Source: About Last Weekend
For those of you who don’t know, I have another blog at http://www.artspiritvillage.com and that is where most of my recent posts have been. I hope you will check it out and follow me there as well.
Last Friday was a normal day for all intents and purposes. I was working on a updating a Ranch Video for a client in Southern Colorado. It felt good to be working with beautiful landscape images, especially the ones with the pretty summer clouds. This particular ranch sits on the gentle slopes of one of the most scenic mountain valleys you can imagine. The Cuchara River Valley is flanked by the massive Sangre De Cristo range to the West, and to the East, the two Spanish Peaks stand alone and literally tower over the Great Plains. As I worked on the final edits of the video I daydreamed about getting out and shooting landscapes. I had no idea that by the end of the following day my Wife and I would be far out on those great plains shooting landscapes and following clouds. I had no idea that…
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For those of you who have been wondering, we are still alive and well and working hard. Lately, I’ve been quite active with my other blog ArtSpiritVillage.com. I am hoping to get enough votes on three Colorado Photographs to advance to the next round of a national contest. I’d love it if you would have a look.
Okay, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for. After several years of dipping my toes in the current of social media I’ve arrived at a moment of truth. It’s time for me to determine if this high tech voodoo will actually do something to help me in a little shameless self promotion experiment. I’ve gotta tell you, my Facebook balance sheet has thus far been heavily out of whack to the negative.
I’m 53 years old, yet I voluntarily jumped right back into the hornets nest of adolescent social life. There must be something virtuous about putting myself out there even though it reminds me of how awkward and unpopular I was in grade school. There must be a reason why people I used to know in real life are now knocking on my virtual door and asking if I…
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There is a reason that Crested Butte has earned the alias of “wildflower capital”. Tammy and I recently spent four days visiting some of my old time favorites, Slate Creek, Oh-Be Joyful, Maroon Bells Wilderness, Paradise Basin and the Anthracite Range. We badly needed to “Re-Boot” both figuratively and literally. The Flora could not have been more spectacular and the folks at the Rocky Mountains Biological Laboratory were abuzz collecting data. Enjoy the explosion of color and remember that the greatest adventures are in your own backyard!
Monday evening, as I drove home I witnessed the most incredible sunset. A glowing orange and yellow sky over the latent silhouette of the front range. Too much traffic and visual obstruction to pull over and take a photo, I captured the image in my mind instead. I had just left my folks at the Denver Hospice Care Center at Lowry where my Dad would undergo a procedure the next morning that would make him more comfortable as he suffered from the later stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Before I said goodnight to my Father for the last time, we talked about how beautiful the facility was and I told him that Robin Williams had passed away (he loved Robin Williams). One of the night nurses graciously brought them a tuna fish sandwich to share even though they had “checked in” too late for dinner and after I left I understand that Dad ate most of it.
Oh how much it hurts to loose someone you Love so much. The grief might even cause a person to jump out of bed, start and finish a painting as the sun rises, which is exactly what I did this morning. I am compelled to paint my Father’s setting sun and this small sketch will be used for a piece that is 20 times larger. I want this memory to be larger than life.
My lengthy hiatus from this effort (my blogs) is attributed significantly to the long, long path that I was able to walk alongside my Father and Mother while in the Autumn of Dad’s life. For seven years, they had to endure difficult circumstances, one after another, all somehow related to the harm that Parkinson’s Disease can inflict. Yesterday Afternoon, Dad crossed over from this life to the next. It was the first completely cloudless day in Denver in as long as I can remember and he left this world so peacefully, so quickly that I am profoundly moved. For so long, I have wanted to write and be read; I have wanted to share the experiences that I have had in my own personal walk as an Artist and as a Son. Yet for so long, these experiences belonged in my heart and not on published pages.
My Father’s passing comes like the opening of a flood gate. I am ready to share once again and I hope to somehow kindle a flame of inspiration if even in just one person.
Even on his death bed, it would not have shocked me if my Father had awakened from his final sleep to recite word for word the following quote by William Shakespeare. “Cowards die many deaths, The Valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” Seriously, the man had a knack for reciting poetry and singing funny songs at the most inappropriate times. This time, he did not awaken from his slumber but his words are still with me.
Before I close this post, I want to share a few thoughts about Denver Hospice. Yesterday morning, before I understood that it would be Dad’s final sunrise, I wrote the following words. Mom and Dad finally found their way back to the “Hilton”. The Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center at Lowry Field is a living masterpiece. Oddly, the kind of place that makes you want to live. As my Dad would say, it is a “castle on the hillside”. In some ways you might think that such a place would be cruel and unusual punishment for those who find themselves at the exit door of life. Not So, I say! The architectural marvel is more than matched by the compassion, dignity and understanding that permeates from its walls. The halls echo in celebration of all that is good in Mankind. For me personally, this place is an inspiration. The Exhibition of artwork on display is incredible. Much care was given to select original works that might trigger a warm memory; that might remind one how precious life is. And then the admirable culture that dwells in the care center goes completely over the top. So different than what you will find in a hospital, where the goal is physical healing and profit. Denver Hospice defines success much differently, to create comfort for the body and the spirit. Perhaps the ultimate goal of Hospice is to mirror what we hope for on the other side of death. These are the things that have touched me profoundly, that have nudged the trajectory of my life in the most beautiful way.
The creators of the 1968 black and white film “Night of the Living Dead” could hardly have envisioned that one day, their handiwork would reside in the Library of Congress due to it’s cultural significance. Who would have guessed that hundreds, if not thousands of Zombie movies would would follow over the next four and a half decades, that the most popular show on television would be set in the midst of a global Zombie apocalypse. We are indeed a society with a fixation on the un-dead.
This Halloween season, we grabbed our cameras and headed to the 8th Annual Denver Zombie Crawl. I haven’t yet heard an official number but I’m pretty sure there were fifteen thousand or so participants, dressed to the nines and slipping and slathering up and down the 16th Street Mall. Enjoy the pics and be sure to check out our short video!
The Greatest Adventures are Waiting in Your Own Backyard.
Our Routine was picked up by the wind and blown around in the Colorado spin-drift this winter, and as spring emerges we find ourselves landing softly in a new life at a much lower elevation. We leave behind warm memories of living in relative seclusion at 9600 feet and we find ourselves excited about the new challenges at 5280. Denver is our new normal. Not only are we close to Family, friends and new opportunities, we are in the midst of a thriving city much different from the Denver that I grew up in. We can’t wait to reach out from our new home base, find new experiences and share them with you all right here, so please stay tuned.
Napoleon Hill once said “A goal is a dream with a deadline”. I simply couldn’t wait another day to get things moving along again, deadline met. As for the dreams, they will take care of themselves. It’s great to be back!
The lenticular cloud formations light up like a giant marquee. The stage is now set for the opening of a new season in the Colorado high country. The warm days of Indian Summer have been wisely used, the wood is piled high and the plow sits ready to push back the spin-drift in the days and weeks ahead. No longer do we lament the passing of what was, we now look to the challenge of the future with eager anticipation, knowing that prosperity is the offspring of hardship.
Scattered along the hillsides that surround the historic towns of Central City and Blackhawk you will find dozens of cemeteries, final resting places of the hearty souls who traded the easy life for a chance to pull treasure from the Earth. It can be a bit spooky to stroll through these graveyards at dusk on a cold fall evening, leaves crunching under your feet as you walk, looking over your shoulder with an unexplainable feeling that you are not alone.