to witness the vastness of your lordships... territory." she uttered in that suprisingly deep voice.)

Soon came the giant's | luckless sister,
Who feared not to ask | the bridal fee:
"From thy hands the rings | of red gold take,
If thou wouldst win | my willing love,
My willing love | and welcome glad."

Then loud spake Thrym, | the giants' leader:
"Bring in the hammer | to hallow the bride;
On the maiden's knees | let Mjollnir lie,
That us both the band | of Vor may bless."

(In short time the Giant's older sister entered the banquet hall. She was not hesitant to ask for the doury, it was her duty. "I ask for the rings on your fingers Freyja, with them you will earn my love as sister and your welcome here."
The Giant king interrupted saying "Go now! Bring the hammer I promised! Lay it'oner lap as a symbol of our new love. May it be blessed by the Goddess!" Thor looked up.)

The heart in the breast | of Hlorrithi laughed
When the hard-souled one | his hammer beheld;
First Thrym, the king | of the giants, he killed,
Then all the folk | of the giants he felled.

The giant's sister | old he slew,
She who had begged | the bridal fee;
A stroke she got | in the shillng's stead,
And for many rings | the might of the hammer.

And so his hammer | got Othin's son.

(With that last remark and the hammer on his knees the God formerly know as Bride erupted from his seat. Diving across the table the delivered a thunderous crack to the skull of his to-be husband, crushing it. With the power of his favorite hammer the God of agriculture emitted a rain of blows that buried all the giant's kin. Even the older sister who didn't resist was rended. Awarded a short end rather than shiney trends)

(That's how Thor got his hammer back.)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I was just writing to Jumuraa. He had wondered about the new photograph. After explaining what it was I was trying to do I figured it was worth expounding.
I often edit photographs for or just at work. There isn't always a great deal of things to do here and some time falls though cracks. That is normalcy.

The new image contains many icons. Primarily it informs the family. My mother is the figure looking downward from the top. She was teaching us how to swim. Something that she still does. I am not above the use of easy metaphors. My two of my brothers and I are clinging to the edge of the pool. Geoffrey, who is now 22, is resting cherubic on my arm. Shleeve (now 20) is to his right, fiddling with some dwidget or maybe just his thumb. They look away at their own business. Geoffrey is looking down the pools edge like it is a horizon line worth crossing. He now lives in Manhattan and studies Law. That was his course. Shleeve, is introverted and analyzing. He is studying close to home in Cullowhee, history. These two brothers are as similar as brothers normally are but different in the ways that brothers know they are. We think we are nothing alike sometimes but we are wrong. Here we are in one pool together.

My younger self is on my left side. I am harder to see but present. My small fingers grasp the neckless of my current self. Stubbornly griping it's rope just under my chin. The other child hand resides on my shoulder. I wonder what the younger me thinks gazes past myself. Right now he looks at me from the screen. Perhaps he is surprised that I look so similar to the teacher in the pool beside him. Now I am approaching the age that she was when I was born. But now he isn't looking at me. He stares out into you reading this. I like that young me is on the left. The Memory Left. Physical residence of the logic in our brian.

A child planed who I am today. We all have that inside us. The decisions we have made propel us into tomorrow. Every heroic deed or isolated moment becomes the evolutionary sequence. I was born with a desire to create out of anything. When I was his age I painted with tomato paste and made mini macaroni murals for class. Now that I am 24 I made him. Now I am on his right. I am the imagination that the sequence produced. This new me made newer every day is the Right. Physical location of creativity in our brain. Somehow I feel like this is some kind of time travel. Visual highways to the past.

The rest of the family is hard to see because they aren't visible. With every picture, snapshot and photograph one person is usually left out. That is the photographer, someone who frames life a 60th of a second at a time. There are three invisible people in this one image. Firstly I believe is my Father. I don't know who else would have taken a picture of my young family in the pool. I doubt that my mother set a timer on the camera. If she had then her smile would have been fake. I know this because I have half of her DNA and I can't smile when I know the shutter will open. Also, she is cautious. It is unlikely she would have set a camera near a puddle. If it was my father all is well. He, at the time was part of our family but no longer is. His image is from the past, where it stays. Old family. Another invisible is Jef. He took the picture of current me in my new home. Jef is part of the new family, our more adult family. It is though that spectrum that the world now sees us. The Young family. In me both families exist.

Lastly is the image of the dancers. There photographer is lost in time. I chose to include a symbol for the impressions in my sequence left by those I don't know. I parade of individuals who in some small way made the result. The Sum of Me. All of them danced by or watched. One dancer is the fry slinger from Burger King who told my Mother it was strange to hear her listening to Deep Purple at the drive through. She was surprised to hear her 8th grade history teacher rocking out. After that I suspected that your age matters less when you aren't allowed in the ball pit anymore. My life was filled with people who danced their lives around me or watched as I danced mine. In the past we learned from them. Some like the photographer I've forgotten. Others I know only by the shape of their bodies or the arrangement of a face and scarcely a deed or name.

In another way the dancing image is representative of my reentry into a work environment. The image is from a bulk of photographs taken in Mars Hill College long ago. They are part of a book I should be working on right now. Last week I was on vacation in the Caribbean. I swam, drank and sunbathed. It was the pool. Now I return to the images of windows and red dancers. Now I work them out.

I suppose it is about memory then isn't it. -Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating-. Finding wisdom of the soul. Some that isn't susceptible to proof but is infact it's own proof. The sum of the past is the future. Kind of like the Song of the Open Road.