Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Poetry of Daily Life
When I was a kid, my Mom would buy used furniture from the Goodwill, bring it home, strip it, then repaint the piece of furniture. As a kid, I really thought it was kind of weird. Nobody else's parent painted most of the furniture of the house with folk designs depicting roses and grapes and bringing in of the harvest; cowboys with lassos and all the family cattle brands that had at one time been part of los ranchos of some far, distant place called New Mexico. It was very strange this brightly colored furniture with designs of daily life - somewhere - where there were gardens, fields, harvests and cowboys.
Tonight I'm writing you from my front porch in the North Country. My new writing table was purchased on sale from K-Mart, manufactured in a factory in Viet Nam, put together on my deck this morning with carefully chosen design painted on the table, underneath. It was a tradition of Mom's. On her pieces of furniture she would paint a poem, or a saying, on the back or underneath, somewhere where it would only be seen very occasionally, like when cleaning or moving. Following In her tradition, one day when someone is moving this table, or cleaning underneath, or on their hands and knees looking for a lost something, for a moment they will see this and remember one of the odd things 'he used to do' - paint words on his furniture and on the walls of his house.
The other day I spoke to my youngest son, Popeye, living on the North Sea, building a tall ship in the north Netherlands. He's being put up in abandoned nurse's quarters of a former hospital [fancy squatters]. He says to me, "Dad! You'd love my room! I've painted poetry all over the walls!"
He's come by it honestly. We come from a lineage of graffiti artists - a family tradition.
Leave your mark. Leave it Beautiful. Leave it Strong.