Today is Thanksgiving. Of course I'm thankful for things that most people are thankful for: family, friends, cool coworkers, my health, my loved ones' health, and all the usual things you read on FaceBook. And I can't write about Thanksgiving without mentioning something important. Yes, I'm standing on my soapbox right now. Although this is a holiday that for me, given the true history of it, has caused me to have mixed feelings.
I'm writing about something else I'm thankful for: Art. (Music and the visual arts more specifically).
Throughout my life, beginning as a young child, music has been there for me in difficult times and beautiful times. My earliest musical memories are of listening to my parents' Beatles records. Adamn good way to start. I remember the first time I listened to Jimi Hendrix (my jaw dropped), Bitches Brew by Miles Davis (which I can only describe as an abstract painting expressed in audio form), Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" (My jaw dropped again), and the "grunge" musical movement of the early 90's (Thank you for rescuing the radio and MTV from 80's hair bands).
Later, through learning and playing guitar over the past 20 years, I finally found my musical instrument home that always feels right. And thank you brother for buying your first guitar, because that FINALLY got me to buy one too. And thank you Giuseppe, a total 80's hairband-type guitar genius shredder, so NOT my musical style, but so much fun to listen to and watch play and learn from, who after seeing me play chords in his apartment over and over again while "studying" in law school, said something like: "You need to learn how to solo!" Yes....... yes I did. And I learned to solo (improvise) and thank you for firing me up. Thank you band mates Vinnie and Patrick. Our jam sessions and "gigs" have been and continue to be such a blast. Indeed the best rock band to ever play in my basement (It doesn't matter it is also the only one)......
More recently in 2015, I began a journey through the visual arts, mainly through abstract paintings. Again art was there for me through very difficult times and now beautiful times. The local artist community (including The Delaware Contemporary, The Newark Arts Alliance, Cecil County Arts Council, Carson Zullinger, Daniel Jackson, Pamela Skwish, Emily Artinian, Lauren Elizabeth, Antonio Calzada-Charma, Caitlin Gleason, Maiza Laurent Hixson, Michael Kalmbach, and so many others) have embraced my work, nurtured this self-deprecating self-taught artist, and exposed me to creativity I had never seen before. Thank you family and friends for supporting this journey into the art unknown.
Thank you art and thank you all. Thank you for inspiring me to think beyond traditional boundaries. And to always remember that art is beautiful. For what it is and what it can do.