Tuesday, September 30, 2014

you are here

It's 2am. I am the only customer in the gas station. Three twenty something gentlemen stand behind bulletproof glass at the cash register. The guy tallying the items is training so I take advantage of his hesitation to ask a question of the man standing next to him. Hey. Can you please tell me how much further it is to Mobile?

All three stop what they're doing to look at me. It's the slightest of pauses. Just enough to let me know there is something wrong with my question. Then, Ma'am, you're in Mobile.

Today I am grateful for lovely, laughable answers.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Today I am grateful for for a cloudy day and a lazy afternoon with a book.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Sunset, schmunset.
Bring me the blackened grouper reuben.
Invite that strange but kind man to sit in the booth with me.
This is on.

Today I am grateful for a change of scenery.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Coke ICEE.
Rye Chips.
Chewy Giant SweeTarts.
Full tank of gas.
Windows down.
This album blasting through the speakers.

Today I am grateful for the most generous sponsors of this vacation.
Thank you, Mom and Aunt Wanda.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


It's sixish when I finally show up. I get out of my car and turn around to see a gold dust lift so I grab my camera before it can settle. It occurs to me that I once prayed to be mute but then thought better of it. Now I think that thoughtless prayer has been answered in the most thoughtful way.

Within minutes the music is playing, and I am part of an assembly line of sorts.

Pick up the t-shirt.
Put down the t-shirt.
Pick up the t-shirt.
Put down the t-shirt.

Two hundred sixty-six times.

What I appreciate most, I think, is how it all quiets the mind.
Maybe that was the prayer.

This morning I wake up thinking of Rudyard Kipling. Much akin to Buckley's Hallelujah and the movie Fight Club, it can't hurt to reference Kipling once in a while.

Today I am grateful for my Dad. He's the one, I think, who taught me to put my head down and work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

here now

Jeff Buckley. Hallelujah.
Because sometimes I need to be reminded of how intimate and courageous art is.

Today I am grateful for a morning filled with music.

Monday, September 22, 2014

light & shadow

Over at Sowashee Power & Light this month's theme is Light & Shadow.

For the second month in a row I have no original work to show, but I sent something anyway.
How could I not? It is such an honor to be there.

Most likely the site will be updated by tomorrow.

Today I am grateful for a change in seasons, in schedule, and in focus.

Also, this.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Today I am grateful to help create something I could hold, something with some type of physical existence in this world. I didn't realize how important that was to me.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Theo's view

Once upon a time there was this guy who rocked the t-shirt world. Looking back now it seems almost too simplistic of a plan. Or not even one.

Yeah he had been planning. Reading. Discussing it with his wife, but the day he decided to do it was not a day he had carefully chosen to turn in his notice. That note, which he had written in his head at least a few times but putting it on paper, handing it to someone else, making his intentions known, the timing of that was more impulsive. I have done no studies but believe that most of those types of decisions are done in much the same manner. The actual severing of ties usually comes after a long period of discontent. Years even when the mind was given the opportunity to carefully consider choice.

I heard about it maybe the next day or the day after that. I don’t even remember who told me, but I remember calling him.

Yo, homey. You need the muumuu?


The muumuu you and Priscilla gave me for my retirement. I hear you retired.

No, you keep it. He laughed.

He had been doing t-shirts for eight years. His art major was printmaking. A barn across the road was a prime location. He had already bought a piece of equipment. It was time to buy the rest, and he had the money to do it. He and his daughter could be put on the health insurance at his wife’s job.

His daughter, she was one and a half then.

There is more to this story, but I need to get a little nap before getting to work this morning.

Today I am grateful to work alongside my brother.

Friday, September 19, 2014

This is the part I loathe. From here to there people will use the word no.
Strangely enough the world is not going to fall at my feet and say yes to everything I think.

Today I am grateful for the word no. It reminds me of my intention, keeps me focused and hones the idea into an actual show.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

it now

It's time for the next project.
It's an art show, but right now it's a space with ideas and people.
It's a good idea to make one note before we lose ourselves to it.

There was something absolutely beautiful and free and encouraging about it and the people who began to circle it.

Today I am grateful for beginnings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Coming soon: Exactly what we needed when we needed it.

Today I am grateful for my insane friends and perfect timing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


It's just that

thebrain gets in the way of doing the simplest of things.

because it's a hypercritical mass of
no, it's certain you have no idea what you're doing right now.

you realize
that everybody is just doing the best

the hypercritical mass says no.
No. you're not doing the best you can. not everybody is. that's bullshit.

so um.
it's okay. you're okay.
you tell yourself.

Today I am grateful for kindness, that outside of ourselves and that within.

Monday, September 15, 2014

tips for the babysat

1. Saying people's names for the first time will grant you pretty much anything you desire.

2. Fashioning a weapon and hunting down the family pet lets us know you're not someone on whom we should turn our back.

3. Naps are for the weak. You're better than that.

4. Make the sitter earn it. Don't just laugh and smile at everything. Be selective with your praise.

5. Pissed at them? Want to take revenge? Just make them play one of two videos for the we lost count because we can only count to three but it's much more than three time. (Looking for the other video? I asked the internet to take it down.)

6. Wearing a shirt which reads, "I need some Grandma time," is a tad bit overzealous and seriously rude to other parties.

Today I am grateful to be christened Ann Shea.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Today I am grateful for place.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

less inclined

Still inclined to be grateful.
Just less inclined to be anything else.

Friday, September 12, 2014

showing up

Yesterday she surprised her five year old son by checking him out of school so they could have lunch and a conversation. Outside in a gazebo they both sat on the same bench. His little legs dangled, and the spread his Dad/her husband fixed for them was scattered across the concrete table. Thirty minutes later she returned him to school and drove back to work.

Today I am grateful for the life I see outside my office window.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

little bird slash duck

Maybe it was a week. Maybe two, okay three but no more than that and I surely don't have the whole story because as I've written before, you and me, we just get glimpses of each other. In these glimpses, though, it seems you have transformed rather quickly from a quick tempered, I will have that no matter what you say, get out of my way toddler to a soulful, compassionate little girl.

In no more than three weeks you've gained an intensity I didn't expect from such a young child. Last week your Dad showed me your favorite movie, SamsaraLittle Bird, are you already meditating? What else is there to do, huh?

You will hear for years how much you loved to swim, how early you took to the water, how shocking it was to watch you go under and come up grinning. Hopefully you'll be able to see video of that.

But even more than all the phenomenon of you and water is your behavior this past Labor Day. It was toward your cousin, Jess. Her heart was broken, and she had become sullen and swam to an area of the pool where she could be alone. You, little bird slash duck, became concerned so you swam out to her, and I watched as you showed a compassion for which I didn't know you yet had the capacity and well, thank you, it was beautiful to watch.

No doubt Jess appreciated it as well.

Today I am grateful for family, for how we learn to treat each other.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

summer fade

Today I am grateful for writers and their passion, and there are so many reasons I love Medium.

Monday, September 8, 2014


That storm, it was a sign. A message in response to the collective want and resulting belief. Our hugs created the wind. The smiles, the laughter, they became the rain. Our need, our prayer lifted with an energy so intense the earth could do nothing but respond in some type of fury. Then soon after there came a calm, a quick acknowledgement by the very ground we walk on, the air we breathe, as if to say, "You're right. She can't be beat."

Today I am grateful to know of a somebody in particular. Somebody our world needs.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

living it

He says we are all creators, and art is everywhere.

Today I am grateful for what I hear and see.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Alton Anthony Fairley, aka Picasso

Coach Fowler's wife, he thinks her name was Karen, gave him art lessons back in '72. The years between then and here on the sidewalk have seen him in Detroit mostly. He's been back in Mississippi for seven months now and living at what he calls the projects. "Where are the projects?" I ask.

"Well. They used to be the projects. Now they're called Quail Run Apartments. I teach art in the main office over there. Started out in my and my wife's apartment with four kids. Then within weeks we had twenty so the management said we could use the office." He talks like he paints. Fast. This mural he's creating is going to take him about three days.

I find out he was commissioned by the owner of the building, J & B Athletics. They showed him a piece of paper printed with what they wanted. What he saw on that paper he then began free handing on that wall facing the main thoroughfare, across from the courthouse and city hall.

Later I ask him how we'll stay in touch.

"Do you know Ruth?" He asks.

I smile and nod.

Today I am grateful for those rare moments when you know you found some piece of a puzzle. A clue, a hint, something so right you don't even care if it can be explained. You just know that somehow, in some very precise way, it fits perfectly into a much grander picture.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Only One Connor



a boy and a book

Today I am grateful for last minute shots, the presence of supermodels and how lovely it was to hold this guy's little hand as we walked back to the office.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

camera meet Sweetie

Today I am grateful for Sweetie and the incredible support she already has in this world.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Hold on, baby girl.

Today I am grateful for a long weekend and a meal shared with family.

A special thank you goes out to my Mom, who makes throwing together a fabulous little party look way too simple.