This is a Love Letter

wedding reworked

This morning I dreamed of someone I haven’t seen in over thirty years: Pete Doyle.

In my dream, Pete was all mixed up with the actor Henry Cavill, who is a whole ‘nother story, but I knew it was Pete. He was in another bedroom in my old house, down near my dad’s bedroom, but upstairs, in the attic. He was going to buy the house once we had moved all of our things out of it, but as usual, I was behind in my laundry….

I met Pete one spring (I think) at South Street Seaport in the late ’70s. He was part of the pier crew; I was a volunteer docent for the museum, and still in high school. Sometimes our paths would cross, sometimes not, one time I got to go see the inside of the apartment he shared with a couple of pier crew guys. Pete was always a gentleman, and never made a pass at me.

The last time I saw Pete, he was getting ready for a date (not with me), his dark brown curls still damp from the shower, black jeans on, shirt almost buttoned. Pete had green-brown eyes, and a dusting of freckles across the bridge of his nose.

He smelled of fresh shower and Paco Rabanne. No one has been able to or been allowed to wear Paco Rabanne since.

I was lamenting about some late-teenage/early twenties angst. Time, of course, has erased that drama from my memory: It amazes me how many earth-shattering crises are faded out or completely erased by time. But Pete said to me that family life is real life and the working life is our illusion. I’ve carried that with me close to forever now.

I knew Pete was from Massachusetts, around Martha’s Vineyard. I knew he was an aspiring writer. I knew he had worked on something with Chuck Burris — yes, “The Gong Show” Chuck Burris. Pete Doyle, however, is a fairly common name, and I’m not a highly skilled Googlegirl to do more than a couple of search terms at a time.

I miss Pete.

I’d like to know what’s become of him, and if life treated him kindly. I’d like him to know just how much of an impact he made on this one human being, so many years ago. If you had a Pete in your life, let them know they impacted you. If you know my Pete, you’re blessed, and tell him to drop me a line.

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Prepping for my Life

My mind has been in a state of large curd cottage cheese.

I’ve been more concerned with politics than I want to be. The US government is in turmoil, people are being forced to work with the promise of pay sometime in the future, and I’m looking for a new job.

Sometimes it’s really, really, hard to stay upbeat and optimistic, but I stay busy, creating. Currently I’m creating one-of-a-kind blank greeting cards (see above) that are waiting to find new homes, as well as other collages and art items. And I have an idea for which I’m developing an actual business plan.

As always, my art is available for sale, and reproduction rights are also available. I have a large portfolio of photographs as well as the collage cards, and I recently did a custom book cover for “Duel Visions” which will be published in February.

My blog, “Just Visiting,” is up and running again and you’ll see new content with links to other websites — we’ll be seeing more art and crafts galleries, and interviewing the creators, as well as keeping an eye on the physical accessibility of these places. Even though I got my second hip replaced in June, I still have difficulty walking, and so I’m always on the lookout for ease of access.

Please let me know what you’d like to see! Comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Thank you, Mr. Serling

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I have a problem with time, and I blame it wholly on Rod Serling.

Like others, I grew up on The Twilight Zone in reruns, and as “primitive” as that early television was, its writing was top-notch, and it left its mark on me.

Mr. Serling was always playing with time, wishes, and consequences. Who could forget poor Mr. Bemiston (Burgess Merideth) in “Time Enough At Last”? Always trying to read, always being thwarted by his work or his wife, who regarded reading as a waste of time.

Being an artist, whether I’m immersed in photography or mixed media or assemblage, work definitely does get in my way, but grudgingly I admit, it does keep me in supplies.

Misha, however, does not regard creating as a waste of time. Being a writer himself, he understands the fire that burns inside, and he believes that all of us have in us the need to create — art, writing, gardening… so many, many things.

My problem with time is, like other people, there doesn’t seem to be enough of it. Work is x hours, commuting is y hours. Cleaning is w hours, sleeping is v hours. To see friends is that much less time that I have for painting.

So I make, or remake, clocks. Discarded clocks that no longer have homes come to me and find themselves with new faces, and maybe new homes. We’ll see.

 

The Passion of Art

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Since early June, I’ve been on a tear: Creating, creating, creating. I can’t stop.

Collages, assemblages – the images pop into my brain full-blown like Athena emerging from Zeus’s head; it’s all I can do to get my clumsy fingers to translate image into physicality.

I’m not worried about making a statement: You see what you want to see. All I need to do is make the creative energy come through — Can you feel it??

 

Outside, Looking In

…Another in a series of accessibility-related blogs….

I’m back in my soon-to-be-replaced-hip boat, waiting for my June 6th surgery.

Meanwhile, I move around outside my house by wheelchair; indoors I use a four-wheeled “walker.” I’m in constant pain, and everyday, I carefully and dutifully catalog the new aches and pains as the crop up: Currently, I have a strained left wrist, and a right ring finger “trigger finger,” and occasional numbness and tingling in my left thigh.

Exciting times, this.

I try to stay active and get out on weekends.

This past Saturday, I ventured out of my comfort zone to attend an “event” in theĀ first block downtown/old town Belleville, Illinois, and frankly I was beyond disappointed: I was angry that over an hour of my life had been needlessly thrown away.

First I circled the block and consecutive blocks looking for ADA parking, and found none on E. Main Street. I found no signage directing me to any public parking lots that might have some ADA parking. When I found a parking spot on the block I needed, one of the shop owners had parked over the marked white line, giving me very little room to get my wheelchair out of the car trunk and onto the sidewalk. Another shop owner said there was handicap parking on the east side of the street, but when I wheeled myself to that side, I found he was mistaken.

Belleville advertises many, many activities though the year — Christmas, art festivals, etc., but frankly, for those of us who are mobility-challenged and try to remain as independent as possible, it’s a waste of time.

Just Visiting: Old Town Albuquerque

I had my right side Total Hip Replacement surgery on August 30, 2016. It’s amazing, this absence of pain. It, the pain, becomes such an integral part of existance that when you wake up from anesthesia and it’s gone, you’re momentarily confused.

Nevertheless, it’s awesome.

Except for the restrictions.

No bending. No bending while standing, no bending while sitting, so bending past 90 degrees. That means you use a three foot shoe horn to put on your shoes, and get someone else to tie them if there are laces, or you work out something else. You use a special contraption to put on your socks. You do not bend over to wash your feet and legs when you’ve been given permission to shower. No sleeping on your surgery side, and if you sleep on the other side, put a pillow between your legs.

And no driving.

Anyone who knows me, knows “no driving” and “MzSusanB” are mutually exclusive terms but I followed doctor’s orders.

Dr. Surgeon cleared me to drive again three weeks after surgery, on a Tuesday. The next morning I was on the road. First I wanted to see my mother in Atlanta, then I wanted to go to Myrtle Beach. Then, on the road to Myrtle Beach, I turned around and headed for Sedona, and ended up in Albuquerque.

No longer tied to my wheelchair, I was using a two wheeled walker to get around, so accessibility was still needed. Old Town ABQ is not for the faint of heart, as the sidewalks are brick, so the going is bumpy. The old buildings that make up the square often have narrow doorways, and the shops themselves are difficult to negotiate because they’re small and have steps in awkward places.

If you use a manual or motorized wheelchair or scooter, use caution.

But the air is clear and the colors vivid and I fell in love with the area.