Las Vegas – and Nevada – is not at all what I expected.
I grew up in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania, I’m an Appalachian boy. The Allegheny mountains with their lush summer forests and bubbling streams have always been the place where I felt the most peace, at home with God.
But for the last decade or so, the pain of the combination of my particular ailments has become increasingly severe in the winter months. I began to look south for a similar environment, deciduous rolling mountains in a warmer clime, preferably in an arts-based community. Tennessee, the Carolinas, even southern Virginia. Nothing seemed just right, and the high humidity in those areas is anathema to Khrysso.
So I’m working on a revision of the stage parody we produced 2 years ago, Go On With Your Wind. It was a huge undertaking and a ton of fun, but the show clocked at a good 3+ hours. It needs tightened and trimmed, but I was told by an objective someone whose opinion I value: this show needs to be published. One of the best parts about revision: making it better, funnier, sharper.
So I’m sitting in the studio at l’Auberge working feverishly on my script, and my husband, Khrysso, is sitting in the studio working on a piece of art, and he asks for my opinion and some technical input, and I send him a PDF of my latest draft for editing, and to get his feedback. I’m laughing at my own comedy, and marveling at his colors and his design, and we pause to discuss some plans for giving back to the community.
This is a dream come true. It’s so incredible, this feeling of rightness, of goodness, of well-being. It’s been such a long journey to get to this place that I never imagined existed. There is so much love in this world, safety in this home. Our daughter is chatting with her boyfriend and watching funny videos. Our best friend, Patti, our Mrs. Madrigal, is playing her dulcimer and we all break to watch some Father Brown.
This place has a flood of friends who do not feel the need to judge one another, who practice love without question, who cast the net of grace and charity and service wide. I am so blessed to be here. I don’t know how it happened, I don’t know how this dream came true, I only know I am grateful beyond measure.
So then, the rogue, Thrett Cutlet says to the vixen, Spoilitt O’Hairy, “Why? Maybe it’s because I’ve always had a weakness for hopeless causes, and you’re really hopeless. Or maybe, maybe there’s some other reason that’s been cut from the script. Who knows?”
In my high school senior English lit class I loved the writing assignments. I wrote essays and short stories, poetry, and wrote my thesis on Wonder Woman. We also had reading assignments and wrote conclusively about what we read, and I did just fine. Until Miss George assigned Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native. For some reason I’ve never examined too closely, I took an immediate dislike for the novel, and I could not bring myself to read it. Every day in class we were assigned new chapters and I was supposed to write answers to questions about this classic dreck. So based on the Read the rest of this entry →
Since May. That’s a relatively long chunk of time and a really long time not to report on a blog. But so much has happened in the past 5 months!
In May, my art partner Linda Alexander-Radak and I decided to close down our shared art space at Avenue Arts Marketplace (formerly 2nd April Galerie). It was a tough decision since I had been there in some capacity for over 5 years, but we had reached a place where we were representing a passel of artists in our loft space on the second floor and we needed a change. There was a space available on the first floor, which was exciting, but it was smaller and we just didn’t see a way to move our business lock, stock and barrel and not cram it in. And we were tired. So we decided to take a break and pull up roots. And besides, someone was getting married! Read the rest of this entry →
I remember when Khrysso asked me to marry him on Thanksgiving Day last year. Our relationship took off like a rocket after we started dating in August, so he might have asked me before that, too, but that’s the one that sticks as official. He understood the complex circumstances around my separation from Sheri, and we started planning a wedding for “as soon as possible,” pending my again becoming a single man when Sheri’s disability benefits were settled. We never dreamed I would become a widower instead of a divorcee. We considered how long to wait before moving ahead with the wedding, what would seem respectful, but practically, I was already in transition. Ending my life with Sheri had never been a consideration, only ending our relationship as a married couple. Saying goodbye and letting go was grief enough, without delaying the joy of moving on. One of the plagues of my life to date has been living with a spirit of procrastination, dragging feet, and putting off things that desperately need doing before the opportunity is lost. No more. So we set the date and are forging ahead.
Khrysso and I wrote the following for our wedding listing on withjoy.com. I thought I’d share it here as well. It’s just so remarkable to me that a whole new life became possible so abruptly last August with one date for coffee. Just goes to show, one should never lose hope, and that when you get on with the business of living authentically, happiness sneaks in and slugs you with a brick. Read the rest of this entry →