An ODE to dots and dashes

It is early Sunday morning and I just finished WhatsApp chatting with my friend Chris about fonts, websites, shady characters, and dots. He is actually the instigator of this journal as I have been reading his Cotswold Diary for months, secretly wishing to have my own. The problem I had to overcome was — I have about 20 million other projects going on at the same time — all the time — and I could not see how I would squeeze it in. But a little birdie reminded me that in life we don’t find time for what and who we love, we make it. So here we are. Starting a journal of everyday humdrum things. No fancy poetry or advice or social media angles, just me and my keyboard and the days potential. Whether I find that I am living up to it or not I don’t know, and the idea of knowing is terrifying all in itself, I prefer to do what I always do — just dive in and learn to swim. But seriously, who am I kidding —there’ll be poetry.

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Chris has these fancy perforated dot-dashes on his journal pages that I absolutely adore, they make the blog look like a notebook, and well, I simply must have them. Trouble is — I don’t know CSS — but…I know someone who does! Yup… you guessed it, it’s Chris. I offered to make my first journal entry an ode to dots in exchange for him doing my CSS on this journal site, and for some reason he agreed. (really it’s a shit deal all around for him. Not only does he have to read this drivel but he then has a task ta boot) He’s always so good to me. One of the best friends I have ever had in my whole life. He has supported me and pushed me out of my comfort zone in all the best ways since we first met. He even helped me get my first poetry book published.

We started an art events community together during Covid called The Artocalypse for which we are currently running our yearly calendar. It’s a 25 day straight, year end artist features event, and it’s the first year that I have had a new artist submission for every day of the calendar event. It’s also the first year I have had people reaching out to me, instead of only me reaching out to them, which is quite wonderful and makes me think it’s been worth the effort I’ve put in over the past four years. There is still years of work to go before this thing will have any true structure or substance to it, but it has been very full filling and I have met so many amazing people and learned so much.

Projects like this are very difficult to pull off. There is no budget, no resources, and no help. Sometimes people spend years building and end up quitting or nothing comes of it, so the risk is also very high. Truth is though, I don’t think about that stuff anymore. At the beginning we were really into trying to make it into something, but you can’t force these kinds of things. And the idea of turning it into a business instead of a community or non profit initiative, sucked all the life out of it. Who needs another shallow arts platform? The last thing we wanted or needed was another Instagram or media channel. Ugh. So we tough it out, we try stuff from time to time, we invite a lot of collaboration and some people even say yes. When that happens, I get a little crazy. Not straight jacket crazy, but excited crazy. I LOVE getting the chance to create with other artists. To be a part of that whirlwind of energy and innovation is like electricity to me. I thrive in it. I guess that’s part of why I enjoy the year end calendar, because even though I am not exactly collaborating with anyone, I do get to be a part of it in some way by creating their presentations and often the write ups for their features, and I absolutely love the whole thing.

I don’t know how I got derailed to talking about Artocalypse except that I just finished putting together the LinkedIn feature for Sarah O’Neil-Manion, who created the most beautiful piece of shepherds keeping watch over Bethlehem from a distance as our savior’s star rose on Christmas night. I put music accompaniment with it, which I don’t often do for the features because it tends to get in the way of the art, but for this one, it really worked, and made me feel all Christmassy. I used a version of “The First Noel” from my Canva music library.

It is now, 6:21 AM Sunday December 17th, and officially 3 days away from my 47th birthday. I have been horribly sick with a cold for the last 7 days, and I am absolutely exhausted. I don’t know if this journal entry warrants me my CSS dots and dashes — but I want them, and I know my friend Chris will be happy to see me happy. What more can I ask for than a friend like that?

Final Thought:
Bret is still in the hospital. I have not been able to visit him because of this wretched cold. I miss him, I can’t stand that he is suffering like this. I wish I could do more. I feel helpless. —

I received my first correspondence from my sponsee, Yuleysi Rosario, it was a Christmas card with a picture of her wearing a tee shirt that said, Kind People Are My Kind Of People. Love that so much I may need to get one made. I sent her back a card with an old picture of me (I really could use a couple new decent pictures of myself), a short wishing you all the good things type of message and a bible verse —

Psalm 139:13-14

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.

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