My life is a country-western song played backwards double time in the desert. No water.
A literal giant-of-a-man said this, a painter, who has stopped by our humble glass studio the past few days. We're calling him an angel with broken wings, standing at nearly seven feet tall and filling an entire room with his energy, his enthusiasm, his passions. I see him as one of those people who takes into his self absolutely too much all the time, with few filters, and he suffers for it. He's wounded and deeply perceptive, and also very funny — a person who's endured the contusions of a life lived with acute sensitivity, a person susceptible to injuries of the soul.
Who is this man? And from where did he come?
Dropped from some disintegrating cloud, I imagine, carrying a sackful of oddities to show us. Yesterday it was a long worm-riddled branch, as thick his forearm, grown at one end into an extended hook. I quickly stumbled over it and cut my foot. From his bag he plucked the dictionary he received as a child from his grandmother, and read me the inscription. Today it was a book of line drawings meant as architectural examples: trees, airplanes, cars, fences, boats, etc., all delicately rendered in exacting detail.
He played his harmonica and sang, some bluesy-gospel tunes with air between the lines, spaces of silence. He told stories, some tragic, others less so, but all delivered with fire and drama and a swinging of his lonnnngggg arms and sometimes, to illustrate a point, he'd jump to his feet and loom above us like a Douglas fir in a turbulent storm, all muscled energy.
(And yes, work was going on at a frantic pace throughout!)
There's no story arc here; just a recounting of one of the many reasons I am grateful to have the job that I have. Sometimes it feels like no end of paint, glass, boxes, packing peanuts..... And then from out of the stratosphere falls this human, this wanderer, this troubled messenger who, along his path, has chosen to pause where we grind out our modest and colorful commerce.