Does your life taste like the sunrise?
Soft like the mist of morning rising to day with sparrows singing their inherited songs?
Or is does it taste long and contemplative like the orange and blue of reflection setting wind chimes to sing too,
autumn breeze songs, Gerry Garcia on Jesus front porch swing songs, pure mountain stream songs - soft as the lips that formed the kiss that began our journey.
Is your life anything like this?
Is it anything like the rain?
Are your ideas verging on dreams caught in a haze between awake and sleep, its own realness perfect, beautiful, moving forward,
Or in a thought caught in a void between sips of coffee interrupted before spoken words pass lips or are remembered?
Are your ideas like listening to the stereo playing ‘Bending like a Willow Tree’ loud, lights off, lying on the floor starting to dream about a meadow of lilacs in full bloom?
Are they like touching a cheek during a kiss. Or walking through a cloud clutching a mountainside road winding through ash and maple and oak?
Are they like lying in a pool underneath a waterfall, a late summer vacation a thousands of miles away? Are your ideas work?
Are they even ideas?
Are they like listening to a baby laugh or as beautiful as morning? as mid-day? as sunset resembling the sunrise hours before and the same tomorrow?
Does your life give you the feeling that tomorrow is the beginning of the best time of your life?
Is your life anything like this?
Is life the soft making of an idea? Only realized as such when realized at all? The sun echoing in acid colors as our hearts are sky, our souls sky and earth touching. Our being envied through a temperament of forgiveness and pride.
Is the tranquil electricity surrounding our quiet ending?
A deep orange and red reflecting in the echoing circles of a tossed rock in a lake. Where we sit embraced in a buzz of wine and wondering what we’re doing here?
Is your life anything like this?
A part of myself which I carry with me from this point on, melting sinews of blood veins and marrow, a complete essence of blanketed mind’s insecurity and love. My soul no longer noticing a distinction or separation, a blue aura, my yellow aura - combined, is that life? Is that my life?
Standing in a room of Rubens, I wipe the drool from my chin,
I’m a simple art lover who makes little art to keep myself out of a life of crime, I think thats my art more than anything else it could be. But is it still something?
My art dad says it is. But he's gone now. So is it?
Christ in the 21th century, tries to walk on water.
He begins to question his very existence.
"Is this just a test, father?" he shouts skyward.
Receiving no answer he justifiably thinks yes!
And tries again.
I would drown trying to follow Christ, I thought!
Was I wrong?” I ask skyward.
I am part of the clouds for a moment,
then part of my thoughts, then the clouds again!
I miss my friend.
The wind or religion has little effect on me, but, put me in front of a great painting and you could have your way with me.
I draw symbols on unrolled paper thinking, half-mindedly, that I might have too much pride. Does that come from the unwillingness to let go, despite popular belief - life-god-creation.
And... I gnaw on it!
That’s how Enrico Pinardi influenced me.
I am a lucky man in many many ways.
I feel in my life I've come across incredible souls. Interesting characters who sum up what this existence is. My dad was certainly one of the most important teachers in my life, His mother and father too and so was my mom. If I learned one thing in this life that is worth more than any other thing it is perhaps my ability to hug like my mom.
But perhaps the person outside family who influenced me the most was Enrico Pinardi. Rico taught me to understand that beyond work was play. But in play work comes back around and it is interesting as hell when you can find those things happening at the same time.
I remember Rico taking me out for lunch one day. We often joked that Rico was the lion king on the island of misfit toys, taking us who weren't quite right for kids homes and making us feel wanted and useful.
We went to get a sandwich and he insisted I try an "Italian Tuna" sandwich. I was a' put as much mayonaise on tuna as possible kinda guy.' He hands me this half a sandwich and it was all I could do to eat it. It had olives and no mayo.
It's a weird memory to bring up a couple days after this man died, but this is the thing.... I had a preconception of what a tuna sandwich was and Rico challenged me on that simple little thing. Who the fuck was I to know what a tuna sandwich could be?
Surely there was other ways to enjoy a tuna sandwich.
I grew up in a world where we sought truth and found it as best we could. College, and I credit Rico with this in me, showed me that truth isn't such an easy thing to know. in fact knowing truth isn't even all that interesting.
What a goddamn gift!!
Thank you Rico! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I admit typing this made me cry a bit.
Once was in the 90's when I found him at Rhode Island College where I took a couple black and white photos I've carried around with me and tacked to my studio walls ever since. The other time was a few years back when I swung through New England willy nilly trying to re-focus my life on the positive. This blurry/crappy photo above with Rico, to me sums everything up. This man gave me me!
He was fine without me, but I needed him. This is important.
I don't need self edification that I meant something to him, Rico came into my life in 1988 for a very important reason. I cannot thank him enough that we crossed paths. I want to focus on all the funny stories(and there are many), but right now all I can do is think about how Rico allowed me to be me. What a fucking gift! What a soul. What an incredible ego to allow another to have their own ego. This is a rare thing. This is an incredible gift to give another.
I love you Rico!
Hell, he still reaches many.
Rico stories will last as long as each of us tells them. Maybe beyond.
I remember spending time making less than mediocre drawings in an apple orchard for Rico's "The Acre" assignmen back the late 80s. Rico's assignment resonated with me. Than when we presented what we did, most of which was really half-assed, he said now take this work an conceptualize it. This too was new to me at the time Most had no idea what the hell this meant. I got it but was really pretty .... well lets just say bad. Haha.
I went for it and made a series of drawings unlike anything I had done before and Rico criticized tham, but put me up for an award that I then won. He was right, they needed work, but he was also right that I worked hard. This lesson he gave me more than others ever had before.
I admit feeling sorry for myself hearing of his death and pulled out everything I've collected of his over the years. I was very lucky he sent catalogues of his shows to me. Looking at his work and at his book I realized this son-of-a-bitch practiced what he preached.
I was looking at several of his pieces thinking they were done while I was a student of his only to find out this work was done afterwards. And it was a ton of work, And it was unbelievably great work. As an old man he work as a young man.
You accepted me, therefore you taught me to accept. What a gift. Thank you!
When I was your student(which I still am) you gave me the experience of beyond.... you never had an absolute in your vocabulary, you had a what's next! Again, what a gift to give.
You gave me so much my friend and I am thankful today for these tears, because these tears mean you helped me understand life. Thank you.
And I know you enough to know you won't want to leave this life without us feeling the fun you instiled in us so...... I made this pretty crappy portrait of you. I only kept it because it had some qualities but it never really became a portrait--yet i hung it next to my computer for the last few months for some reason.
I love you Rico RIP!
Below is a wierd happenstance encounter when Rico and Gayle went yard sale hunting and came across my sisters place in Dedham in 2019. Small world!
You taught me not to fake it. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but I think about that everyday.