Friday, June 13, 2008


That's what we all do these days, that's what I occupy my time with- this is a lithograph by Van Gogh, and although he did not do too many of these types of commercial prints, he did some, and this one, albeit simple and crude, is my favorite. Pencil lines, and stark reality from a crazy man, probably more in touch with the reality of what he was looking at than most of us are every day. We get caught up in the digging, the work, the panacea that we all need to keep our thoughts away from those things that we really want to spend time on - that's digging.

I too am in love - I too am afraid that one day, I am going to end up being the hunched over shadow of a man walking away into the woods leaving some pretty girl standing underneath trees that have yet to bare their spring leaves. My biggest fear is that I am going to end up being the consumate digger - picking up a shovel, and slowly, and alone, going about the work that is at hand - one shovel full at a time to move the mountain, or make the water flow, or just dig because everything else to do is nothing that I really want to do anyway.
That's a pretty negative fear, I disguise it pretty well - the travel helps, bouncing from place to place, knowing that I am always on stage, always representing some higher authority and required to carry the smiles of a company with me - that's the shovel I have to pick up, and that, in itself helps me avoid the thoughts of the future - there is another row to plow, another hole to dig, and just that simple work keeps me away from what I am scared of.
I guess the beautiful thing about digging is that it leaves a mark - much like love - no matter what happens, and no matter where I am, I know that there is a mark on the earth somewhere from my love, that forever, the things I have done passionately and without question or concern are out of a deep sense that I am supposed to be there, and that this was supposed to happen. I will never forget or simply walk away - there is the possibility of the converse, that I will be the one in the light staring at a shadow that is heading away - and then, like I have done for years, I will pick up my shovel, and start digging again, burying those things that mean everything to me, and going about the things that help me cover them up one shovel full at a time.
I have a wife who is a stoic, strong, realistic person. I don't think it was always that way, but perhaps it was. Perhaps that is why I am here - my issues are too long winded to discuss, and they exist - but most of the time they deal with the extremes of everything - I like the extremes - that is where we were meant to live, not pushing the handle of some steel implement to make things go, not cover up what we feel, not bury what we know at some given point in time.
Late at night, this time of year, when it is still eighty degrees outside, I go on the patio, and I think about all of the digging I have done, and all of the love that I feel - I don't want to bury these and become the man above, I don't want to have to plow some new field just to cover up last year's dying crop. I want to get away from that, and I want to live, and love, openly and honestly - and have not for many years been able to live that way - and now that I am, I look at my favorite Van Gogh as a warning - and as a beacon - this is where I can go back to - and all I have to do is choose -
Not too many specifics in this one, other than to say that I know that I love and feel loved and that I share the same deep seeded fear that I may be left with a shovel and hole and have to start filling all over again.

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