Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just Believe in Rain

I can smell the rain just on the other side of my mountain. My eagerness for a relieving spring wash has culminated with the rising natural pressure so that I now anticipate a burst of glass each time I look out my studio’s new windows.

Where have all the rainy days gone? I grew-up in Missouri, where the Mississippi flooding was a semi-regular June event. You could always count on two things rain on Halloween and rain on Easter… and quite a bit of rain in between, now that I stop to think about it. I always heard that too much rain was depressing, but I tend to believe that too much sunshine is worse on the psyche. Sunshine promotes a sense of an obligation to be happy and “have a nice day”; unfortunately, I’m not the type of person that needs constant joy in order to be complete. Surely, others must feel the same way. I prefer things to be a bit more “even”. Happiness becomes drab if you don’t have a couple real crapper days to remind yourself why the sunshine is nice. Trust me, between this week and last, I’ve had more than my fair share; but perhaps the rain can wash all that away.

I somehow chose to live in northern Montana during the midst of a seven-year draught - even the winter snow was slight compared to previous years. Of course the first year I choose to leave and winter in the southwest, my home in Glacier County receives nice heavy snowfalls that break annual records for the past couple years.

New Mexico should be called the “Land of Eternal Sunshine” rather than the “Land of Enchantment”. It must be bright and cheery 500 out of 365 days-a-year in Santa Fe – and let me tell you, it is getting old. Lately, I’ve been daydreaming about moving to Seattle, just to feel the rain on my face and in my socks (I refuse to own goulashes). It wouldn’t be so bad to eat good fish-n-chips down on the pier, once a week or so (rather than the local variety of Long John Silver’s). Take a ferry every couple months to Victoria or one of the islands in the sound; or maybe even just take a motorcycle ride a few miles south to have a drink at the “Brick” in Rosalyn – the town where they filmed the classic television show “Northern Exposure”. I have an acquaintance in Juneau that has an exhibition opening next month; it would be easy to just hop a flight from Seattle to “pop-in” on the show.

So where is the next move? Will it be a return to flooding Mississippi waters (doubtful) or a northern hop to the Puget Sound? Then again, maybe there won’t be another move – just plenty of random excursions. I’m not sure what the landscape has to offer for the next few years. My last few weeks have been spent working beyond the landscape to better understand the figure trapped in a reactionary society. The landscape is certainly still present, but I am beginning to question how many of these places in my paintings remain actual locales and what percentage has just developed from my memories – both recent and distant. So if traveling is no longer as necessary to the production of my art, is it still valuable to my soul? I tend to separate belief and faith by the ability to produce happiness. One can have faith in inevitability of the soul, but still believe in opportunities to improve it’s condition. I have a childhood friend that has moved more often than even I and for some reason, after seeing almost every nook-and-cranny in this vast country, he seems to believe Bellingham, Washington (suburb of Seattle) is a near-perfect slice of heaven. Maybe he is right, or maybe any place can be paradise if you choose to believe. - DN

No comments: