26 August 2011


From time to time I go back into folders of saved correspondence. It rushes me back in time like nothing else can. A big thank-you goes out to Hotmail for making this possible since I joined you all the way back in 1999. You've done most things well. Except for that time I got hacked. But I'll bet that wasn't entirely your fault. I don't care what others say about you -- you've been good to me, Hotmail.

Dated July 7, 2005, the following was written to a long-distance friend of mine. This kind of reading opens windows onto myself and other scenery that have been painted shut for far too long. It's surprising and comforting that, for at least six years now, I've had the same sort of voice as a writer. If I scrutinize too much, however, I get pretty bored with myself, so hopefully no one else picks up on that. I think I'll post these slices of my past occasionally because it's fun for me to read, and why would it not be similarly entertaining for you, dear reader?

so i have been on the creative warpath in the last couple of weeks. i am
generating some new artwork, and i'm quite proud of it. it's based on old
family photos, which i am constantly drawn back to and fascinated by. if
only i could have been there!! and if i had a digital camera in working
order (mine's broken) i'd send photos. i am making a few things for the
second annual tomato art show (remember this from last year?) and also some
little odd pieces which are turning out to please my eye very much. it's a
great thing as an artist to get to the end of a process and discover there's
a smile on my face. i even said "hallelujah" aloud this morning when i
finished one. i think you can probably relate.

okay, so my favorite book which i am two-thirds of the way
through..."extremely loud and incredibly close" by jonathan safran foer. it
is KICKING MY ASS it is so good. they need to create a new word to describe
this guy's writing style. i laugh and sigh simultaneously. you MUST go and
get it if you haven't already. now. right now. turn off your computer, go
get in the little blue car, and drive to that little book store, hand over some
cash and start reading. this is how serious i am.
and my new favorite CD is willie nelson's "teatro." (see if they have that,
as well.) it was produced by daniel lanois. he can do [almost] no wrong.
and emmylou makes a few appearances as well. there's a song called "the
maker" and it also KICKS MY ASS. there's this driving bass guitar by mr.
lanois that makes my heart hurt in a very good way. i heard a few tracks
when we were in this shop in colorado and i asked what it was and this tall,
gorgeous, brazilian fellow said "teatro" and he even rolled his "rrr" when
he said it. that made it even more appealing.

we leave for wyoming this saturday at the very earliest we can manage. i
can feel my blood already flowing in the westward direction. we will land
at my aunt's house on sunday evening if we can keep the pedal steadfastly to
the metal, as they say. i look forward to sleeping outdoors in the
wheatfields, reading, tinkering with my cousin mike in his workshop, making
pies (gooseberry, to be exact), riding the bike up and down and up and down
county road 147 with nothing but golden wheat in all directions, hearing the
unmistakable norberg laughter late into the night as we will, no doubt,
honor my grandpa's memory with fresh-popped popcorn and root beer (IBC --
the only way to go). all this and more pies (they've got a chokecherry bush
too, don't know if they'll be ripe yet or if they're good for anything but jam...)
i don't think we'll be heading back east until late july. sounds like pure heaven to me.

until then, westward ho and hot damn, my dear.