I’ve been pretty tired lately, going between my job and my work in the studio along with this mural project at Hindle Power for the past two weeks. I don’t seem to remember being this tired doing several jobs simultaneously when I was 34 or 24, but now that I’m knocking the door of 44 everything feels like a little to much for my old bones to bare. It tickles me how age creeps up on you. Right now my aches and pains are more or less intriguing oddities, like ‘oh that a thing now, we’ll guess we have to incorporate that little nuisance’. Of course with time these ailments grow progressively worse as the imminent death of a friend lately illustrated to me intimately last week.
I think I’ve been coping with the corona virus, specifically as it relates to masking and social distancing protocols, by pouring myself into work. The retail world can be brutal at the best of times, even more so when you have to confront anti-maskers and otherwise imperious customers who don’t seem to recognize that times have changed and that no one is operating their business like normal. To deal with the daily stress of that world I mostly commiserate with my housemate Michelle Neifert, who is an artist that also works in retail, but on my days off I try to pour myself into artwork, even when all I desperately want to do is rest and sleep.
I think we as a country fetishize the idea of work. I think we imagine it’s a virtue that can only lead to riches and good character in the future. I tend to believe we who think like this are mostly deluding ourselves and all we’re really doing is treading water. One thing being exhausted has taught me, especially lately, is to be cautious in all things because demands on time are much more expensive to the body now than before in years past. So indulgences are indulged with a little more glee and urgency and conflicts are avoided again because they contribute to the exhaustion. And so I was delighted this last weekend when Michelle and I took the day off from all jobs to visit her friends Jill and Ben Prout at their farm in Oley, Pennsylvania.
Farm life is incredibly difficult and not enough people realize just how amazing it is that we get food on our tables as efficiently as we do. It’s incredibly industrial and routinized making all other work in our society seem like child’s play by perspective. I’m amazed at how joyfully and diligently the Prout’s do their work and how welcoming they are. My experience with Pennsylvanians haven’t been so great always, There’s a curmudgeonly and suspicious nature to many here that reminds me of Yankees from New England. Besides providing a great perspective on work and hospitality, the Prout’s farm was just plain beautiful, with rolling hills and historic farmhouses dotting the countryside. It was a welcome retreat from the norm and I hope I can visit them again soon. I will surely get some quality paintings out of the photos I took.
Here are some photos I took of the Prout Farm in Oley, Pa
I’ve been listening to a lot of Sango lately for energy. Not a lot of EDM excites me but if it has a classic house beat or tries to push the boundaries a little with what’s being sampled I can be easily hooked. I like just about all songs on the two albums “De Mim, Pra Voce” and “Da Rocinha” so here’s a random cuts from both records, “Respeita” and “Amor Rocinha” respectively.
It’s been a slow progress back into the studio the last few weeks and I’m looking forward to this next week where I might find one day of open-ended time. I think I’m going to have to formally tell people not to contact me on my days off so that I can focus on my paintings more actively. I find myself complaining too much about time-vampires and it’s getting a little old at this point. Next week I hope to continue my work on Adela’s Bouquet and the Earth painting with the goal of finishing both by the end of the month. Until next time do be well and stay safe.