It is so interesting to wonder, for me anyway, where ideas come from. Not their source, their place and time and terrain of origination. Assume they exist and all those categories can be explained, can be mined for their facts. No, I’m talking about the “out of the blue” quality of ideas showing up. I’m interested in that.
For example, Mondays, these days, I am awarded alone time in what we here in the Cushman/Blanchard residence in Portland call “the studio”. Former garage (way, way before my time), later turned rental space to forlorn, poverty-level artists and wayward Reed College students. Some five or six years back reclaimed by my wife Susan for her own personal ceramics creating space. Her art studio, and into which she brought a small electric kiln and 50 lb. bag after 50 lb. bag of moldable, workable clay. She began making personal piece after piece, endless pieces of her own brand of sculpture, and her daughter Marie would (and sometimes does) accompany her (the Blanchard) and make her own pieces, and after a time Susan began offering classes to women she knew (with the occasional male, depending on class topic), those group demonstrations taking on a life of their own. And, regarding me, as sharing is one of our things, I also was (unofficially) awarded the far-northern end of the garage/studio for my ‘art’. I scored some used tables and painting supplies and my son Cameron on a visit out here to Portland went with me to the Blick art store downtown and bought me a wonderfully sturdy and large rolling easel. And over the last few years I have done a lot of painting on it out here – in the studio. Though not so much lately. Writing’s been my jam.
As for now, today – Three weeks ago it was decided I could have two Mondays a month where I could come out here (where I’m now typing, in the studio) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and do my thing, have what I consider sacred space and place and time to read, meditate, sit with positive visualization, draw, write, doodle, create – all kinds of sacred stuff.
So – Some history there. A short time ago, a few minutes back, I was sitting quite quietly in a 15-minute meditation, my meditation gong-timer set, my second meditation today following the daily 5 a.m.-ish living-room time, and all of a sudden, my mind reasonably on pause, a strong awareness of my body, my breath in and out, aware of my stomach gurgling, my feet on the floor, my butt down on and into the cushion on the folding metal chair, then and there within that physical/psychic/spiritual nothingness entered the idea and image of drinking Mateus Wine, specifically, how I did so much of that way back at Cape Cod Community College in ’67 and ’68 and the spring of ’69. Yup, way more than my share. Sometimes as the prime delicious ingredient in ice-chilled wine coolers, sometimes alone in a large glass, there were times directly out of the tipped-up Mateus bottle.
Oh – the bottle. There’s a picture here, up there, but no way does it do justice to the amended green of the glass, the unique shape, its ambiance. The way it felt, when you cradled it. Loved it. Almost nearly as good as drinking it, and, what with abundant college ingenuity, after-the-fact way cool as a candle holder. Fat candles burned too far down, wax spilling over the edge of the glass lips, a sensual kiss for sure. Look at my bitchin’ candle, Bro.
So – Back here on February 1, I ask again. Where do ideas come from? What, or who, opens that door, shushes aside all the cobwebs of half a century? Invites in the most curious and unexpected of visitors? My answer is I do not know. Like I said up front – the wondering…….it’s an interest. Today’s feels like a gift too, maybe one you might call a ‘blast from the past’.
For me, I try to stay alert. Aware. For fun and interesting offerings directly out from the Mystic. Like, for the fun of the vision of a bottle of Mateus showing up on a rainy Monday morning. Cape Cod a continent away. College barely remembered. Booze voo-doo’d out of this life. But…
Look…….an old friend.