A Tee Shirt & Soup
This morning, through the window from this apartment in Jersey City, where one's sight may notice a wedge of a shape from conjoining rooftops of buildings across the street, a bright and creamy yellow light begins to reveal itself. Hints of a rising sun, a radiant, golden orb in the arcing sky. Some days, it looks brighter and closer than others; other days, more distant, though, it should be mentioned here, one should never look directly into it for it will damage the eyes, burn the retina.
For artists in the tri-state area, this rising sun (without question a strange source of energy one astronomical unit away from this earth) ought to be at least one of several things we should always acknowledge, not only because it provides us with warmth during the summer months, a sense of it during the winter months, but, just as importantly, it allows us to see with our eyes by providing us with shape, color and form to the eye.
Once one steps out into the immediate surroundings, the shapes, colors, forms, smells begin to change, alter, transform, re-shape, re-form the way we respond to certain things our own liking. We may think we're able to see more clearly with the sun's presence, and, perhaps we can, but this may not always be the case. So the sun is not everything we must pay attention to.
Then, there is the moon, just as it appeared last night, circular, big and bright, in the night sky, like a beautifully pockmarked porcelain dish. Tom Waits once poetically and musically sang about it as a "grapefruit moon." My first thought on seeing last night's moon in the March night sky was through a recollection of a reproduction of a painted picture by Albert Pinkham Ryder, yet, aside from my recollection of seeing a reproduced painting in a book, there was no better example I can now recall than the very thing itself which I saw last night -- sublime, glowing, eerie, mysterious, high and low, in the night sky. Yes, the night scares me, too.
But as it has always been, and just as it is now, and as it will be in the future, my pencil will be in hand, just like it was on Friday afternoon, when, faced with the thought of having to file for unemployment for the first time in my working history, I made a point to return to a gallery at 620 Greenwich in lower Manhattan, enjoy some hot soup, and purchase a tee shirt displaying a very provocative slogan in black letters on white cloth, a material suggested by the tag inside the neck to be made of "100% Combed Cotton."
"Gotta dry it first before you can wear it," I was politely told. Then, later on, I introduced myself by name, and, probably awkwardly, I left it at that. The soup? Two bowls of spicey pumpkin. Delicious, flavorful, and, most importantly, filling, despite what I was told was a full stable. The tee shirt? Screen-printed, and ready-made though it was when I purchased it, now, after having followed instructions, it is ready to wear.
Yes, the spring weather on Friday was grand and magnificent. And moving about in the spring weather as I was able to do Friday afternoon had been a long lost rite for me, as I had done from '93 through '03 when I worked nights for an advertising research firm and had my days free. The problem for me then was that I didn't have any works of art that satisfied me enough to offer anyone else. So I never said anything about it. So on Friday, as I strolled around the city, it felt very refreshing to ease my way into trying to reclaim something I felt I lost.