Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

My story, or a tiny part of it

In brief I shall try to be.

I have befriended a wrecker driver at a place in Rice Village, one of the few villages left within the inner city of this megatropolis that constitutes Houston and its outer cities and suburbs, the place where I have attempted to do my physical art – they didn’t like me doing it there so am on the market for a suitable studio of no cost (fat chance). He waits, vulture like, to pounce on those who park illegally in the parking lot of this place, my ex-temporary art studio. He stands inside waiting for prey to arrive and watch for victims merrily walking off to shop in the neighbouring stores, oblivious to the fact that, in ignoring the warning of in the event of them parking there, they will be towed. He tows them mercilessly; it is his job, his responsibility, no matter how unpopular it makes him.

So there he is, watching vigilantly for those who don’t take warning signs seriously. I normally nestle in front of my computer and get on with what I am doing, digital art, or ordering my art on the Saatchi Art site, one of my two online art galleries, the other is Art Finder, or on some other task, attempting to be as inconspicuous as I can, to not draw attention to myself; I go there every day for four hours or so. Itinerant artist, truly.

He stands at the window, glaring, Gestapo like, head butted forward like a pitbull plus. Occasionally I talk to him. He is a captive audience, and I try my best to not be led into the position of taking advantage of that. We get to know each other a little. Two weeks or so ago, we are sat outside on a bench to the side of the car lot. It is quiet. At that hour, quiet in the Village, there are few shoppers. He is relaxed. I tell him a little of my private life. I feel a confidence in him, that he is real, really real, that underneath the posture of what he feels he requires to perform what is unpleasant work, is a gentle, caring human being who cares for his wife and loves his children. He tells me of some of the intimate details of his life; of how he and his wife and gone through the shallows of a difficult time to avoid a divorce: she slept with another man and he found out. This is a difficult topic for anyone, to describe a surely painful experience. But, and here is the nub, twice he says, “to cut a long story short;” twice. Here is a man in charge of his life. And he can tell his story, one that had, at the time, great passion in it. He can now tell it with the dispassion that such a difficult passage in all our lives this story requires. He sees it with the perspective that allows us to make wisdom of such events, regardless of how hard they seemed to plough through at the time.

At a later point in our chat, the conversation turned to art. He had seen me building a tower crane, a child’s construction toy, destined, when finished, to play the part in a work, not yet completed, called The New Arrival Safely Delivered – it stands my bedroom awaiting the funds for its completion. He tells me, “incorporate your poetry in your art.” I have thrice, with The Naked Canvas, Did a Single Tear Fall, and Slaughter’s Laughter, but he does not know this and it is inappropriate to tell him. Besides, dear reader, when did I tell him that I write poetry? I didn’t. The man is intuitive, perhaps deeply so.

Some time later, oh ten, twenty.minutes or so; he has told me several other stories of himself, he turns to me and says, “Tell your stories in third person, not first person.”

All this from a wrecker driver. Not something you would normally expect.  But this is how my life is now: jewels from people whom I have just met, who respond with a depth of honesty with which all of us are capable excising but for a huge variety of reasons, cannot employ, Is this how I am; to inspire in others so much confidence that they speak freely and truly to me. What greater gift could any artist wish for.

But I tell myself daily now, Expect the unexpected.” And does the unexpected happen?You bet it does. In truckloads.

Malcolm D B Munro
Monday 7 August, 2017

All of the art works of mine referred to above can be seen at Saatchi Art Online.


Filed under: Current Events

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