New York trip
I've come back from New York where father turned 95, the temp was 95, and friend Ray asked me if I took I95. Cute friend Ray. Dad says he told people he’s lasted because of his mother’s chicken soup. I wonder if I’ll be able to say the same about Campbell soup. He and I had roller coaster moments, not easy for fully grown egos to be peaceful, but upon leaving he spoke warmly to me and said never know if he'll be around, but that it’s been special to be with me and that even when gone he'll be around. I added my twist saying that this life is unique and won't happen again and I will miss touching and being around him. Had to get some negative out there. Still, it brought a tear to our eyes.
We spent some time shopping at the Veteran's building picking up a travelling bag and then a $2.00 meal at the Senior Stein Center. Strange how he, a good student in his past, liked and took advantage of these institutional settings. Seeing so many elderly and some damaged people still sits with me and no comment needed. One morning we went to a neighborhood Greek coffee house where the owner said he was like wallpaper every morning. I was honored to set foot on such hallow grounds. Friend Maggie said good to cherish these times with dad. She misses her parents and even her brother who is alive. I realize many of you are orphans so to speak so this is fortunate for me to have a parent and still get 50th looks at things and process them. Maybe I'm not ready yet for departure and maybe some of you were. This brings up life itself and the age old conflict ‘are things meant as if on a journey or is it just life with indifference.' I think things are meant but often beyond what we can see.
Had a first look at belongings recovered in basement after hurricane Sandy. Gone was Sport, a stuffed tiger, a wired computer I built, model ships, tanks and report cards and who knows.
About half a suitcase full remained. Recovered was an old all-star little league top from when I had played in Puerto Rico, some old drawings and writings (usually about people and relationships). At seven ships were drawn with impressive accuracy, coloring, perspective and force, along with a horse’s head, and a line drawing of dad detailed and piercing. A few later books of drawings were recovered, more studied, blander and less penetrating. Between the dulling effect of canned and pressured schools, ricocheting from one art teacher to another later on, and just time spent on too many other things, I saw the loss and mourned it. It was a record of what was that never fully blossomed. Acceptance and self-forgiveness partially seeped in and I knew what I yearned for in the future, a sense of feeling better about what I do in the present. That’s a gift.
Met with friend Ev who is having some landlord problems in New York and says Bloomberg destroyed the middle class in the city along with the schools (she teaches) and has encouraged the greed of the landlords. We talked over tea at another Greek diner Orion served by waiter Cosmos who gave her tenant advice. Hmmmmm. Something happening here?
Made it home after 4 hour delay from LGA where incoming jet's wheels never opened. TSA was their bully self (had a pat down for a bottle of water in bag) but crowd became quite warm and united. For a brief moment things weren't competitive.
And this is a word sketch of my visit to New York where I grew up. Now I'm back with the directional signal saying 'push on.' Still, last night upon arriving home at 12 at night it was quiet and still and I saw a near full moon and I stopped to take pleasure in it.
Note: Below are pics of some drawings saved. For some this might have interest. It is about my development, and maybe relates to yours. We rarely get good looks back over decades ago. An in depth understanding of art, which can include all of human potential, is good training to question and understand bigger things. Other activities can accomplish the same, but the very nature of art leads to questioning, from the anatomy of a leaf to the science of atmosphere to the questioning of our existence, it's all there.
Later, painting teachers taught by massing forms and/or impressionist type of applications, putting down large swatches of color values. After being confused by this, recalling these early drawings where outline was important helped to ground me.
Later I went to a progressive school. It was another extreme. Expressiveness was encouraged but craft and drawing skills were frowned upon. One was made to feel backwards. Just food for thought here. In the first case one was just a number. In the second case one had to fit in to a limiting agenda. Oh, just to have been left alone and given space with some understanding.