Friday, November 11, 2016

Blue skies, trains whistles and open hearts

It's 3:30 in the morning. I am awake and writing this blog in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the place of my birth and my old stomping grounds. I have jet lag, so I thought I would use this wakefulness to write here before I try to get some more sleep. I used to always wake up in Fayetteville at 3 a.m. so this feels about right anyway.

I hear the old train in the distance and there is a chill in the air. The punchy autumn leaves are beautiful whether still in the trees or scattered on the lawns and sidewalks. The air is thinner here, smells of grass and is a bit sweet. The sky was the most amazing shade of blue yesterday.

The insects and birds sing their songs which are instantly relaxing, familiar and old fashioned. Even though my town has changed and grown it feels delightfully empty to me now. One can still walk down the middle of the streets and have all the personal space you want as walkers are few and far between. It looks like a movie set. An old friend now owns the perfect little music shop filled with beautiful instruments and another one owns a record store of dreams, seemingly from a time when record stores were the epicenter of everything. Old friends can still be met on the street for conversation, consolation, laughs and hugs. One can see and hear from everyone you are meant to without too much arrangement or formality. It's so easy and sweet, still.

At lunch, a waitress brings an extra fork when only one desert is ordered and says "That's for you darlin'- this stuff is good for the soul..." Hospitality is everywhere and people are effusive even in this dark time for America and the world. I realize that my open heart and my resilience were created here on the streets and wild spaces and with the people of this sweet town. I am grateful for this comfort and knowledge.

This blog is not about art but at the same time it is. The spirit of this town is in every piece I make.

Mural by Alexis Diaz

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