First and Last

 

So hey it's New Years Eve Eve.  I'm stepping up to my two favorite days of the year…The Last and The First.  Reflection on the Last and then Hope on the First.  Both are more difficult now than in years past.

Two Thousand Fifteen has been important for me.  I got a head-start on considering the review.

The book.  I can't believe it happened.  I still can't.  Exhibitions come and go and when they're over it's almost as if it never happened.  A dream.  A wish.   Poof.   The book is different.  It is an artifact that represents me and I ran myself through the finest mesh filter to take it all down to the essence.  I used as few words as possible.  Uncharacteristically…I wanted to live or die by the photographs alone.  Not everyone loves the book.  But not everyone loves me. 

The Nest.  She saved me.  I started building The Nest on September 20th.  I know the date because I took a picture of the very first tic-tac-toe-stick-grid that I hoped would be a solid foundation.  I worked constantly for many weeks and as she took shape I began to recognize the significance.  Creating The Nest has been physically taxing.  I am grateful.  It's been meditative, cathartic, and defiant.  She is in my backyard right now in the rain as I type this.  And typing that sentence literally moves me to tears.  She is mine.  And but I am hers.  She cannot be sold.  No one has any say about what goes on between she and I.  I can wake up at any hour and take my coffee out to sit with her…see how she's doing…see what she needs.  (Sometimes consider my own well-being…which I would rather not.)  So I usually choose to get to work.  Nesting.  Caring for her and helping her make it through the rain and the seasons.  And the damage.  

Which brings me to my worries about Hope.

I am not an optimist but still - I dream big.  I believe that I'm strong enough to handle the disappointment if the dream doesn't work out.  I believe in being brave enough to ask the universe for exactly what I want.

I am self-reliant.  I don't need anybody.  It's best if I just take care of myself and that is how I have lived since before I even knew to think about such things.  But I am vulnerable in my art.  Because I don't think the work is valid without the real truth of me.  

I am vulnerable with the people I trust. And so this has been a year of loss.  I have lost people I've admired.  I have lost people I've trusted.  I have lost people I love.

Because integrity is not negotiable.

You can't use me.  You can't steal from me.  And when you think I won't notice…you're wrong.  I know what it looks like.  Because I've had the real thing.  I do know what integrity looks like.  I do know what real friendship is.  And I do know love.  This year I've been heartbroken to realize how rare it all is.  Integrity should not be assumed and I am devastated by this fact.  It's a loss of faith.   

I do not claim to be perfect.  And I don't expect perfection from the world.  I'm looking for integrity.  Hoping for it.  And that's all.  

I made a film this time last year.  I'm watching it and sharing it with the hope of renewal.  As my heroic Ray Wylie Hubbard so eloquently puts it..."When I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...well, I have mighty fine days."   Thanks RWH.  I'm going to hitch my cart to that idea for 2016.  2015...Thank you. I am grateful for the gifts and the lessons.  Don't let the door hit you in the ass.