the wrecking ball

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.

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