Thursday, March 22, 2007

Calendar Series: 58th Month / Talking About What Is Not Broken (1989)

The following is how the two above images, which had been on one sheet of paper but cut in two and rearranged, were framed. Just now, I took this photo of a page from a yellowed photo album with my digital camera to try to show what the framed piece looked like. I wish these images were more clear.

On October 16, 1989, I began driving south to Northern California for my yearly visit with my parents and sister. Usually I drove to Roseburg or Grant's Pass, Oregon on the first day and on the second day I would cross the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge at about 5:30 in the afternoon.

That year, however, I had decided to travel down the Oregon Coast instead, spending my first night in Cannon Beach, my second night in Gold Beach, arriving in Northern California on the third day of my trip. As I was checking into the motel in Gold Beach after dark on October 17, I heard the news from the television behind the desk in the lobby that there had been a major earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area at 5:30 p.m. and heard that part of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge had collapsed. There was continuing footage of a darkened San Francisco with only scattered lights.

When I went to my motel room, I turned on the T.V. and began to cry. I was born in San Francisco and lived most of the first 24 years of my life not far from San Francisco. It was the first place that I loved. My sister had just bought her first house in Martinez. One of my friends from college lived in Santa Cruz. I had friends in and around Half Moon Bay. I was shocked by the devastation and watched the T.V. until late in the night, unable to sleep even though I had called my parents and sister and was assured that they were okay.

In the morning I saw film footage of crumpled buildings in the Marina District of San Francisco, the area in which my parents had lived the year before I was born and where they lived until a week after I was born.

Bob Dylan's album "Oh Mercy," had been released on September 12, 1989, and I had been listening to it as I was driving. One of the songs is ”Everything is Broken”. I painted this image with that song in mind. I could think of some things that weren't broken and was feeling grateful for them. That may have been my first "disagreement" with Bob Dylan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very good, holding your own despite "disagreement with Bob."
The feeling in your lines in your paintings is so compelling, it gets me to let the color in, too. I who normally dislike bold color, this I can feel, because of your lines. Nice work, I sez.