“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Thursday, March 21, 2019

MORE SCENES FROM HACIENDA HOGAN


As a writer--also as an artist—I spend a lot of time sitting. They used to say that was to way to succeed, nail your ass down, and write, write, write. Unfortunately, I've known a lot of people who took that advice, ruined their health, and dropped dead just at it looked like all their years of hard work (and sitting) were going to pay off.


I can't really sit for very long. I've always been restless. After sitting and typing for a while, I get the itch to get up, and shake out my creaky skeleton, that get creakier as time goes by. And sitting too long actually hurts these days.


So, I regularly get up, and take a few laps around the inside of house. I also do yoga, stretches, some light weight work. Somehow it turned into an exercise routine. And it must work, because my doctor said I'm in “tip-top” condition for my age. Maybe I'll live long enough to see my hard work pay off.


But now, and then, the weather gets too nice to shuffle around inside, so I go out into yards, that here at Hacienda Hogan, are the gardens of my wife, the fabulous Emily Devenport. They are chock full of plants, artifacts, and geological samples. Wandering among them fires my imagination. Often, I end up grabbing my phone, and taking pictures.


I never liked traditional photography, with all it's fussing over settings and chemical complications. Digital with it's point-and-shoot simplicity is more my speed. “Photography is Zen Buddhism,” as William Burroughs said.


Maybe it's my art education, but where other people see snapshots, I tend to see more than ordinary reality. I come up with surrealist compositions, poetic statements, even cartoons.


It gets me in trouble when I try to do documentary realism, nonfiction, or mainstream anything, but it makes my life so much better.

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