Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Built of a Dream

I enter a room looking for the exit. Going through one door and out another. Stepping into a corridor that bends into a hall and clamoring up a narrow stairway that leads to a smaller opening - which I squeeze through with dispatch. Relentlessly, forging ahead, instinctively navigating these spaghetti trails as they unwind before me, these nighttime rambles into the meanderings of my mind usually leave me spent from the amount of effort it takes to arrive nowhere. And yet, the ending comes.... abrupt and complete....and arrives about two in the morning... when I awaken with a start.

Just as encompassing are those uplifting somnambulant moments when a loved one enfolds themselves into my arms, bringing sweet memories of scents and touches that were nearly forgotten. At other times, material riches would settle into my grasp with such authenticity that their disappearance upon wakening would leave me saddened and unsettled, whereas, consequently, the joys of an accomplishment or creative insight would leave me lifted and bounding to the drawing table with a new sense of direction and drive.

Dreams are not something you can control, whether those fashioned in your sleep or during your awakened hours. They are pursuits that drive you forward, and at best, they are a vague outline of what that fulfillment will be. Desire to achieve them is often all the fire one has to realize them. Like suddenly appearing doorways, circumstances and people appear to provide direction, guidance and opportunity, when you least expect it, which may take that dream into an entirely new dimension. As in sleeping dreams, the road is also mired with distractions indulged too easily, and fears accepted too fully, yet, even in the fall of these moments, the ability to persevere wipes a slate clean for fresh starts that carry none of the deficits with it.

Having embarked on my own dream of sharing beautiful works of art, it has had many twists and turns - that have been shaped by SO many of you - that I feel like a work of art myself. Sculpted of caring and appreciation, support and advice, resources and connections, we all stand as a testament of how one’s dreams are built by others. You all know what you have shared so freely and lovingly and what wings you have given to others' dreams. For the gift of an artist, you are the gift.

The dream of meetings in Brazil continues to unfold, with promises for follow up and introductions to equally connected individuals, and a commitment to return with more works of art. The image included here was one that has provoked numerous positive responses.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rising Early

The sweetest bright red watermelon, with a ton of black seeds, just satiated my dehydrated body after an hour long walk along the coastal promenade here in Salvador. My leg muscles continue to struggle to find a state of repose where a sort of numbness seems to have struck them. The beachfront had already reached a level of full out activity - with swimmers and joggers in full swing, boaters and fisherman preparing for the day's catch, with "barraca" stands opening and coconuts being tossed and served as drinks to passerbys - and it is only six in the morning. The high flying sun at this hour provokes one into action least one has to suffer it's potentially charring effects later in the day. My own drenched t-shirt stands as witness to the rising heat of the morning and the rushed pursuits of the early risers.

Drawn back into the pleasure of summer, we find ourselves again fulfilling a life here, that knows nothing of winter and it's restrictive practices. The clothing has been shed again and the protective maneuverings from the cold are temporarily forgotten in the swirl of hot sun and warm water. My paintings done in this tropical paradise have provided another reason for our visit this time. Through the concerted efforts of Carson Philips, we will meet with leaders in the architectural and interior design world here, to present the work and exchange ideas for collaborative opportunities. Our first meeting was with one of the foremost architects, Adriano Mascarenhas, designer of luxury homes, apartments and public buildings - with many magazine covers to his credit - and one of the first architects to bring the groundbreaking new "green technology" in building to Bahia, similar to "passive house" technology out of Germany. He is certainly one to be considered for your next building project or interior design.

We will end this string of meetings, in a week's time, and head directly for DC to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama. Like many of you, it will be the first time we have ever considered going to such an event, least of all, actually going to it. This convergence of like-minded people in the capital for a celebration and not a protest, is nothing short of earth shattering, for many of us, who have had a more passive relationship to politics and our government officials. Joe Steele will be there bringing his style and wit to the planned events he'll attend, with a focus on fostering cross-cultural humility and fluency, in all aspects of business and government. If you'll be at the Black HBS event at The Mandarin, please check him out.