Archive for May, 2007

Memorial Day

May 28, 2007

a view at Dover AFB Delaware

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I was invited yesterday to a bar-b-que cook out type of gathering-it will be fun,thats what my inviting host was saying….fun!
One of my oldest friends…a combat veteran who saw action in Viet Nam-he and I are always saying the same thing each year as this ‘holiday’ shows up….this is Memorial Day where it strikes me funny that someone can say “Happy Memorial Day”??

Memorial Day is in consideration for these young people who are boxed up in a coffin and covered with a flag (who knows the condition each of the bodys,or if there is a full body…..) nothing in this scene warrents a greeting such as “Happy Memorial Day”!!

We have done a very sad thing in this country-all of us should bow our heads in saddness for what we are losing. When I was a teenager – every night during the evening news the network would show the casualties from that days loss and we would see-in order to pay respects-the young dead of the Viet Nam war returning home to military honors at Dover AFB in Delaware. That is where this photograph was taken and I wish I knew the name of the photographer who had the respect to honor these dead soldiers so I could thank him for keeping this part of war in view….our own country no longer seems to allow this for us-our battle dead are returning home un-noticed and without being given the respect this country owes them and the honor of allowing each family in America to pay respect to these lost sons and daughters.”Happy Memorial Day”.

When I was a kid growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s every Memorial Day the old veterans used to come out and be thicker than bell ringers during the crixmix season-they’d be handing out ‘poppy’s” to commemorate the battle at Flanders Field and there would be trips to the cemetery to place the flags on the graves of the lost in battle…today its just fried chicken and “have a Happy Memorial Day”

Whats really sad…none of these kids wanted to go to Iraq,what saddness for them to die-but by the way….”Happy Memorial Day”!!!
Hope you have the best cook out ever!

my brain hurts…

May 27, 2007

blue head

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

When I started work on this painting it was as they all are in the beginning-which is a few lines ans squibbles to see what pops out at me and then the thing grows from there.
I began goofing around with it last winter.
I might have mentioned this at some point when writing that I had a stroke in 1998 and it messed up the right side of my brain-so my left side is in a bit of a mix because I look normal but in reality my left side is as if I’m trying to drag a water bed around-it feels very heavy and numb all of the time. I have to type with my right hand-my left hand would never find the right key-more less touch it,or have the strength to push it…I actually am uncomfortable when Im touched on my left side because it is a sensation that goes all the way up and down my left arm and leg and face all at the same touch.
The day I had the stroke a headache began-its always been there ever since and in some ways Ive gotten used to it-but it seriously bothers my left eye and at one point I was taking ‘percocet’ to ease the pain-but after five years it began to bug me that I was trusting a drug.
So,the ‘percocet’ was stopped last year…but the pain is sometimes out of this world.
A few weeks ago-I guess about five or six-I woke up and my left hand felt funny. It already feels odd-but this day my left hand lost the feeling of three of the fingers and the left side of the palm feels like its a welded piece of plate (????) hoe I can say it feels like that I dont know-its just what my mind is saying.
So I told my physician at the VA and they set up an MRI of my brain-thinking I had another stroke.
Well,the good old VA and thier bedside manner….yesterday a letter comes from the VA telling me theres a ‘brain aneurysm’ and theres an appointment set up next month with a ‘nuerosurgeon’ and it could be possible I will require more medicines…ding dong?? What?
I know enough about a brain aneurysm to know it aint a right good thing-as a matter of fact,its kind of like a little firecracker in your head that has’nt gone off yet…and might,or…might not,at least-right away,or…it could! So gentle the VA is with thier stiffer news…guess what- ‘Dear Sir…guess what??’
It goes along the lines that one needs to be careful about what they ask for.
Last week another friend mine died-Wayne Smith. Some of us called him ‘Bayne-oh’ from way back when we were teenagers. We had found this bottle of Rum and Wayne guzzled it faster than the rest of us and got sick and threw up…and thats what it sounded like,him there on his hands and knees puking….baynoo…baynoo,so the name stuck. Then-when my brother was killed I sucked down a bottle of whiskey and lost it all all over Waynes mothers new shag carpet (I was to spend the night at thier house the day Carl was killed)-so you could say Wayne and I had a pretty sick relationship.
Ahhh…but the asking for things in a careful manner??
Well – I pray alot! And the other day I was saying in my prayer how decent it was for Wayne to die the way he did. He was told on Saturday he had liver cancer to beat all liver cancer and they sent him home and he walked in his bedroom and lay down on the bed with his favorite dog at his side and went into eternal slumber-that nice and swift.
And so I was out on my morning routine-a bike ride…peddling along and thinking how gracious it was for him to go that quick-and so I asked it in my prayer that I could be treated so softly…
Back in 1993 during the days when I was hauling cattle from Florida to the west coast….I’ve told these things in earlier writings,cattle hauling is done with incentive derived from a white powder-often refered to as ‘california turn-around’…which is nothing more than a poison called ‘crystle-meth’ which falsely keeps the body awake for hours and hours and even days. I know-I stayed awake for 7 days straight once…I did two turn arounds,meaning from east coast to west coast and back twice-with no sleep. And while getting loaded for the third go my body was hit from inside and my heart went blank and I keeled down but for some reason I did not completely die…but I saw it! I saw what death was like!
I have never forgotten that image-that feeling of peace and feeling of comfort and I knew it was special and I knew it was Spiritual…Real Spiritual,not church spiritual.
I so many times kick myself because I just would not allow it to continue and opened my eyes and lay there in that stupid cow wagon and regretted from that day on that I turned around.
Ive also written about my three and a half years working in a mortuary-and there my friends one sees things that are so amazing and ‘living’ proof that death is no respecter of persons and dying comes in so many ways and at so many ages.
It is so interesting-just two weeks ago my friend Wayne and I walked around the halls of the hospital where he learned he was sick-and he asked me what I thought he should do about trying chemo and all that as the doctors had told him there werent much hope it would help-and I had only one thing I could say and I told him that I felt as if I was going to die that day in the truck and that it was so peaceful and that I wanted so much because it was so beautiful….and like a fool I came back to this?? I told him it was beautiful and not to fear it-that it was good and the only reason we are afraid is because it is something we are so uncertain about-but that we should trust it is okay.
Thats what I told him-and it is what I believe right now.
I asked him-why is it kids and grandfolks-all in a mix,not assorted pattern….they die. So why is it we are so afraid of something we dont know about-maybe perhaps it aint so bad and it aint so sad as everyone left behind goes to thinking…you know what I mean? Perhaps this is’nt life after all….and we are going to life whenever we die,and we just dont know it!!
So….once in the mortuary we got a call (dont be eating breakfast during this sentence…) to a residence where the man had a brain aneuryism and sucker busted open and the mans nose started to bleed and he got up to go into the kitchen when the entire contents of his blood spewed out of his nose-the artery that had the aneuryism pumped every pint of blood he had through his nose and he literally drowned in his own blood…his daughter was there and she said it took as long as it took to walk from his chair into the kitchen-and this was a small apartment….so that would mean it only took seconds.
So even with the knowledge I should be careful for what I ask for-I asked for a quick swift kick in the pants like old Wayne got and perhaps this source of my headaches is my answer.
Ive said before-I dont dig this life…its not been much of a great ride (although Ive had some times…lots of good times) I always have felt there was something more and always felt myself reaching for it…reaching towards heaven and God-waiting for God to send me a raven,the bird Noah sent first…or perhaps God will send an eagle.
I do know God will send some way to gently lift me off this place-and maybe this is it.

the presidents son and the DD214

May 24, 2007

jack carter-the presidents son

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I am still considering the comments made by the Generals daughter because she was bringing thoughts and questions and they each were valid but generic because of the times-even though she lines up in the same age group I do one will find the paths all have different directions even though they seem to lead to the same places.
At the early age of my life after leaving the Navy I became bitter and rebelious to any authority-the officer at barracks D who gave out the chuckle when he heard I had been raped-he sealed that deal.
By the time Jimmy Carter ran for President I was already a father of two boys and working the crappiest job any one could imagine-I was a ‘batch doctor’ at a paint factory…the owner of the factory was the man who regarded my DD214 as enough information to judge me-based on three numbers-384-….at time I dont believe I even took any time to read my DD214 or any of the other papers the Navy gave me at discharge. I left the Navy ashamed and feeling guilt that I let everybody down and damaged to an extent that at that time I had no idea the damage would be there every waking day.
On the line beneath that number it states this is an HONORABLE DISCHARGE….the date naturally only shows I had been in the Navy short of seven months,all of these factors raised questions in the factory owners interview-why only seven months-what do you say about this code number?? I never noticed the DD214 said I had an Honorable Discharge until years and years later-long after Jimmy Carter ran for president….you see,I always thought I had a GENERAL discharge as its what it says on the cerificate,a different form than the DD214.
Whats Jimmy Carter got to do with this?
Jack…his son was discharged from the Navy after being caught with several others in possesion of marijuana -52 pounds of it-and he admitted use of LSD as a seasoning to ensure he’d be discharged,those are his words….
Jimmy Carter promised during his campaign to forgive those who ran to Canada instead fighting in Viet Nam and he was going to upgrade the discharges of those who found troubles like his son Jack did-and give them honorable discharges. Jimmy Carter was the only time Ive ever voted-I thought I’d at least get a better discharge since my number -384- must indeed match Jacks….but the difference is I never did one thing wrong! Ever-and was there because I wanted to serve my country-thats what we were brought up to know…America the beautiful.
I wrote a letter-I have the original which was returned with my request and a letter saying I had been refused….that was rather deadening-Jack Carter,the President of the United States son was given an upgrade-mine stayed as it was.
Of course-even though my discharge is under HONORABLE CONDITIONS I have never felt honor…and in my opinion it remains a general discharge and the words on my DD214 are in error just as much as on another document they have on me says I enlisted when I was 10 years old…..hmmm.
All the things that bring me misery from those days in barracksd D where pretty well kept in my closet in my spirit and never if ever only rarely shared-uaually with some effect to blow back in my face,so-it was kept inside of me all of these years only shared with few trusted people,regretfully.
At the VA one day during a routine visit questions were asked and soon drugs were given to me and later I was reporting to a shrink who to me had as much desire to me as he did to change tires on semi trucks…it was the pills,take the pills-the pills will make you feel better….and we will see you next month-but dont forget to take the pills.
My toilet got those pills and I wrote a letter to the mental health clinic saying over the years I did drinking and drugs and all kinds of getting high to loose sense and yet each day the same thing was there-even in sobriety…and so the drugs and booze and all that would not escape those memories and so over the years I found sobriety and what does the VA want me to do to feel better….take the pill.
No,that was’nt for me. Months went by after I wrote a letter explaining that-and finally mentioning barracks D….and that got me into therapy.
Then-after several months-perhaps a year into treatment the suggestion to seek VA compensation for what happened with the assurences that I fit the bill for the required signals for PTSD I followed the advice that was offered and went to the local VA service officer in my county-as instructed….and there I met bigoted remarks and confusion about sexuality and crime and homosexuals and this from a person who was supposed to be in place to help me but instead offended me and scared me and there is the fear of trust one more time. The man actually said in a state of amazement that he had no idea homosexuals needed a reason to rape….?? and at that point who can find an intelligent person in a mind like that!
After 37 years much of the time I wish I had just taken the pills and left it alone like it always has been….silence,suffering in silence.

the DD214 re-visited

May 23, 2007

my old truck

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

No one in the world could have convinced me a year ago that being with out a computer would be chilling on my nerves….well,it was-and I am very pleased the new one is here-and with a defense mechanism from the electric utility to protect and even gaurantee my computer from lighting strikes.

There was a comment made by the Colonels wife and Generals daughter last week-an interesting line of questions-and I was anxious to respond yet could not because there was no means.I tried to resume visits to the library to write while my electro-box was down….but not the privacy I need !!
I would have loved to answer the questions presented as soon as I read them….sometimes I think things are providential and have great reason for detaining me from responding-I guess to settle myself and be rational.
Yes…as a matter of fact-to respond to IF I ever finished school. If a person was to read all of my writings they would learn I took training in mortuary science under the GI BILL being paid to learn the craft from a private funeral home-they loved me because I was covered by the GI Bill. I have also recieved a high school diploma-a GED and I have attended Purdue-Calumet University for special training in scaffold erection and dismantling as well as going to school at the WACO International School of Scaffolding. Prior to that I attended the Bradford-Union Vo-tech truck driving school…that was in 1975,and most of my life has been around trucks in one way or the other.
I have made international achievements in scaffold construction and have driven over 1 million miles accident free and none of the dead that I embalmed ever filed a complaint.
I raised two sons-single parent…one is a deputy sheriff and my oldest son is a Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy rated for nuclear subs.
Me-other than what happened in the Navy-never once have I been convicted of a crime nor ever under suspect for any reason…although after the military my life did run on the edge.
In the Navy…there was no crime-nothing!! So we cannot say I was convicted-although…I was convicted and sentenced to life!
The lady that commented-the Generals daughter,has to be where I was during the first two months of 1970,to understand the full impact of what has happened to me every day since the first day of my being taken to barracks D…..the place-the day my rape occoured and the days following when I was kept and strong armed EVERY DAY and forced to be a sexual source for anyone who my strong armed keeper felt like doing business with-if he needed a smoke…guess what I had to do so he could have one?
REPORT IT? Yes…the very first morning-New Years eve 1970 just before being questioned as why I was in the detention barracks…and I was told to get used to it-and that was after having the officer that sked the questions laugh in my face.
Now Generals daughter-I dont know if you ever have been in such need to pee that the pain is searing through your body and when you finally find the moment it is seemingly safe to pee that omeone along with a few others comes along and begins hitting you in your face while someone else is pulling your clothes off and someone else is forceing your legs apart and someone else is pierceing your rectum and no one else is offering to help….and to have the ONLY authority tell you that its just too bad-get used to it!…that is reason why my brain would not comprehend that there was anyone I could trust.
I lied…I lied through the skin of my teeth and told them anything they wanted to hear to get get me out of there,those lies have maintained the punishment for over thirty years in the form of the DD214 each time I wanted to be hired…that until employers quit asking for the thing-but one employer pulled a book out of his desk during an interview and thats where I learned about that number.That was around 1972.

My entire story is too complicated to try to explain every detail-however I can tell you that at any given time I can answer any of your questions reasonably and with out hesitation.
I pretty much lived with all of this in silence-you ask about my family and who they support…with out a doubt-they did not once ask my side of the story…never once. My brother it seems was able to control what info they needed to know which was that I was a fuck up….that was not the true facts. My brother was jealous….just as the Biblical description of how brothers may be,my brother treated me badly from the time I got on ship and yet I kept thinking all was okay as I was working towards my GED there on ship-a promise being made by the ships education officer that I could go to college and the Navy might send me…my brother did everything to tell me that it was a lie and did all he could to disenchant me.

Generals daughter-all of your questions are answered in these wrtitings-the entire story is here in this blog.

Why? well…I did not know there was help available until a little over two years ago. I sought that help-it was suggested to me by my therapist at the Veterans Hosptial. I went to a veterans advocate and there I was met with remarks that were bigoted and offensive and enough to turn me back into my hole for the rest of my days…the veterans advocate even wanted to use prevarications in my statements to make them seem more interesting to who ever reads them…he did not want to use my truth-he wanted to lie about what happened to me.

The experience continued-I was placed with a second advocate at the VA hospital…he too wanted to adjust my truth….MY TRUTH. And-what is my truth? The truth that for the past thirty seven years from the moment I awake every day the memory of what took place returns…every day!

I found a lawyer…yes,and I thought once again and finally a trusted person. Very wrong-and I’ve paid for nothing-giving 1500 dollars to ensure my sincerity from my side and that was over seven months ago and I still havent heard a word and have been trying to get my telephone calls returned for the past three weeks….none yet?? And so I am again trying to figure out who or how to trust.

I told my therapist yesterday-I am so tired of living.


May 15, 2007

my kind of design

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

…if things ain’t bad they manage to get that way!
Lightning zapped my computer…it made a terrible noise,sort of a screaming whine…but,dead it is!
Dell? Hey-those guys are frantic to UPS a new one-it’s being shipped on Thursday…so it’ll be a few days I will be out of order!!
see you soon!

a very stupid letter to the Gainesville Sun

May 12, 2007

a very stupid letter

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I am probrebly on my way towards some kind of lawsuit by putting this up on my blog-but such stupidity deserves taking a chance….and this needs to be spread out into the world to show how ignorant people are and how biased a newspaper can be.
I stumbled onto this letter to the editor of the Gainesville (Florida) Sun and it can’t be something they read before they printed it because the woman who wrote used statistic suggestion that is not based on facts-but her own feelings….she claims that “roughly half our population (woman) are FORCED to adjust some aspect of thier lives and live a little less free”….??? And this newspaper is the sole daily of the city that is home to the University of Florida….and you cannot tell me a person with intelligence read this before it was printed-they must have had an apprentice from a middle school on hand to select the letters-no intelligent adult could have seen this and said-its good,lets print it!!
The writer-as you can see-considers males as homeland terrorist-and she seems to have the impression that all men spend thier waking hours as preditors…as if we all desire to control our female counterparts-simply because they are woman. My gosh-what national study concluded with that?
Why I am writing about this on my blog is that I wrote a rebuttal to her letter and mailed it a week ago to the newspaper-and they have not published it,so…I wrote a second rebuttal-one I feel was a little more imformative as I told about my position on a rape advisory council as a appointee of our county commission,Alachua County Florida,which should have gotten some response as I am responding to this ignorance this writer-Flora MacColl has offered….trying to express myself as someone who has experienced being a MALE RAPE SURVIVOR and has finally come to a place in his life where he is taking command of the ravages done to his life and working to win back some of what was taken from me all those years ago when my assaults took place-and yet,the results of those attacks continue to live today. For me to read this persons letter is so insulting-to be honest…..feminists all around the world should also be offended because the truth is rape is not a crime of gender distinction-it is a crime of over powering your victim…it is so out of range to say this is a sexual crime-it is not sexually interesting to the victim and it ios the only means the attacker has to prove to only itself that it is stronger than the one it is over powering….you notice I refer to the attacker as IT.
Why should feminists be angry-because we now know hat rape and sexual assaults effect every aspect of any community regardless of age-gender-sexual preference-and society has allowed this crime to steer every time towards the female…its so automatic that when one thinks of a rape they think of the woman…and that should bother everyone-because it is not confined to men and woman….you go to heaven and ask Christopher Barious from Brunswick Georgia….he was six years old when a 60 something year old MOTHER assisted her son and husband in assaulting and murdering this child….a boy! A BOY!!
I do not understand why the Gainesville Sun is allowing its readership to absorb such tripe as this woman has written-in opinion she has set back any male that has been victimized who might have been considering seeking help and the Gainesville Sun has helped her and this community is not even paying attention as there should be many rebuttals to Flora MacColl being so ignorant and I’m bother not enough men have come forward to say this is an insult-we being considered “homeland terrorist” and as a group…and no one is standing up to say “wait a minute”???
This is one person-and one daft newspaper in a town that reveres sports more than its victims-because this letter victimizes us over again-THIS ONE PERSON is to show that there are those who live in a reality show world bound by the rules and laws of General Hospital and do represent all of the rest of the world where there ARE those who can help you…men-we need to STAND UP and suck in that male ego crap we’ve been taught since birth and come forward and show the feminist and the rest of the female and male society that lives in a box somewhere and concludes such ignoreance as this as fact….please don’t let garbage like this stop you-FIGHT and kick the ass of those who hurt you -COME FORWARD!! It will make you stronger!
So…off on my soap box I go….yeah,I’m angry and upset that in 2007 we still dont want to get it!
Sorry Flora MacColl…Sorry Gainesville Sun-if I am stamping on your toes but to me it is worth every dime you could sue out me just to be able to stand up and say you are both wrong!

zim radner…the ersatz friend

May 11, 2007

zim radner

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I don’t make friends easily…much because of trust,but alot to do with the secluded lifestyle I live. Heck….lets just be honest-I keep to myself and I am standoffish-that because of trust…and often times confusion-the muddled mind takes over.
Obviously-I spend far too much time alone….even in trucking-I was always alone.
I really do not know when it was but I developed these voices-lately I think its bevcause I’m a loner and the voices are needed at times to fill in the void…but at most points they come out on thier own-even at moments I never expected such as during normal conversation with someone. The voices have names-in a sense. I wont go into them all-but the odd one is Zim Radner because he’s not actually a voice but he is the sole topic of Chet…the voice.
I am the sound machine for the voices. And I am not sure where they came from-the most prominant is Chet who is always telling thw world how Zim Radner woulfd have done it if he was alive today…Chet,the kind of guy that looks over the top of his eyeglasses to make note of everything you were doing-critical note….and when he speaks he whispers in that old Polish accent of his and says things such as “…if Zim Radnuh (Chet could’nt say RADNER…he’d say RADNUH)…..if Zim Radnuh was heuh (here) heda neva (he’d never) done it the way yuose izza (you are) doin it…” in that low whisper of his. Chets one of those those guys that has to get right in your face to talk….nose to nose-always talking as if he’s sharing a world secret….in that low whisper of his.
But wait…these are imaginary people I’m talking about.???
Yeah…yes yes yes-I know and I also know I’m 56 years old and I do not hear voices….I speak them. Theres actually several-theres two brothers….but Chets the most vocal…my gosh-I even have my oldest friend Pete bringing up Zim Radner because he’s so familier with him…dang guys more popular than me! Pete’s always asking me what Zim would do to get out of this situation or that developing problem.
I started writing( comical stories) about him on a Yahoo 360 blog….I guess one can search for him?

Alright-this hard as anything Ive tried to say…the loneliness is hard to take. Ive tried to meet others-to get and try to enjoy being at some kind of gathering….I went to the art reception and was in such a state Im not even sure if when I got spoken to if I was able to respond normally-or in some cluckish style of speach? But I felt the best when I got outside into the open and walked back to my car-which I parked over a mile away…..mumbleing to myself in one voice who has a brother,I also write about them in this other blog.
I dont know how to say they came along-Zim has been a feature around here for as long as I can remember…should I say Chet? Actually-Chet himself is a replica of Chet Gorsky,a man I worked with when I first started working for the water tank company back in the 1970’s…but I think its more recently for the others.

I am lately feeling like my period of depression is about to begin…I feel like the ground is slushy ice on a lake in Minnesota somewhere-I guess when the spring thaw comes? But I can sense these things when the world is starting to become compressed around you and I begin to feel squeezed…my body body begins to ache.
I cant have this now. I need to strengthen up-I am seeing my oldest friends going into death….and my father too,and most likely my mother will follow-and along with them what has’nt been known to them will die to….the things they never knew about me.
I talked to my mother last night and she reminded me about how I had hitched hiked all the way to Maryland from Florida to catch a ride with them to go to my grandfathers funeral (my mothers father)…and they would’nt let me go. I had forgotten that-I really had forgotten that….and it hurt to be reminded.
That was sort of the case with my favorite grandmother-I waited for word of information about her funeral arrangements-and they never came. I was told later theres was no real funeral-just my mom and dad….but learned not so long ago there were more than just them-my other brothers were there,so I was lied to….and I would have ridden a bycycle to Washington for her-thats how much I loved her.
So its things like that which push me away further and further….

Sure enough-none of this makes any sense,I am just rambleing on…telling everyone that I have imaginary friends-my gosh,what are you thinking of me?

But the seriousness of it is….is that it is!

the wrecking ball

May 6, 2007

shands hospital

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I dont exactly know how to begin. Mental illness is like that is’nt it-having a hard time making decisions Well its sort of in a higher frequency lately.
If there is a way to describe it I suppose it would go like this:
The scene-one long road which is empty on both sides as if it was cutting through a desert-but up ahead in sight but slightly in the distance is everything in life that is important or special in some kind of way and its all lined up in a row all the way down the strectch of that highway…some of these things are closer to each other and some seperated by a fairly good distance-all random and no set positions.
And as I walk down this highway-right down the center line what follows me is a crane on tracks and its far enough behind me I can hear it slowly following along and ahead of me I can see the shadow of the boom looming over head and as if the shadow and the real boom where connected to each by the swinging ball on a cable-a huge cast iron ball the size of a small car almost,and it sways back and forth as we move forward…it takes a long time from one side to the other but yet at other times it seems to go to and fro swiftly and with variation in its speed or is it that the things ahead are not in a perfect row and some are close and some are far and all are random…and then there is the part where the ball comes across and meets with these things and they are gone and the ball swings by and you see it happening before your very eyes.
I want to tell about the thrill of the art exhibit reception-how I parked against the same structural column that is in a position for me to look through the glass entry of the gallery and see the people looking at the art-and from my vantage point…my art. And it is something unbelievable to see the thing you’ve created out of the depths of your mind and soul and you can see they are seeing what you had seen in order to make the painting become alive. And it is a joy-I never knew it would ever be mine…this kind of joy.
This is a mix of things-in the exhibit is a painting I recently did which I call ‘Purple Warrior’. It deals with my fathers own illness-cancer,and my…our flailed relationship and someone asked me the other night if I had art in the show nd I explained that the Warrior was mine and the lady remarked it meant so much to her because her father was ill and going to die and she related so much to the visual statement of the painting….and the ball on the end of the cable has swung way out to the east of the road -but remember…it is ahead in the distance and you can see it at work.
The other night my phone rang-it was Thursday…the exhibit opened on Friday. It was the sister in law of a very old friend telling me they found cancer in his liver. I’ve known Wayne since we were in high school-the night of my brother Carls death I spent the night at Waynes parents house-I vomited all over his mothers brand spanking new shag carpet spewing the days worth of whiskey I had consumed from the point of my brothers death until then…Waynes mother told me the next day she was sorry about Carl but I was never welcome in her house again…its so crazy-a few years after I got out of the Navy I ran into Wayne and he was living right near here a thousand miles away from where we both came from and so destiny has arranged for us to be friends to some degree….we aint best of buddys,but there are memories and connections.
So Fiday I go see him at the hospital-a more scared a man I have never seen,the fear in his eyes was unbearable to stay and look at for very long-the timing was so uncanny…so recent I had just the other week visited Wayne at his home and Friday he asked about Grier as we were there together-him in the bed and me looking down. His face reflected with reaction when I said Grier had died…not thinking fast enough to switch the subject with some clever way…I blurted out the only answer available… “he died”,Wayne already knew enough that Grier had severe liver cancer,Wayne has severe liver cancer??
I see the swinging of the huge iron ball swaying across the highway.

survivors art reception invite

May 2, 2007

survivors art reception invite

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Last year when I first learned about this program-the Survivors Art Exhibit I was never more excited in my life to learn that I could show my art in such a place as the Gallery in the Rietz Union in the center of the University of Florida. I know I could go on and on about the thrill because this is something I’ve never experienced and its like that with us is’nt it when we are fullfilled with a certain joy and we want to share it with everybody. Yet it also has to do with living in an isolation trying to hide from my fears instead of trying to confront them…trying is the wrong word-learning to confront my fears.
I went to the exhibit Monday evening. To get there I have to pass through and around a collection of buildings-the Hotel and conference center and the parking garage and then the Rietz Union and thats a fairly looming enterprise there too with two theaters-one a play theater and the hotel and my gosh by the time I get in there it is a stress…the whompha when the doors close behind me…I feel as if someone os going to grab me and become very tense…
last year when I entered the gallery the peace was so rich and wonderful-there was such a reverence to going in there among all the paintings and sculptures which all contained the vibrations and auras of the artists and all of the pain that was expressed in this place along with the peace. I felt as if I was entering a chapel of repose for a long loved friend who was now at peace where theres that reverence about the way you begin to feel as you stand in front of these powerful messages each artist expresses.
The display this year is beautiful.
I had to go through my energy and my strength to go this time-I think going through certain issues this year -my health,my dads health and the death of a friend being some of the things added up and tried to drag me down and I began the efforts to go into the city to see how the exhibit looked with that fear and anxiety that comes every time I have to go to somewhere large-like the Rietz Union,which I had not been in since last years exhibit. It was like finding an island when I finally reached the gallery the same sensation as if I’d been floating in the ocean on a raft and there in the horizen is this small island-once I went through those doors and found myself in the company of the spirits of the other artists works- the peace I remember from last year returned and I felt like had no where else in the world that I needed to go.
To be an artist and to see your art in such a place among other artists is a reward I can hardly describe-but the honor of being among this particular group of artists is an exchange from the dishonor we each felt during our being victimized and the spirit of being in this helps purge ourself of the poison our attackers instilled in our souls.
I hope everyone can experience this exhibit-its very beautiful,and very challengeing at the same time.