Back in the olden days people had a lot of colorful phrases, such as “Whatever blows your hair back,” “Don’t rock the boat,” and “Paddle your own canoe.” I don’t hear things like very often any more. When I was a kid, they didn’t always make sense to me. The optimistic point there is that maybe I would understand them now? No guarantee. I feel more every day that it’s difficult to understand anything.
I’m about to go hang my show. I don’t even want to. The odds of actually selling a painting are close to zero. With my shoulder it’s going to be pretty difficult to manage. Sometimes I wish I had found “the one” who would, for the purposes of today, be tall, strong and cheerful with nothing else to do but hang my paintings on the wall in the Rio Grande County Museum. In fact, he’d be excited about it.
“The One” always emerges when I need something like that. He’s kind of more function than human which, I realize, is terrible, but there we are. Maybe that’s the point of a human life partnership. One person’s good at this and the other one is good at THAT. In real life I’d probably still be hanging my show by myself, which is one reason there is no “the one” here at Casa di Marta.
“I can’t help you on Tuesday! I told you.”
“I never mentioned this before. I just found out.”
“You told me about it a week ago.”
“Yeah, I told you about the show, I didn’t ask you to help me hang my paintings.”
“It was implied. You wanted me to volunteer.”
“I didn’t know then WHEN I would hang my paintings? How could I ‘imply’ anything?”
Then they criticize a person (me) for being “too” independent.
Negotiation is soul-sucking. BUT I just figure it went like this because I never married “the ONE.” The ONE would have helped me. 🙂
OH well. That’s the way the cookie crumbles…
BUT once upon a time, a friend, Wes Kennedy, did show up pretty much out of nowhere to help me hang my show. 1981. Wes had been very angry at me for having gotten a show AT ALL. He was also an artist, and he worked for a year tromping the streets of Denver trying to get a gallery show with no luck. I didn’t look for a gallery show. I was happy with a coffee house (that would be the salient point here). When I got a show at the first place I tried, I thought Wes would never speak to me again. “I work YEARS to get a show and you go out ONE DAY and what happens?” He stormed out of my apartment.
BUT he knew when the show was and he knew I drove a VW bug and that my paintings — all on paper, covered with glass — well, it wasn’t going to be easy.
He pulled up in front of my apartment at 6:30 am the day of the hanging — and opening — in his Volvo Station Wagon.
“I’m sorry. I’m an asshole. I’ll hang your show. I don’t think you can even do it.”
I have been watching a French crime series, Alex Hugo, in English it’s called Mountain Detective. Sadly, there’s only ONE season and I finished it. I loved it, most of all because the protagonist was eminently relatable. He’s a guy who lives in the mountains. He hikes, climbs, draws and lives by himself. One of the “bad guys” (who’s not all that bad) says, “No wife? No children?”
“No,” says Alex. “I’m free.”
They are sitting in one of the most beautiful mountain valleys I’ve ever seen.
… and I think, “How is that not enough for everyone?” Well, obviously because sometimes you have to hang paintings and you have a bad shoulder. Or two. OH well. Suck it up, sweet cheeks. You have to take the bitter with the sweet (huh?).