Saturday, March 31, 2012

when it lasts longer than eighteen months

We have history, long ago and far away in a place and time I don't even know how. It would be silly to think I fell in love with him just by something he said. Silly but true. It could have something to do with how very early in my existence, so early it contains my grandfather's face, I fell in love with stories. Then later, much later, after my grandfather's face only existed as a photograph or a memory, when this new guy told a story I would fall immediately in love.

I did. It's silly. I admit it.

Of course there are/were others. There has to be since there is too much love to be focused on just one. How could anyone ever stand so much love? Surely he would crumble under the pressure. Then he wouldn't be able to tell a story which is crazy since that is why I fell in love. So, yes, there are other loves. many loves. I am a whore for stories.

Still I must tell you something of which I could never be proud. I hate to pick favorites 'cause I want to love everyone just the same but this guy, he stands out. Maybe because he gives a glimpse of a place I have never seen. It could be that he seems to politely share without asking anything of me. I favor telling you it is like we are in a bar, a dark one and we're the only two there. Maybe it's been a tough week, it's late and he says something to the bartender which I overhear and then I chuckle and add something to the conversation and he smiles and before long I have moved closer, pulled up a stool right next to him and he begins.

a story.

More from Etgar can be found here of course.

Today I am grateful for storytellers.

Also, I am going home to collect some stories for us. Be back in a few days.

Friday, March 30, 2012

neighborhood watch

For you, a day in the life of my front yard. You can click on any of the images to see them in light box.

I am grateful to live in such a beautiful and kind place.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

genetic predisposition

Yo, Slater.

These photos.


those poor boll weevils

It was beginning to look like the Save the Boll Weevil campaign she started years ago. Then there was that one time she thought it would be great to open a bed and breakfast in Phuket. She almost had her friends convinced until one of 'em saw a cannibalistic headhunter program on National Geographic. Years later she was thankful for that when the tsunami hit.

Still, she wondered, was it she had no follow through. Soon the alarm was blaring and she rolled over to turn it off. There it was in a frame on the bedside table, the first thing she saw every day. A picture of Vince Lombardi with that famous quote,

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.

Today was gonna be her day. She would make it that way. After the shower she would put on one of the Save the Boll Weevil t-shirts. It was all the shirts she had left so she would find herself grateful for that campaign. Even if it never took.

Today I am grateful for humor.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Miss Margaret's Tree, Water Color 24 x 20
Grace Estes Henderson, Artist

Who collects art? I've asked more than a few people a couple of times.

Easter at the Gee Place, Oil on Canvas 16 x 20
Anne Hughes Sayle, Artist

More than buying a piece because it matches the sofa or purchasing a work when it compliments a theme, is it that the collector has somehow connected to the artist's view either by desire or memory? I always said it was the story but it is so visual.

Does that mean your most common art connoisseur is a man?

Stampede, Acrylic 24 x 30
Grace Estes Henderson, Artist
Just a Balancing Act, Acrylic 14 x 14
Grace Estes Henderson, Artist

There are times no matter how hard I try I can't escape what I think so when Josh asked me to watch Pollock years ago I had a hard time getting past Jackson's neglect of his wife. Just a couple of months ago I watched this and developed a new appreciation for who that guy must have been.

Grace? She sees art as an expression of the soul and the mind, which she says is simply fun.

When selling anything it always made sense to say, Who is my buyer, what do they want? The best thing I saw in Pollock was he didn't care. My opinion is if he had it would have ruined his work so that is where I connect with him and that is how I know if I had a billion zillion dollars I might have a Jackson Pollock in my home.

Deauville, Oil on Canvas 11 x 14
Anne Hughes Sayle, Artist

I accept that I am a novice.
Seriously, what do I know? Nothing about brush strokes.
My sense of color? Absent. My Aunt Wanda picked the paint for the walls in my house and they would never change unless she told me to do so.

Picnic, Oil on Panel 11" x 14" (cypress frame)
Anne Hughes Sayle

It is maybe only what we as individuals see. That must be why it is so difficult at times for an artist and why so many of them are typically starving. Not because they fear telling their story but because maybe they have found it is one of the few things they truly want to do.

Do you think in order to do it right they had to forget who their audience could be?

These two artists can be found for three more nights at the Como Main Street Art Gallery in Como, MS. The show is called Two Women & a Brush. If you can't make it and would like to see more of their work or would be interested in pricing, which I think is quite fair and won't run you a Pollock, you can get in touch with David Marsh by emailing or connecting with the gallery through Facebook.

I am grateful that people continue to share their stories.

Slater would like to suggest we listen to this while we peruse art.


It's pretty cool, how Molly sees the world.


Mom says the older we get the more we become ourselves.
I guess that means we would spend some time finding out who that is.
And maybe as a parent we have to start to believe this world is good.
It is a must.
Without that belief we would never let them leave their room.

Please be patient with us, we who are constantly mumbling to ourselves, Just let go. You're not in control.

This is one of those times when expressing gratitude doesn't feel like enough.
When you've said it a million times and then some.
All you have left is love.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dear Seth,

Can I please be your little minion, live in a rundown New York closet/apartment, spend my nights at my computer with my feet in my chair trying to avoid the rats? If I hear a shooting, a distant ambulance siren, I am almost sure I'll wonder about those people and myself at first. It won't be long though before I have focus and will write and take photographs like nobody has ever seen before. I just know it.

So what do you think, Seth? Do you need someone to clean your office?


P.S. If it's okay I'll take the weekends to go clean this guy's house.

prepositional rebel on the banks of the Mississippi

Tunica Cutoff, MS

Sharon had found a job twenty years ago. She had started on the floor of the chicken plant, didn't mind the work so much and had eventually made her way up to an office on the third floor. Human resources was what the gold plate on the door said and she liked the thought of that. Ambiguous enough to allow for creativity but not so much that called for accounting which she felt was a bore.

Funny, she told Mark, ain't nobody ever called Amy a bore. That girl is insane. Do you know what she said the other day?

Mark looked up from his work. He was preparing a poster for a new employee fitness program Sharon had thought up. He wished he had remembered his ear buds. Sometimes he wore them just to make her think he was listening to music. Otherwise, she wouldn't hush. He liked Amy though. She was a hoot so if Sharon wanted to talk about her then he'd have a go. What did Amy say?

She put the tip of the pen in her mouth, looked at the light above, smirked and said, Well. Never mind. I don't think I was supposed to say. She told me not to tell.

He hated this game, Okay, and went back to work.

She knew he wanted to know, saw how he looked at Amy, remembered Eugene had given her the same looks. Though that was years ago. Mark was going to have to act more interested than that, stop being so aloof. She waited as long as she could, checked her email, made a call but he played his part. Never did he look up from his work and seem to care. Four hours later she gave up.

Mark was glad she had left. He could always feel the weight of what she wanted to know, would look over and see her get busy when he refused to play her game. Most the time, like so many other older women, she was trying to fix him up though he never had any problem with the ladies. He just didn't spend all his time talking about it. Plus, at thirty-five he wasn't married and that fact seemed to frustrate them to no end.

Amy walked in the door, looked at Sharon's desk then at Mark, Hey dude. Whatup? Where'd Sharon go?

He stared at his work, She left early. Something about dinner with Eugene. I think they have a date at the fish camp.

That's all it took. He knew it too. She was sitting there when he looked up. Her red hair pulled back in a pony tail, she sported freckles and a nice smile. She leaned back in the chair, crossed her legs in a skirt, Got big plans this weekend?

Nope. Anything happening? 

For any of you in the listening area who are all about some great music of the North Mississippi Hill County  Blues variety I hear there may be something happening this weekend. A little duo by the name of Woodstomp will be going acoustic at Windy City Grille down in Como. Though I won't be able to be there, sad face, 'cause I got a paying gig out of town, happy face, I do highly recommend their music.

Today I am grateful for imagination, for play.

Monday, March 26, 2012

living the dream

At times things can seem tough and not turn out exactly as I thought they would be. That's when I struggle and begin to think when will it happen, how can I make this better. It is these moments when I am searching for some sign or direction that I see something like this. And again I am reminded right here right now we are already living our dream.

I am grateful for here and now.

Plus, Kim has shingles so, let's face it, we're all doing better than her.


Rivergate Festival, Tunica, MS


He comes home with a story. It is the tallest of tales weaved by an old man. There are cows and aliens and a peculiar question at a sale. The details are fantastic, the telling what makes it seem true. Slater is enthralled, in love and can't help but want more information. His enthusiasm feeds a need I now have for distraction. We look and look and can't find anything to substantiate what this man says can be. Still, we choose to believe.

She tells me two fables as I drive the car. It was a decade of loss of which a lifetime could result. It wasn't all their responsibility, she was willing to take some blame. It's just that once all is said and done I ask about her faith. You'd think she would have more sense but something seems to linger. We both laugh so we won't cry as she has to admit she still chooses to believe.

Three forty seven, still no word. Expectations were greater twenty-four hours ago. The rise and fall of that next step. A casual exchange was all it took. No promises were made, only the hope of just a little more. Possibly not and probably so. It's just that at times for a dreamer a maybe sentence turns into a paragraph then a page. A small sliver of light in a concrete wall can become a sun to one who has spent time within. It may soon begin to look like a door. I feel it has to be so still I choose to believe.

Today I am grateful for faith.

Sunday, March 25, 2012



He brings a bottle of muscadine wine.
She prepares fried chicken and black eyed peas with extra pepper and onion 'cause he seems to like spice.
He picked up one of Modena's chocolate fried pies.
Later they would share it on her grandmother's fine china.
When he called she said she had completed another chapter in her book.
He won the case and sold the house.

She put on her best dress, the one she got years ago from Woolies.
Standing at the mirror she flattened it at the waste. Put her hands on her hips and turned around.
Becky had said she needed to lose some weight but he didn't seem to mind.
The spring was already too warm so she placed her hair up in a white stoned barrette.

She planned to sit and wait for him on the north side porch.
It's where she and her Grandmother had sat and read books.
A smile crossed her face, she wondered what Grandmother would think of a man such as this.
Of such a date.

He knew he would see her sitting on the north side porch, could feel her watch him as he walked to the door.
This was her favorite shirt, a clean white button down unbuttoned only at the top.
The brimmed hat made it a special date.
One time he had tried to wear some fancy shoes but they hurt his feet.
She never seemed to mind his boots so he dusted 'em off, tried to polish them one more time.

Later they'd sit in the library and sip some rum.
She would read aloud from his favorite of the many books.
He'd say, Hand that here. Let's talk about you and me.
She would be sitting on the desk dangling her bare feet but still, she would blush.
He'd melt in her smile, forget what he just said.

It would be right there on that front porch.
Where he would bend on one knee, take her hand and look up.
He'd ask, Would you please?
She'd say, No way.
He'd laugh, Lady, how many times do I have to ask?

Dear man, I guess till I say yes.

Grateful for stories of the past.

As well as that of the very wonderful Karen Ott Mayer.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

show, Betsy Brackin

Mississippi River Delta 36 x 56 Acrylic

I know you wanted to know. I did too. It's just that the place was mind blowing and there was this really cool guy there with a Canon 5D and Betsy has done at least a zillion pieces in a million ways and the lighting and the food and the people and I forgot to ask.

I did get to talk to her. I waited in line but then I felt rushed and pressured by such a crowd so I blurted out, Hi, Betsy. My name is Shea. I am Josh Miller's sister.

She was all, Who?

(not really, just ribbing my brother a bit)

Actually she smiled, talked about having been to my house. I told her about the Palmetto Cheese piece I had hanging in that very same place. She responded with Weird  that I assume can only be seven years seeming like seventy of travel and people and places and time did pass.

Naoussa 8 x 18 Acrylic

So no, I didn't ask. Kim and I had already discussed the crucial question of Can I photograph your work?

By the way, if you ever attend such a classy place make sure you take Kim. She'll class you up by at least ten vantage points.

Thus, the first question had to be, Betsy, can I photograph your work?
Betsy said, Sure. I'd love for you to.

And then I had to get my camera out of the bag. I needed it in my hands and I didn't think to ask that one question that we wanted to know.

Piso Livadi Boat 12 x 10 Graphite 

It was a balancing act of light and people, both streaming through. Her art lined at least seven walls.

Piso Livadi Boat 10 x 12 Acrylic

There was a point I thought does she just wake up and decide today I guess I'll work in oils.
You and me, I think we need to know. 
It should lead to the answer we want to know. 
Why didn't I ask? 
I don't know.

Bonnaroo 15 x 21 Watercolor

I guess my only excuse is it is a type of sensory overload to see all of this work in one place. Betsy almost seems too young to have produced what she has. From Arkansas to Tennessee to Mississippi to Greece it is at the very least a product of extreme focus.


I wonder if that is what she would say. You know, if we asked the question, Betsy, how did you get there? How did you get here?

She may have mentioned focus but I don't know if she being the sweet humble girl she is would admit to having the talent it takes to do what she does. That's got to be at least part of our answer. There's got to be a gift.

I am grateful for the opportunity to witness and share an artist's work.