As you know I really work at keeping the Mahaloness blog positive, we all know there is a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world, whether it is a war somewhere in the Middle East, or a famine in West Africa, or some other tragedy somewhere else, there are all sorts of reasons to be down on the state of the world, which includes us the people and all living things, finding ourselves here on Earth, in this thing together yet so separated. When I wonder about what the state of the world is I find myself feeling melancholy, it is easy to feel the weight, and I certainly could choose to go that direction with my work, make some kind of political statement, or challenge the status quo. Through my travels I have met all sorts of people, some famous, some infamous and some who are just like you and me, people, who have dreams, who have stories, songs, who think about the ‘what ifs’ and that time they felt nobody cared. Well I will state here that I care, and it is care, which to me is love, that pushes me to write this blog, to paint the paintings and doodle the doodles. I have done this my whole life, I don’t really know why, or how, or where it comes from, and I do have my ideas, though they are theories, and may or mat not be the actuality. I look back at all the years I been making art, the tribulations, the trials, the hardships, the joy, the battles, not to mention the worry I have my Mother has gone through, all my family for that matter, and don’t even get me started on the financial woes and living the life of a gypsy, which has come with its own set of worry lines and cores feet in my facial features. I have every reason to be down, to want to give this up, to walk away, and do the safe bet, go back to school or get a job and make some money, maybe that is an option, and I do not want to say it is a bad thing, it’s not, I just know that art and I are the best of friends, family, and we keep each other company, especially during the dips. I acknowledge that I wear my heart on my sleeve, why, because it is who I am. When I set out on this exploration to Athbasca I wanted to leave all my worries behind me, and even up to the last minute of departure at the boat launch I had my reasons to be stuck in the past. After being interviewed I remember looking out at the water, watching Darcy warm the engines, and the crew load the gear, I was taking it all in, because that’s what an artist does. There is hardly a moment I am not in mode, though I admit that I do make attempts to sidetrack myself, even sabotage myself, just so I can say that I did something other than art, or that art was not my only motivation or purpose, but it is. I look out at the water, it’s flow is slow, easy, almost hypnotic, the light glimmers on the surface as the the sun rises in the east, pouring its love in Mother Earth’s direction, how lucky we are to be here, how special this place really is. It’s easy to lose that moment, when thoughts enter the mind, pulling me back to the trials I have been through, the worries, we have all been there. It’s easy to attach to those times when we wished we had done something differently or we sent a wish to the nighttime sky for something to give. That first day I stood on that river’s edge, I had lots on my mind, I remember looking out at the water and thinking to myself, let the water take those thoughts, let them go. It is something the early Buddhists did, observing nature and learning from her, the lessons easily missed if you were not paying attention, concentrating without effort, which is also what art is. When you concentrate you are relinquishing all that distracts you from who you are in the present moment and what all those people out their in the known universe are thinking or feeling about you during that moment. You are with yourself and yet completely tapped into the everything, the mode, the flow, like the river. Finally I hear a loud, ‘Shane!, let’s go!’ It takes me back to being a child again, where I grew up, a forest, maybe not quite like this, it was close to the city after all, yet to me it was wilderness. I found myself getting lost out there, and not in the sense I was ‘lost’, no, it was more like losing myself, being one with the place I stand and breath. I guess it also my curiosity, something I know I have never lost, it is what brought me here, to this place, even though I am the artist who was casted to play myself on a river adventure, along with Ania, which I wonder what she must be thinking right about now, did she see it the same way? I don’t know. So this was a moment I had, or should I say moments, I think what I really felt was what the Hawaiian’s call A’ina, ‘child of the land’, I laugh to myself because though it is Ania, it’s pretty close to A’ina, thats how my brain works, a reveal into the head Mahaloness, I smile to myself and make my way to the boat….
Side note: my writing is unique to me, it doesn’t always come out easy and I admit that my grammar is interesting to say the least, it’s real, all my stories are, they come out as they do and if there is a sudden change from past to present to future, it’s no problem, I always try to bring it around, or at least fill the gaps in and that’s also who I am mostly in real life, I am here there and every which way and than some, so it can make it challenging to be in concentration and I think thats something we can all relate to, I hope this makes sense. I will be continuing the river story, I am in the process of finding a home, I have been living like a gypsy and a gypsy is not always welcome in ones home. Until the next, Mahaloness
FotoMahaloness: the scene before departing on our river journey, and the modern Tara, a painting by me made last year, for you, enjoy.