Let’s go Home - #YearInReview2016
Well, that was the plan anyways ….
So let’s see, where did we leave off, Oh Yeah I know! I got hit by a Bus, Sick living above a Legionnaires apartment in Dayton Ohio, loaded up to Santa Fe, bought a bunch of my own artwork for a show that got canceled, borrowed money and searching for a new place to live in Santa Fe to share with a Friend.
Found myself in a pinch and searching on Craigslist one night and there it was – “Live/Work/Display” Gallery & Studio in TUPELO, MS! So we loaded up the Truck and Moved to B………… Egypt :/
On January 9th in the afternoon, I arrived to find this depiction was expired to a memory of years long-ago. But here I am, at a place now where survival was all I had! Once all my money had already been applied, deposits and such, I had no other alternative but to believe and trust the previous communications would honor. The windows were cracked or in some cases broken out, there was sanitary problems and safety with gas & smoke alarms missing among others. I unloaded my rental SUV and made a list of items to repair and headed to Wally World for a pile of debris to live for a few weeks and gain ground. When I returned, an email on my desk said “This is not a good fit for you, we are not fixing anything and consider this lease canceled and no further communications” I was homeless …
The next morning, for fear of seeing ‘Elvis appear, I had slept in the car. I sat in a McDonalds without a home, route or feasible means to get there. Those of you reading this may recall my need to share that position in humorous tone yet fearful of the hours of darkness to follow. “Well Folks, I’m homeless” the post on Facebook read and what followed was overwhelming to say the least! Many of you immediately replied, called, text and made yourself available to me, I am Truly a Blessed Man! And although there was a multitude of financial offers, too many to tally homes, through a whole accepted connection of distant 2nd generation family, came an offer from Houston Texas. The message read ( I am 10 Hours from you, Can you get here or do you Need me to Come & Get You ? ) A message in my Heart said that no matter the form, no matter the consequences I would be safe in Texas for a period of recovery.
The next day, I arrived in a northern part of Houston where the Trucks are still big, the air respires hot and the traffic was thick. But when I pulled into a modest & welcoming drive, I found a warm handshake, comforting hug and a place to cry for a while. Oh yeah, and 4 dogs 3-84 cats and a bunch of dead skulls that are really cool! The welcomed love was visible, the respect was mutual!
It wasn’t long before my daily walks down the long dirt roads began to waft in and out of depressive reflection and feelings of escape. That one stride to the right on a busy road … I had walked a thousand miles – Wait, I had driven 200,000 and after all that I have been gifted with, granted and allowed to carry in fortitude, THIS Is where I am to end all that ??!!!
On a hot Texas day, not long after being there as I walked, a huge truck pulls past me (They’re All Huge in TX) and then they suddenly stopped and started to back up ? OH Dear God, what kind of challenge is this now … “Hey, aren’t you Kris Courtney?” Puzzled to no end as comparable to other parts of the country I have traveled in equal experiences, “Yes” I said with inclusive apprehension. “We have Your Children’s Book, SCOOTER! You Need a Ride?” Perhaps these people will never know, perhaps we all will never witness the power of intervention, But on this Texas road, His Grace appeared in a Big Truck!
Over the next few weeks, my frame of mind began to adapt. I found a collection of friends that seem to appear everywhere I go when I can find a Coffee Pot & Handshake J I have a few Angels in my life, You Know who you are! They would call me randomly or perhaps at the encouragement of prayers answered … It was through a series of insightful walks that my Soul began to realize that although depression and anxiety of being at the end of a premeditated journey, God’s Path was still ahead of me…
Ya’ll Ever Been ‘MUDDIN
I Swear, TEXAS Does Stuff Right & RAW !!! I have been to 45 States, now lived in 25 and TX 3 times. My experiences and delicate rebuilding of spirit was a needed stop over and hiatus. My Host & Hostess were patient with me and allowed me to wash the dishes for them; I was humbled & appreciative for that chore! And as for Maggie (Loveable Puppy) Sorry Sweetheart, it was time to go …
Well, Ya Know what a 20 Footer is ??? It’s a Used Car that Looks REALLY Good – 20 feet away !!! SO, time has traveled on and now I’m still looking for Home. I thought I had found a paint Studio in Humble TX ( That’s Pronounced “UM BLE” , I know right ??? ) Yet that was not to be either! Then I started looking on Galveston Island, Kemah TX and the surrounding region, truly there has to be a reason why I am here! Well, although the folks I met and spoke with became friends and the inspiration of what could be became an abortive attempt, I did find the few weeks of searching to be a building block in hindsight to what was to follow. And all throughout this continued inhalation, it was clear the Universe had other ideas!
One day, through a very distant and forgotten connection in Kentucky, I received an email that said “Hey have you ever been to Georgia, Savannah? I have a Nephew that lives nearby and he could use a Room-mate and you could hang out for the Summer” Although the caution flags were up, my stay in Texas and the Grace & Hospitality had begun to attain our previous agreement and it was time to find a place of rebuilding. It was also clear; the Universe did not want me to settle in Houston to paint! Through a series of phone calls and text messages, I agreed and it was accepted that this link would work in a little town called Dublin Georgia about an hour outside of Savannah on May 15. But as my frequently time accused peculiarity of “Gypsy Blood” it was time to search and feed my Soul along the way …
I have done many things of this short moment in Purgatory on Earth and it always seems that the “Normal” things are a stone’s throw away for me. In traveling to a vacant place I wanted to experience New Orleans and the Ocean again. But this time was different in that I was alone turning a direction of absolute surrender, nothing to lose! I had enjoyed NO before but never walked in the Bourbon Street Celebration with the walkers! I was struck though at the humanity forfeit that laid in approach to those who danced around & ignored the obvious penalty of greed and gluttony.
Even in my Own Celebration of the walk, I did find Laughter among the contrast. The meals I shared with an empty chair, the view I watched or the sounds & smells that gave me a remembrance I hope to treasure in years of physical restraint that will soon appear.
We all have a “Bucket List” that seems to loiter for fulfillment and on this trip, mine was to do what had haunted me for 55 years or perhaps more, Swim in Public! As a child confined, an adult confused I always had hoped for an introduction without judgment or the glancing at what appears. But this trek was free of those conceptions. As I walked from the Condo I had landed in Gulf Shores, there was a Gentleman, Lady around my age sitting politely under an Umbrella. I paused but again with no assets to gather, I asked “May I please ask a humbled favor” After what seemed like an hour of God’s Graceful Kindness, Blessings of Similar stories and the full release, I walked into the ocean and did what some conceivably may take for granted and stuck my feet in the Sand !!! To feel the cool water wave across the souls of my carved limbs, the exposure of saying “Here I am God, at the Edge of your Bath, cleanse me” And as possibly you, I wept … A child’s play half a Century in the wait without regards for the stares, questions or discriminations we all carry from supplementary examples in life. Nothing to lose ….
Well, another 20 footer, Great! J LoL - As I arrived in this town of Irish name with far from the Green & Glittering Gold expected, there was a sense of welcoming and even a calm that appeared to open the windows and allow a Hot Georgia wind to sweep me into place. And although the representation was altered, I had entered into survival mode of living and once again taken my 4 plastic tubs and 3 duffle bags into another back bedroom. The house share was the start of what has now become a lasting friendship I Treasure & Respect !!!
Well, OK Universe – What Now ??? As occasion has now proven, this town was a respite that has offered me a place of acceptance & growth. As I was here for only a squat few weeks, I was contacted by a person who has since become a dear ally and asked if I would be interested in doing an Art Installation Project for the Governor of Georgia and His Wife here in Dublin? In addition, the endeavor was in alignment with Developmental Disabilities through Commissioner Frank Berry and along with Matt Hatchett,
All of which a close resident to my heart in purpose. After submitting a draft conception for “The DEN” the finished artistry “FABRIC” was completed on August 15th. In coordination with all this effort, I also secured a place to paint! As the Universe has now said – OK , Here !!! And although the consign was a complete trashed out space, the vision of #Studio111 was born & work began.
Setting up for a Studio Show the first week of September, I had now become anxious to paint, to live and begin creating again. It was with publicity and the serendipitous connections that I found a few folks in an organization called “Civitan” that I was blessed with aid in making remodeling efforts to the Studio.
Mike & Tommy helped me on a day when we replaced 36’ of new lumber in the floor and did for me what I could not do for myself – Benevolence !!! I even had a Visitor who Blessed me With Love & Kindness. In that lunch with Jerry, he asked me a question or maybe an observation, “You’ve changed” My only retort I could give, “I Have Been Changed” And although there were others, Dear Angels to my Heart that helped with Studio111, it was time to claim this liberty as my 5th Studio !
Ironic how the purpose in my 5 year Journey across America was to finish back at Home and after making a choice, after choice; The Universe was making them all along …
Well, Time To PAINT – MY TURN !!! As I walked those Texas roads and began to surface from personal isolation, I had an overwhelming image in my creative visions that suggested strength & vigor beyond my current state of affairs. As with most of my original works, I tend to make partial or interim canvases. And before I could create the power of what I visualized, I had to make some brush strokes appear...
I am Humbled that local Patrons have appeared to Bless my Talents as Well!
Maybe it is “My Turn”
Oh and you recall that Organization of Benevolence? Well they had a Fair, Carnival here locally a while back and just recently, there was a Christmas Party. After Volunteering for them and taking a snapshot , I wanted to gift and return a genuine symbol of my appreciation for their support. This painting auctioned off and found a new home also in true faith of the liveliness intended!
So time has begun to wind down for 2016 and I am seeking direction. I have no yearning to let the breeze sweep my feet absent and yet no place still to call home. However, one day in a walk about, God’s Blessings appeared in Angel Numbers again. See the numbers of 11 ( 1:11 or 444) are considered signs of Grace in my life, maybe yours too - Studio111 , previous address of 811 and now 411 – Angels are abound and His Favoring Love has embraced me ever so slightly. So the question is; How long does it take to go home? Evidently 18 months !!
This house, elderly in time and juvenile at heart has opened its layers to reveal a place of rest for a weary voyager. I once thought that when it came to a move or relocation, I had some control or participation on how & where that respite was to expand. Today on the Eve of what has been an 18month exploration, I have slept. I have slept on an air mattress with a 125 year old antique telephone table nurtured by Flossie, carried in conviction across the United States. Now accompanied by a Mahogany Desk, leather chair from a Thrift store and a New Collection of white Styrofoam cups, my used Microwave and $20 Coffee Pot now fill my 3bd/3bath home. An empty structure, with bones of character in need of paint, that one day will tell a mutual story of gratitude to another. But till then, perchance a place of comfort for a retired gypsy …
Summary: Thank you for listening, reading and even allowing yourself to transpose the emotions of my efforts. I have always left my life open, transparent and clear of penalty since decades ago. Yet in our globe of fake news, online illusions, narcissistic desires and the struggle to find simplicity for personal identity, those of you who have followed my trail and pushed me along are forever in my Soul! As recently interviewed for TV, I made an observation that will always be fact; I Could not traveled these years without Each & Everyone of my Fans & Friends along the Way! And although I may have only a dozen confidentially close, I have always known as witnessed in Tupelo that my resources are plentiful in the thousands! Bless You & Thank you for letting my life remain visible without perimeter and be able to have the dialogue with you, instead of too you or behind … As I started this letter with a sorrow, I have finished with a Tiding of Joy! My Roots may be remote but a new seed has sprout in Georgia
May your Christmas, New Years and days between or after be reminiscent of the Gift of Home for what You Have; what you sacrificed and the cost of character to Surrender to a Greater Purpose!
Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas, Kris
Norma Jean's Sun, Memoir by Kris Courtney