July 24, 2006

Empty Nest

It sure is quiet. I am trying to occupy myself constantly so as not to be lonely. I have always been happy to be on my own. That's why I made my studio, Sanctuary, at Cherry Hill Farm. My work and that studio space gave me the solitude I needed. There is something about the creative act that demands privacy, at least for me. And, I’m addicted to making art. I will freely admit that I have no choice. I must create! My family never understood that. Rebecca struggled to come to terms with it, unsuccessfully, I think. And, Ruth, well, if you go back to my entries from 2003, you can see for yourself Ruth’s position concerning my work. The boys (my sons Abraham and Joseph) were and are stoic about my activities in general, though I think they are secretly pleased to have Ruth eternally upset with me.

spititual work/meditation - Ancient of Days (1794), William Blake
Here in South Florida I have you, dear Journal, to keep me busy. I also have my camera, and my photographic montages to occupy my time. In fact, I sometimes find hours have gone by as though I have been working in a trance. That aspect of doing art amazes me because it borders on the spiritual, as though work might actually be an act of meditation. I wonder if other artists have found that to be the case. And, I wonder if any/all work can be accomplished as though it were an act of meditation.

Be that as it may, I also have an interesting development to report. My hunky young neighbor, Pete stopped by yesterday and asked if Adam and Stephen were in. I explained that they had both gone back to New Jersey, and he looked totally crestfallen.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “ Would you like their e-mail addresses, Pete?


“Come on in. I’ll get paper and pen.” He followed me into the kitchen.

“The place sure is looking good, Sir.”

“Thanks, Pete.”

“Looks as though you’ve lived here forever.”

“I hope to,” I said with a chuckle. Pete looked at me quizzically, not knowing whether to laugh. “It’s Okay, Pete. At my age you take each day as though it were a gift from God.”

“That would be a good thing for each of us to do,” he said.

“Yes, it would. Here are the e-mail addresses.” I handed him a yellow sticky note. Our hands touched briefly, and I felt a jolt. I swear I did. It wasn’t static electricity either. I know I blinked. I also know that Pete hesitated – a moment of intense silence.

“Thank you, Sir. I will write tonight.” Again, he hesitated a moment. “I best be going now. I have to get to work.”

“You work during the summer, Pete?”

“I work all year in order to pay for my classes and pay rent to my parents.”

“I see,” I said as I walked him to the door. “I’m glad you stopped by, Pete.”

“Me too.”

“Come by again sometime, when you can stay and talk.”

“I will.”

“Say hello to your parents for me.” As I closed the door after him, I couldn’t help but wonder if he is one of the family. I hope he does stop by in the future. I would like to learn more about the young man. I have no illusions. I’m an old fart and he is twenty something. However, I like young people. I enjoy their energy and enthusiasm. And, this young man is hard working, kind and generous,and smart. His parents have done a good job, and he's got the ball and he's running.

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