Where am I gonna get paint now?

This is a story about the first time I walked out of a store and cried... I was fairly emotional for a while. Dick Blick art store closed at 5:00 last Saturday for good. The thing about Blick was that I loved going in there because it ignited a certain response from me; a sense of familiarity from mixed smells of paper, brushes, paint, canvas, pastels. I also knew the staff there pretty well. Yesterday I turned a corner and Bruce, the store owner, turned from the opposite direction and all I could say was, "Bruce! I'm speechless". He's a very dry and thoughtful man with wonderfully crazy hair and he responded in his sort of whispery voice, "You need a hug" - seriously, he did.

The day things went poorly with my house around Christmastime, I went there because I needed to be around something that made me feel at home. Bruce offered me a cup of coffee... in a retail store... I was offered a cup of coffee.

They were so good at what they did and I always found what I needed. I got advice on pieces I was working on, good thoughts as they related to arts and life and always a very hearty welcome when walking through the door. It really was an extension of home for me. It is no longer there.

I know this all sounds just ridiculous, but I'm quite broken up about it. Someone saw me after my hour and a half final roam of the store and stock-up of 50% off meterials and asked how my day was. I said, "It sucked and I'm a little sad." And then I started tearing up, and then laughing because it was a ridiculous story to tell. And yet, quite a few who know me, who knew the store was to be no more, have seriously come up to me and with every depth of sincerity have said, "I'm sorry for your loss." - I know it's not a person, but it was a personal entitiy that really brought something specific to our community. *sigh*

Thanks for letting me get that out.


Great followed by great.

What a good day. Gave a really good art lesson today… not as much as my teaching was out of this world, but rather a good lesson, good learner, good synthesis. Just good. Followed by a great night out. Got to extend my birthday out a month and had the pleasure of eating dinner with “homefolk” (a term penned by Sadie and Bessie – You must read “Having Our Say” by these two centarian sisters) and seeing “Cars” - what a surprise, loved it - lumbered over to Borders following the movie… was gifted the book I made mention of a few posts back – In the Belly of the Green Bird. Great. Just super enjoyable.

Got a call later this afternoon from a friend saying “Michael Buble’s band will be just gigging down at Hunter’s tonight. Matt (said friend’s husband, our media director and about the best gig/session pianists I’ve ever heard) will be sitting in with them.” So, went down around 11… what a great night. Michael Buble is in town tomorrow night and his musicians got here today, looked around for some places to jam I guess, Matt was called and then the angels sang because it was some of the best live music I’ve heard.

The Quad cities has a really good open-mic/live music thing going for it. I will frequent some places that I know have some good stuff from time to time, but tonight was just really good professional musicians doing their thing and just jamming everything from funk to fusion. I love watching music happen and take place and be given the space to be made in front of you. To watch the give and take, especially in jazz, where people get their moment to create music with these other people that are going to same direction, but have no idea, along with you, what will sound next. This is such an interesting thing to observe and be a witness to… this genuine moment where humanity says to each other “I don’t need to be in control right now because this is your moment and I want you to have it” – funny how music can help create a safe space to be vulnerable. It’s interesting to me.

Anyway, great followed by great. What a good night. I will be tapping my toes in my dreams.


One River Mississippi - weaving together art, ecology and community

"To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together." - B. Lopez, author

The "One Mississippi River" event will take place this Saturday, June 24 @ 7pm.

If you are in or live near any of the following 7 locations, try to make it to this event.

Minneapolis / St. Paul
Quad Cities
St. Louis / E. St. Louis
New Orleans
Plaquemines Parish

The event will unify cities from the mouth of the Mississippi all the way down to its Delta with participating communities. It is an event that will incorporate the arts community of each location with a sense of greater awareness for ecology. The arts culture of just about any community is almost always exclusively the community that walks hand in hand with issues of social and global concern.

The Mississippi has quite an amazing role in the history of America economically, politically, socially. I've only lived on it for about 5 years and have been amazed even at it's meteorological significance as well. It's amazing to watch storms come through this area and, on the new, see a large storm cell divide and roll around the Mississippi and the Quad Cities, only to reconvene on the Eastern side of the area.

I think this event will be cool and I'd love to have any of you who can attend try to and share your thoughts here afterwards.

Mississippi River Meander Belt


Friends came by and confiscated my book.


A Cry For Help

I can't stop playing this game. Someone needs to take my book away. I need an intervention.