Friday, January 29, 2010

Above the Thunder

no image today; was concerned that the work would not be finished by the deadline and that concern started pushing me so am stopping now. Will post an in work presentation as this piece is a private collection. I will not "hurry" it.
Art that takes on a personal meaning changes by the moment. I believe because it has a deep personal level and the need is there to do "justice" to the person it cannot be rushed no matter how much the heart wants to share.
Will post the theme titled Above the Thunder. (Story my Mother wrote).
Am telling myself that it is just emerging from it's cocoon. The theme is the Butterfly Circus for Vikki North's www.theartistchallenge.com site.
There are a lot of thoughts going through my mind and trying to adjust them as well as the brush strokes. Do not want to capitalize on my Brothers spirit as sincerely believe it would a moral error to do so. In explanation mean his physical look was odd and obviously that of a handicap child. My Mother and Father were told to "institutionalize" Ricky. Put him away; unseen, hidden as if there was something obscene about his appearance. Back in those days (50-60's) time's were a-changing. My Mother, being the "lioness" she was had few choice words for these suggestions. I smile at the way she loved to shock them with her not so delicate retorts.
History: Family used to "go to the Drive-In each Saturday night. All seven of us would be loaded into the old wood panel station wagon with Ricky in the very back. No car seats in those days so we all fit one over the other knowing we would be spreading out the blankets on the top of the car when Daddy found the right hill. The car was angled so that he could lift his head up and watch over the back seat. Now and again he would holler out Huckleberry Hound at top of his lungs and then just laugh a laugh that was infectious. His jump rope would be sent flying into the seat in front with the flick of a finger after it was carefully balanced (my other brother was sure it was well planned as he was often the target of a direct hit).
The movies became less and less after I was 10. You see, invariable we would pull in at the back of the lot and those next to us would look over at the kids piling out of the car setting up theater seats and their eyes would rest on Ricky.
I never really understood the problem until that summer night. Mama and Daddy started arguing. What were they saying? Ricky was a distraction that Mama should realize people were going to stare and why did that Kid keep pointing and saying Daddy theres an Alien; My brother and I immediately stood up on the roof looking for the Mother Ship. As am sure you can gather there was a scene not quieted by the sun setting and the movie starting. The other cars moved away...we were left in the lot; tears were flowing from my Fathers eyes. Had not seen that before.
Does one do justice? I believe we live in a more accepting world today. Ricky's "looks" are abnormal yet, am told you before he was sent to Earth with a greater purpose in life. He loved unconditionally; had very few "wants" in life and
you were always rewarded with a "loving gaze" when you walked in to change his diaper or give him his bottle of chocolate milk. On his good days he would shout out Huckleberry Hound to herald your arrival.
This piece is done in honor of spirit who changed the way we looked at another human being. It is not the outward appearance we need concern ourselves with; it is the Spirit and acceptance of Life. Respect.
When viewed the Butterfly Circus, the carnival attraction who sat trapped on that chair while being ridiculed and assaulted by the young boys brought some memories back full force. I never considered what Ricky was capable of thinking looking at life from his 3-4 year old profile. How he needed to wait on "us" for any of his needs. Patience, frustration, some anger; now sure he must have felt those nor did I consider his spontaneous shout out when walking into his room and how much miss it to this day. He went home a very old man for his condition (23).
The doctors told Mama and Daddy he would be lucky to live until 7. He suffered Jacksonian seizures (Epilepsy). His fragile 6ft frame could not sustain the weight of his enlarged head so he spent his time laying on his back in that last year leading to passing due to complications of pneumonia and the seizures that became daily.
As the actor in Butterfly Circus found his higher plateau in life; my Brother
lived his and taught unconditionally just in his existence in our lives. The piece am working on are various stages of his life that are committed to my memory of him.
Will post my Mother's story as she was deeply woven into his Spirit when the work is finished. For now; accept the work with the love that is threaded into it.
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