A Banquet…

About Four years ago, I had a vision of being in a large room with arched windows. The scene seemed old, like I was in an old life in Tuscany, Florence to be more specific. I approached the window and as I got near I could look out and see a country scene unfold. Suddenly,  this whirlwind of paper flew around me and I could see that what was paper was actually dollars, money. Swoosh, it all started to go out the window. I wasn’t sure or confident to understand then what I was being shown, but, realize now it to be true. The last four years has seemed like a constant outlay of money and energy. No matter how hard I worked in my day job or at the marketing of my Art, it was all going out and little coming in.

A couple of months ago, I was having a sandwich at a bakery in town. From my seat I looked up and saw a mural I had never noticed before. It was a painted rendition of my vision. A Tuscan old looking Arched window, looking out to the countryside. What startled me for a moment was instead of money flying out the window, the ledge had many loaves of bread, cheese, meat and fruit. It was a painting of abundance.

I kept looking at it then closed my eyes and a chalkboard appeared in my inner view…FAITH was slowly written across the board in a whitish yellow large piece of chalk. I opened my eyes as they began to tear up, said Thank-You in silence and walked out the door to continue my day.

About two weeks ago, I was forced to make a trip to California. One of the galleries that carries my work had decided to turn  one of their locations into a clothing store. Regretfully, the location that sold most of my work for them and had the most wall space. The other location they have is smaller and has a shortage of wall space. The feeling of hitting the road and spending more money to collect more of my artwork and find a new home for it, rather than hitting the road to bring fresh work and collect checks, made me feel gloomy and dejected. The hopeful part of the equation was that a short while ago I had set up a new gallery in a town nearby, Calistoga to be exact. Trying to stay positive I thought it would be good to re visit them and try to establish a more permanent connection. The fear of running out of money before a shift in the wind has been looming large for me for about six weeks now. But, it’s a Fear and only the potential energy, not necessarily what will happen. But, when it sits in your stomach it’s sometimes hard to eradicate.

My wife had vacation time and she was overdue for a change of scenery. I looked at the bank account groaned, carefully figured out what we could spend, made some calls for accommodations, negotiated with God for a successful trip. While in meditation before leaving I was greeted by a large friendly face, actually Jesus to be exact as I have seen him many times before. His face came closer to mine and then he slowly tilted back and his body stretched towards me like a table, large amounts of food began to fill the table. His hand began to pick up food and offer it to me. Which, I of course thankfully and gratefully accepted. We left for the road trip on the day of my birthday. We drove for two days, stayed three days in Calistoga and then stretched the drive home by three days.

While on the trip we did what we’ve done for years, kept it all really simple, packed our own food, wine,  sandwiches, olives, fruit, lots of road snacks and lots of music. The energy was not of worry or expectation, but, just peaceful, watching the landscape of the Westcoast change and unfold before us. From time to time, when I wasn’t driving I would close my eyes and Jesus would appear with a handful of food extended or once a spoon. Many times a loud voice came in to say “You are locked in, Have faith, there is nothing you can do to change this path”. While it may sound weird or fatalistic for anyone reading this. For me I’ve become used to it and it helped me continue on as relaxed as I could possibly be. You see in my case in the life I’m living creating works of Art and having raised a family, it’s all about Juggling and trying to stay Afloat and balanced. I guess I have become good at it.

One the first day in Napa Valley, I said goodbye to the old gallery, it was sad to part with the friends I made there, but, business is business I guess. The new gallery has lots of wall space and they seem genuinely excited about me and my work. Onward and hopeful we spent the next couple of days in and around Calistoga. I love that place. I met some interesting people that I hope will become new friends. My cousin and his wife showed up and treated us to an amazing birthday dinner.

We left Calistoga and stopped the first night in Yreka. We settled into the room after walking the dogs and I was stunned when Paula started to unpack an amazing dinner of snacks that my cousin and his wife had brought from Whole Foods Market. What a dinner, we laughed pretended we were in Spain as we ate.

The next day we drove through a stretch of The Oregon Coast that we had not travelled in about six years. During our summer camping trips for years as the kids were growing up this area was our stomping grounds. We had the times of our lives camping, living in a big family tent then moving up to a tent trailer, all the while on a shoestring budget. My mind was drifting back to those times while my wife had an oldies station on the radio. In my memory I only remembered the fun, never the fear, or the lack of money. It would have been so easy to not pack up the dogs and the kids over and over again because we though we couldn’t afford it or it wouldn’t be prudent. But, I guess that’s not in our make up or mine at least. It’s not defiant or delusional to just want to live it up, to wring whatever bit of Love you can muster out of this life. I thought of my kids, now grown who are doing that now. A sense of awe and pride started to sweep over me as a really cheesy song from the past started up on the radio…I turned the volume up Loud as “Rock Me Gently” by Andy Kim started up. My wife looked at me, questioning then laughing as she saw me singing every word…We made it count and when the song ended a congratulatory fist bump was shared between us.

That night we were met by the most amazing sunset I can remember. I felt hopeful and thought of the images of food, support and plenty that had recently been coming in, I felt proud of the past leaps of Faith and mostly felt like the tables have maybe turned and the banquet that is this life may get even more abundant in the future. God I hope so, LOL. I am glad we made the trip…

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The Miracle of Laughter

As I get older and count my blessings everyday for the choices I’ve made and the paths crossed and taken. I’ve come to appreciate The Miracle of Laughter. I would never consider myself to be a funny person, although I’ve always thankfully had the ability to make my wife laugh. Life is serious, really? Does it always have to be? Yes, there are many difficult and challenging aspects to modern life, and many people I know are struggling with various issues.

If you’re foolish enough to watch the evening news every night, you can hardly feel anything else but gloomy, afraid and pessimistic. My friends that make me smile and laugh the most these days are struggling with various hardships, as I am, some more some less, but if it’s personal, it’s important. Making each other laugh and smile has unknowingly helped rise us up from feeling defeated. Out of darkness into The Light.

Over the last four years I’ve had what some may call a Spiritual crisis or awakening depending on how you view it. While I’ve been visited, by countless, unexplained visitors of the heavenly realm, I’ve felt my grip on trying to live in the old ways lesson. Life is just different for me now and I’ve seen with my own eyes that when I’m dancing, painting, writing or listening to music the Angels are responding in kind. I know that God is equal parts Divine leader, Loving thunderbolt right between the eyeballs Teacher and Harpo Marx.

For the last few months more and more people who make me laugh have been coming into to my life. The ones that don’t are rapidly leaving. Brett Ryan Stewart cd Tilt a singer/songwriter friend cracks me up daily on Facebook. My writer friend Niall Williams last spring published the funniest book I’ve read in years History of the Rain. I feel that to laugh or make someone smile and laugh is like that crack of sunshine on a cloudy day. Probably why the Irish call a good laugh Crack. I vow to work harder at taking myself less seriously and making more of my loved ones laugh and allow them to see the joyful spirit that’s in me and hope that more and more show me that side of them.

I was in a store yesterday and they had a display case with these novelty wrist watches, I smiled and laughed to myself when I came across one that was titled Ministry of silly Walks it had John Cleese’s body at the Twelve o’clock position his legs were the minute hand and the second hand. I vowed to save up and get that watch.

We have three dogs and they make me smile and laugh everyday. I often tell people there is no accident that Dog is God spelled backwards. Their humor, joy and rambunctious spirit fills this house and lifts my spirit in kind. Over the Holidays, two of the three must have eaten mushrooms or something that made them so sick that they almost died three weeks apart. I realized as I saw them in such a dark place that their spirit was on the verge of leaving them and it was heartbreaking to see.

As, I was walking them this morning and writing this post in my head, a rainbow appeared, in the direction I was going. Home. So, I’m laughing more, I’m telling the ones I love that I love them more. I’m thanking God, Jesus and the Angels for their companionship, Love and guidance over the last few years. Get use to it world, this is me. It’s only just the beginning. I say this in case a sixteen ton weight happens to land on my head at any moment.

So, beloved blog readers whoever you are, make people laugh, hold the ones that make you laugh and smile close and lovingly, peacefully stay clear of the ones that don’t. With that I’ll leave you with a bit of Harpo…God Bless http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9OUIk4Oaq4