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Archive for August, 2017

A Dream About Art?

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on August 23, 2017

So this morning I had a dream in which I was at an art gallery. I found a sculpture I liked and bought it, for $750. Oddly specific there, that price. Of course price is very important. I couldn’t afford to buy a piece of art for $750 right now.

There was something familiar about the piece. It was a piece of carved wood, shaped like a distorted ellipse, with one part narrower than the other, as though it was what was left of an ovoid after cutting out the center and leaving just a two-dimensional outline of the ovoid. The smaller end was pointed down. There was a piece of wood hanging in the center of the piece also. As I was admiring it, the recently deceased winemaker/sculptor/writer/poet/skier Jim Fish appeared next to it. He looked at me, as if to say, that looks familiar. And indeed, it really did resemble the wood sculptures he used to make; it was even mounted on a stone base, just as he used to do. In fact, I couldn’t tell the difference, but I felt I hadn’t bought it from Jimmie the Fish.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA   042311 (17)

In the meantime, he had reassembled the sculpture I had just bought, and even added pieces from a disassembled sculpture of his. It now resembled a three-dimensional rectangle, and it was ugly. I tried to restore it to its original appearance, but I found it difficult to do so. Suddenly, within the dream, I had the epiphany that it really did matter how such sculptures were oriented in space, and how they were mounted. Jim Fish’s sculptures always seemed random to me, and I had often joked about using them for firewood on frigid winter mornings at the winery when we had nothing else to put into the fireplace. I would have mentioned that epiphany to Jim, but he was no longer there. I wanted him to put my newly acquired sculpture back together, but he had left his smaller sculpture there as well. For some reason I tried putting a small piece of his sculpture in place of the small piece in mine, but I couldn’t make it work.

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And then, of course, I was fully awake. Would I spend money on a sculpture? Possibly, but I already know I have no space for it here. There are photos and paintings and posters all over my walls, and one wall is all overstuffed bookcases. Another wall has my vinyl records, music CDs, old cassettes, TV, and my stereo system. With my regular furniture: a stuffed chair, a faux-leather chair, my small wooden kitchen table and chairs, my desk, and my bed and bureau,  I’ve used up all the corners and the rest of the space.

Nevertheless, it occurs to me that I wish I did have one of Jim’s sculptures.

 

All of his sculptures have been removed from the winery. They are temporarily stored in the studio of a painter friend of Jim’s. The plan, from what I heard, is to put Jim’s sculptures into a gallery. I remember wondering how whoever reassembles them will know how to do so, like what wood piece goes on what base, and how each piece is mounted. After a little time goes by, it may be difficult to remember how everything goes. Hell, it may be impossible to know what wood each piece is carved from. There’s apricot, acacia, piñon and cherry, for example, and damned if I know which is which without Jim’s little titles and descriptions. His small, plastic-coated cards were always blowing off the sculptures, and I was forever picking them up off the winery’s floor when I was cleaning. Only Jim really knew what was what for certain.

 

So, I see my dream was not so much about art in general, but really about Jim Fish and his sculptures. I will have to help with those sculptures if they ever make it into galleries. After 17 years of looking at each new one Jim added, and seven years of putting the little cards back on each one, I should have some idea what each one is.

This one  IMG_3286  was always “Not For Sale”. However, so many people pestered Jim to buy it, insisting that everything has a price, that he finally put a price on it: $10,000. After that, he got no more offers. I like it a lot.

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Monster

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on August 16, 2017

I watched a movie last night. It is titled: A Monster CallsA_Monster_Calls It is an adaptation of a children’s tale. It is also very intense and far too real to be just a tale. A boy’s mother is dying of cancer. He wants to believe she will recover, but knows she will not. The movie is pretty much about him, those expectations, and how he deals with them. The story has elements of fantasy, and some beautiful animation of the brilliant watercolor illustrations I expect are from the book. I enjoyed it, and, yes my eyes teared, my throat constricted and tears did indeed run down my cheek. Highly recommend, for all ages.

It got me thinking about many things, death among them, and the love I have for my stepdaughter Maya. Her struggle with cancer made me realize that I loved her, and that I didn’t want her to die. Is that selfish? I imagined it would be impossible to live without her. I imagined I would die if she died. Unlike the aforementioned movie, however, my hopes were realized and she did not die. It was the most wonderful thing I ever experienced. I felt real joy, for the first time ever. As time went on, I realized I loved her fiercely, more than anyone I’ve ever known. At first, I wondered if I felt that way chiefly because she almost died. But, I came to understand that it was the possibility that she might die that opened my eyes to my love for her. I believe I really love her, because I want the best for her. I want her to be happy. I want her to live a full life, for her, not for me. I want her to live many, many years after I’m gone. I think that is really what love is, when you care about someone you love, and wish for their happiness, regardless of your relationship, or if you live together, or even if you never see them again.

She was still quite young when I met her. I dated her mom Linda for four years, then married Linda and lived with her, and Maya, and her brother Noah. I was part of a family. It was the second time for me, and I wanted to make sure it worked out better than the first time I had tried that. I never became close with Noah, but I liked him a lot. Maya and I seemed to become friends. We only ever had one argument as I recall. It was my fault and mostly a misunderstanding, and we talked about it right away, and resolved it and I apologized for what she thought was anger on my part. When she started college, which was the same place I worked, we often met for lunch.

After both of Linda’s children, Maya and Noah, had moved out, Linda and I had the place to ourselves. She had big plans for the house, including an addition, a new roof, and many other things. I accomplished most of it before I had to leave. Fortunately, Maya and I remained on good terms after that divorce. We work together at times, bottling and labeling or selling wines. We’ve been to many wine festivals, and have helped keep a unique winery running. It is always a joy for me to see Maya, and work together, or go to dinner for holidays and birthdays. It makes me happy too, when she travels or has good times with her friends. I love her very much.

Maya’s death would have crushed me entirely. The interesting thing, to me, is that a lot of people died when I was young, and I felt no loss. There were some great-aunts that I didn’t know, so that was understandable. In second grade a classmate died, choked on a glass of water. I was shocked to hear of it, but I didn’t know him personally. A cousin died very young after that, and I felt sad for my aunt and uncle, but my cousin’s death did not touch me. One by one, my grandfathers died. I was an altar boy at both of their funerals. I never knew my paternal grandfather well. I believe I only ever had one conversation with him, one that I remember well, but I felt no grief. My mother’s father came to live with us for a short time before he died. I enjoyed having him there, but again, I don’t recall any grief when he died. I remember thinking how odd it was that he had spent so much time in a veterans’ hospital, which is often where my parents would go to visit him when I was very young. Then he seemed so healthy when he stayed with us that I was quite surprised when he died. I did not feel grief; was I a monster?

The one person I missed greatly, and had loved was my father. My parents had divorced while still raising the four youngest. As an adult, his death left me confused. I didn’t know what to feel when I got the phone call. We had not stayed in touch after I left home. Our relationship had gone downhill before I left. I had gone to see him before he’d died, but we did not speak of anything substantial, and that seemed bittersweet in retrospect, because there is much I’d have liked to talk with him about. I wasn’t going to attend his funeral, because I had just been to see him, and I felt that was better than seeing him dead. And, as well, I really couldn’t afford to fly that far again. However, when I sat down to write a letter to my brothers and sisters, explaining why I wasn’t coming, I broke into tears, and sobbed. I felt awful. I was overcome with grief, and decided to travel anyway, just to be with family. I missed the funeral itself, but arrived in time for the wake, and I felt much better among my relatives, even laughed with cousins I had not seen in decades.

Then my godfather Fred, a close cousin of my mother, died. The two of them had grown up together. Fred, aka Fritz, would visit us three nights a week after he left the bar he worked at. He usually brought us kids a treat, chocolate, or even packets of clay, leftovers from when he was a typesetter. Loved playing with the clay. Loved the chocolate. Fred helped my mother out, painting, lending her money for groceries, or especially putting up the Christmas garden, with the trains and houses, and the paper mountains tacked up on the wall around the raised wooden platform that held the little village. As a GI, he had fought in Germany against the Nazis, and brought back a toy-soldier marching band from the basement of a burned-out house in Germany.  It always marched across our village, despite the swastikas on the band’s uniforms and flag, and the little guy in front with the small mustache and raised arm salute. I remember thinking, despite Fred’s racial prejudices and those other eccentricities, that the world had lost a good man. I did not feel grief, but he had been and is still on my mind quite often.

Then again, I was reminded of my father’s death when the heart and soul of our winery, Jim Fish, died suddenly. I did feel that same grief again. He was like a father in some ways, and a mentor, and a friend. I learned a lot from him, and worked with him making wine for seven years. His death was a great painful loss to me. I loved him.

What has always kept me going is that I still have my three sisters and three brothers. We’re getting old, but still hanging in there. Even my mother, at 86, is still alive and kicking. I’ve always felt I loved my brothers and sisters more than anyone in the world, but I have to add Maya to that mix now. She is family, and more than that to me.

My love for her is unlike that I’ve felt for anyone ever in my life. To keep her alive I would gladly give my last ounce of blood. It’s seems strange sometimes, to realize that I care about someone so much. I thought I had loved others before, but never have I had this depth of feeling for someone. I admire her too. I admire her strength in coping with brain cancer. I admire her intelligence, and her continuing efforts to learn and advance herself in the world. I admire the way she cares about her friends. I admire the way she cuts off and donates her hair every year to Locks of Love. She wore a wig herself after losing her hair twice to chemotherapy and radiation treatments, so she continues to give back. I admire her for starting an organization to help people get back into school after having had to drop out due to cancer or other medical reasons. I admire her independence and fighting spirit. But mostly, I think, I just love her.

Sometimes, imperfect as I am, I think perhaps I’m not as bad a monster as I thought I was.

Posted in family, Life, love, My Life, relationships | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Another Month Begins; Not Bored Yet!

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on August 6, 2017

Last month wasn’t very busy. I was paid to work as a background actor on the TV series Graves, just once, and I worked a few hours on a local independent film for no pay. I only hiked three times. I took a weekend acting class. I had an audition – no word on that. There was a shareholder’s meeting, at the 21-year-old winery I have been working at for the last seven years, to try to figure out what to do next after the death of our founder. I had a CT SCAN/angiogram on my heart with a fancy new machine that looked like a giant metal donut. I left a bit woozy from the drug and the scan. I saw my new heart doctor for the results, and I had a pre-exam for my upcoming annual health checkup. The culmination of July was an acting gig for a 48-Hour Movie project, which is part of an international competition among people who make a short movie in 48 hours from start to finish, including all editing, and that led to two events in August.

Director

That’s me (in hat, sunglasses, scarf) as a fake director for the movie within the movie

So August started rolling right away on the 1st, with a day at the winery netting grapes to keep the birds from eating them. We’re keeping the winery going for now. Anyone want to buy a winery? I think that’ll happen soon. I got the see the 48-Hour movie we made on Thursday August 3rd, along with 13 other shorts, out of 41 total. I decided to celebrate with my fellow Group A participants at local brewery Sidetrack, getting a shrimp po’ boy to eat from Crazy Daves’ food truck outside (to balance the two pints of heavy beer). Since the second group of short movies (Group B) finished while we were there, a few of us wandered over to Boese Brothers Brewery nearby for their after party, and I had another beer. A late night, and it cost quite a few bucks, but it was fun.

CCG movie 2017

The Casting Coffee Group who made the movie

Saturday the 5th, there was a meeting of group I’m part of that made the 48-Hour movie. We’re certain we’ve won several awards, but we won’t know until August 18.

After that, I went to the 11th Annual Gala of the Guerrilla Photo Group, a wonderful collection of photographers, models and makeup people, who not only improved my photography skills, but introduced me to the local movie-making scene. There were lots of friends there, a dozen sexy models, lots of photos to view and to vote on as a favorite. My favorite was of a wonderfully sexy teacher/poet with a book centered firmly between her thighs, but it was already sold.

Had another beer at the Albuquerque Press Club’s bar, so I also visited the Pink Ladies’ food truck for a fantastic carne adovada burrito.

Today it was back to Sunday Chatter, the weekly Sunday morning music concert. This one was not as wildly fantastic as the last one I wrote about, but it was nice. A husband and wife duo played music for cello and guitar that they had rearranged from traditional presentations. An orchestral piece by Gabriel Fauré still sounded damn good for just cello and guitar. Four of Johann Sebastian Bach’s works for harpsichord were recreated by having the guitar play the notes for one hand, and the cello play the notes for the other hand. (No. 8 in F Major, No. 10 in G Major, No. 6 in E Major, and No. 13 in A Minor). Fun!

There followed a piece from Oliver Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”, but of course, only performed on two instruments. And there was “Allegretto Comodo” by Radames Gnattali, and “Reflexoes No. 6” by Jaime Zenamon. The duo is called Boyd Meets Girl, and they’ve just released a CD of their arrangements.

Boyd-Metcalf

Laura Metcalf and Rupert Boyd

There was some great cornbread too: blue corn meal, corn, cheese, and chile, blue corn two pieces of which I scarfed down with my freshly espressed caffè americanoamericano

25 days still to go in the month of August!

Doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning, and a movie audition in the afternoon. More netting of grapes at the winery on Tuesday, and another shareholder’s meeting next Sunday. Hopefully I’ll have news of our 7-minute movie being wildly successful on the 18th. But, for now, the rest of the calendar for August is empty.

 

 

Posted in coffee, food, friends, In front of the camera, Life, medical, music, My Life, photography, wine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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