barney rosset has passed at 89.
and it came to me that at 45, i don't know what wisdom truly is, but i know that you probably get closer if you live your years and stay open minded and somewhat clear as to the fact that you want to live an interesting and engaged life. art can figure into this. cooking can figure into this...
travel, love, spreading some positive vibes, etc, etc...
in the last writing i mentioned my focus in the studio of late. i can say that about life now...
at 45 it became clearer to me what i've always heard-
what everyone always hears: life is short-- the time goes so quickly.
yeah, i've lost a lot of time and freedom for the studio practice
of making paintings and dreaming.
fine. i didn't go into fatherhood thinking it would afford me anything
but if i accept that, then it's on me to make sure
that when i get in there i am working like a beast
being totally honest with myself of what i want to paint
and how i want to do it...
an artist can get lost looking over his shoulder
at galleries and sales and collectors and critics
and other artists and what he saw last week
that he wishes he had done so long ago...
don't get lost.
be honest in the studio putting that shit down.
paint what you need to, write what you need to
and don't take on the bullshit
that anyone else might want you to take on.
don't waste your time. get up early and work out.
get home and put the coffee on and make it strong
and do whatever it is that needs doing.
eat good cuts of meat and eat as clean as you can
while still enjoying the process and sipping your vodka
or wine or cold fuckin lager. take care of family and friends--
they need you or they wouldn't be there to begin with.
read good literature. or if not good literature
read what is interesting to you regarding this voyage we are on--
don't waste the awesome power of your eyes on garbage... draw. often.
don't waste too much of your precious energy on politics--
everything is pre-decided, it's a dead circle and really--
it spins with or without you...
travel when you can. get out there... somehow.
this is probably not wisdom that came to me
having lived the life i've lived...
these are just my thoughts
coming out while my baby sleeps- hence the fevered expression.
my dear friend, paul chambers, used to stand in front of the mirror
in the locker room of the club where we taught tennis,
looking at himself, having stepped out from the shower-
convinced of his beauty.
he spent a lot of time in front of that mirror...
when we'd meet some dude in a SoHo bar
(and we always met people- women for sure,
but, being an aussie, paul would start talking to anyone),
he'd introduce himself thusly:
"i'm paul, i play tennis and fuck models..."
i kid you not.
and then he'd buy the drinks for everyone.
once, when he picked me up from my stanton street sublet
in his 930 turbo, he took the time to drive 12 or 13 kids from the projects
1 at a time around the neighborhood...
it took him well over an hour. he loved that shit.
he always said if he died the next morning he'd be happy--
he'd led the greatest life he could: he drove fast and drank hard,
charged waves and hit tennis balls like a madman.
and he fucked those models...
and when i got the word that the cancer
that took over his body killed him.
i tried to remember that.
it's taken me my life up to this point
to understand how beautiful everything is.
(i was once so young that it almost killed me.)
don't waste any time.
it's all we've got...