Art

Changes

SE-8th-and-Stephens-9
8″ x 16″ oil on panel

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything here. Since last time I wrote here the gallery that represented me in Seattle has closed. That’s two galleries that have closed under me. I recently joined the artist owned gallery Waterstone Gallery in Northwest Portland and I have a show scheduled for the month of November. The opening reception will be on November 6 and on First Thursday November 7.

I’ve also decided, for various reasons – some of them beyond my control, to leave my home. I’ve lived in this house since 1983, when my first daughter was born and my second daughter was born in the house. It was a very difficult decision but I think it’s the right thing for me now.

The theme of my upcoming show is “Sacred Space”. I arrived at it not just because I’m leaving my sanctuary but, as I’ve done a lot of grief and healing work over the past few years, I’ve found myself in nondescript houses and buildings around town that no one would suspect of being places where such intimate acts occur. I’ve always loved Alan Ginsberg’s poem “A footnote to Howl” which declares that everything is holy and I believe that’s true.

Footnote to Howl

Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy!
Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!
The bum’s as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy!
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy!
Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cassady holy the unknown buggered and suffering beggars holy the hideous human angels!
Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks of the grandfathers of Kansas!
Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace peyote pipes & drums!
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets!
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middleclass! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebellion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles!
Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow Holy Istanbul!
Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch!
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucinations holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss!
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!
                                                                                                            Berkeley 1955
Allen Ginsberg, “Footnote to Howl” from Collected Poems 1947-1980. Copyright © 1988 by Allen Ginsberg. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
Source: Collected Poems: 1947-1980 (Harper & Row, 1984)

1 thought on “Changes”

  1. Bill, What a generous post this is. I can’t imagine the impact of moving from your house after all these years of experiencing life and death there. I appreciate your description of “nondescript houses and buildings around town that no one would suspect of being places where such intimate acts occur”; I attended Al-Anon for a while in Ithaca, New York, and found intimacy and support in a nondescript house there. Thank you for the Ginsburg reminder. I got to hear him read his poetry when I was attending Syracuse University. He was one of a kind. As are we all. Best to you as you move on to whatever’s next.

    Marcia

    Liked by 1 person

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