Sunday, March 18, 2018

Land of opportunity

I’ve described my life lately as being “insulated.” There is a peace that naturally comes from sleeping during the day, and barely leaving the house until I leave for work again, after dark.

This weekend, I’ve been far more social... I went out with friends and heard 3 different bands play.

I’d forgotten how wonderful it is to connect with people!

Most people said “welcome back!” Even though I’ve been back for 5 months. Almost no one has seen me, because I’ve pretty much been a hermit. I think that was necessary. But now I need to take care of myself, and part of that is socializing outside of work.

At the most unexpected moments, I saw people who seemed genuinely happy to see me, hugging me and telling me how happy they were that I am here.

There is no place else like Grand Marais. There are other small towns... tiny towns. But they usually are not the county seat. They are not usually nestled between a vast body of water and a vast forest.

My brother says Fayetteville NC is large enough to offer a lot to do and small enough to do it all. I disagree. Grand Marais is the land of opportunity.

Life is still personal here. Sure, you have to think outside of the box. But you know what? There is still a lot of unboxed stuff here.

So I spent my weekend hugging, engaging in sincere conversations, and being inspired.

I told a friend that it feels like summer. Or vacation. All it was was a weekend in a dream town called home.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Time

Life is passing by very quickly. I have had a couple people tell me recently that time speeds up as you age. It does seem to do that. But a second is still a second. A minute is still a minute.

I think the balance has shifted. I have more time behind me than I do ahead of me. The teeter totter is angling down.

Other people have said that time doesn’t exist. It is just a social construct we’ve created and maintain to manage events.

It’s easy to chart the events from birth to death on a timeline, and this is useful! But I think it is a construct that we will outgrow.

I’m picturing time as a finished painting, and I can only see one brushstroke now. All that was, still is. All that will be, already is.

Or how about a notebook being written in with a ball point pen. The story is being written in indelible ink, but my body confines me to that one tiny moment of interface between pen and paper. The “present”.

When the paintbrush of my body is put down, I will be able to step back and take in the whole picture.

When I talk to groups of kids, I often ask them whether they believe that I truly am a spaceman, and that I can time travel. The younger kids tend to believe that it is so, the older ones, not so much.

So I note the time at the beginning of my talk, and the time when I finish. We travel through that 10 or 15 minutes together, into the future.

Spaceman? Yes. I come from a planet in the Milky Way galaxy, called the Earth.

This made my day

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

BEST TEXT EVER

Hey Tim - I don't think we've met before but I'm Will Moore, I work with Rhonda at WTIP. I know we just had you on the air, but I recently discovered a strange disc labelled "Flash Meridian" at the thrift store here in town. I found out it's a creation of yours, and has been for a long time. I'm so interested in this! What a cool local project! I'm wondering if I could do a feature on you and Flash Meridian and how it started and evolved over time, the music and the writing, etc. Would you be interested in talking about that? Please let me know!

(from March 29, 2017)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Forgiveness

Sometimes people cross a line that is difficult, if not impossible to step back over. In my battle toward forgiveness (yes, it is a struggle), I am playing tug of war with my instincts for self preservation and comfort. In other words, safety and well being.

If a person lies to you, and then asks your forgiveness, what does that mean? Once trust is shattered, there is no switch on the wall that you can flip and restore things to the way they were. Nor would such a mechanism be wise.

To live is to discover facts about the world around us. Nothing has changed except our awareness. The hot oven rack is still hot. Do not touch it without a pot holder or making sure it has cooled first. The blister, even after it has healed, will remind you to protect yourself.

When you realize a person has lied to you, you no longer have the option of trusting them. It would not make sense.

So what is forgiveness? I’m not sure. Maybe forgiveness is an honest assessment which takes into account a person’s strengths as well as their weaknesses or limitations, and deciding that they are worth wearing an oven mitt.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Acceptance

From an early age, people respected my ability to draw pictures. Or at least they were supportive of my love for drawing.

When I was in Jr. High, I could attract a crowd of other students by drawing animals in the library. They’d call out “can you draw a squirrel?” Or “Draw me a horse!” And I would. Anything they asked for, I drew, and gave them the drawings.

That was my role. The one thing I was good at. That, and making people laugh.

I didn’t think much of it. It came so easy to me. But what a wonderful thing, looking back. I wasn’t good at sports, or math, or English, or paying attention. But I was known as the kid who could draw.

“How do you know where to start?” They asked questions, but I just drew. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know how not to.

As I got older, I always drew for fun. For myself. For a friend or two. But I sort of froze up when I tried to do something for a show or “serious art” for a person’s wall.

Expectation killed the fun... Fundamentally changed my approach and my attitude.

I really had to learn to let go. Like when I made art with my brother. There were no rules. There was no judgement or expectation. Just a lot of laughter and joy. Whether we were writing stories or poems, painting our bodies, taking photographs or any other creative whim, we had FUN, and those remain timeless pieces of art.

I think my brother “gets me” in a way that few can. We were right there together in the creative flow, playing and laughing. And this was when we were adults, by the way.

Our Boundary Waters photos were like no one else’s. We can still recite the poems we wrote there.

Eventually, I was able to let go of that baggage and have fun painting in my studio. Especially after my daughter was born.

Acceptance by other people is not something I strive for, as odd as that may sound. If I paint for acceptance, you can be sure no one will like it. So I do me. My fish are in the treetops. Don’t like it? Look somewhere else. Find what you love.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Friday, March 09, 2018

Day jobs

I’ve worked so many jobs over the years. Back in 1979 I worked in a nursing home when I was in college. I guess I’ve come full circle on that one. But in between then and now I worked as a summer camp counselor and horsemanship instructor, classroom aide with severely multiply impaired (SXI) children, I worked in commercial heating and cooling, managed a deli, waited tables, I was a Realtor, dispatcher/jailer and barista to name a few. Currently, I am a nurse, artist, photographer and minister.

I think everything I do impacts my writing. This includes my roles as father, grandfather, friend, brother, son... and my hobbies like roasting my own coffee beans and acting. All of those experiences go into the mix, augmenting what comes out.