Lifting Up the Lasters

c.m.l. art
If my memory serves me right (and it may or may not), we first met the Lasters – C.M.L, Grace Kelly and Ruby – in March 2007 in Seale, Alabama at an art sale/party called the Doo-Nanny.

We journeyed to that remote event on the recommendation of Robert Seven, and for his invitation we are forever grateful. That year, the Doo-Nanny art sale happened during the day up near the mayor’s office by the highway. We were blown away by the art we saw and the colorful artists who made it. We felt like we’d discovered our people.
charles laster

Later that night, a party was held on Butch Antony’s back porch. The evening began with everyone watching homemade films projected on a sheet hung from a tree. Then Krekel, Joe Edel and I played music for the small but fabulous group gathered there. There was plenty of dancing and shenanigans. It was a magical.

We’ve never been the same since discovering our Doo-Nanny family that day.
grace kelly and ruby

The Lasters are an important part of this family. Talented artists and enthusiastic music lovers, we connected with them instantly, and we continue to be admirers of their art and how they move through the world.

Making a living as an artist can be very challenging. In a sea of mass produced junk, handmade art with heart often gets lost among the waves of trash. However, sailing around the country in an art car full of love, the Lasters have held true to their vision as artists, navigating the ocean of modern culture with humor and faith.
lasters art shack

The Lasters help to make our world better through their creativity and authenticity.

Now health troubles are amplifying their struggles. You can read about their current situation, and make a contribution to help them on the “Help the Lasters Relief Fund” Indigogo page. There is also a “Love the the Lasters” Etsy page fundraiser you can support.

Art lifts up our souls – and so sometimes the right thing to do is to lift up the artists.

 

photos by me

Burning

burning 1

Piles and piles and piles of paper
Documents of distant days
Days gone like the summer
Days lost to the haze

Practicalities.
Plans.
Particulars.
Logistics of life.
Notes no longer needed…

We burned them in the night.

burning 2burning 3burning 4

Setting years of old files on fire was extremely cathartic. A campsite at the beach was the perfect setting for this ritual of sorts. It took three nights to get through it all: tax returns dating back to 1995, 16 years of pay stubs, detailed calendars from our days as a touring band, etc, etc, etc. It was a liberating (and smoky) process.

I’m curious what this release will open me up to now.burning 5

The Pinball Game of the Brain

Memories. Memories. Memories. In the pinball game of the brain some memories stick around, others disappear down dark holes. Lights flash and time filters certain details out, alters others. This week I’ve wrestled with memories. And they wrestled back.

It started innocently enough – with the idea that it was time to clean some things out of my file cabinet. It ended with me in tears, sitting on the floor with piles of papers – bones of my past – scattered around me.

Somehow, with my current digitally-based documentation systems, I’d misplaced my memories of 20+ years of meticulous filing. I’d forgotten the clearly labeled, alphabetized scraps of my life sitting in my file cabinet. A time capsule of successes and regrets.

So when I opened those drawers, the depth and breadth of what I discovered within was overwhelming. High school grades. College accolades. Emotional handwritten letters. Way too many years of tax returns. Poetry. Floppy discs. Newspaper articles. Negatives. Resumes. Flyers from shows. Paperwork from jobs. More flyers from shows. Guatemalan cash. Press kits. Drawings. Lists. Young hope. Buried heartaches. Lost dreams.

There was something unnerving about the intensity and earnestness of my detailed organization of these papers. Who was this compulsive young woman? I felt a sad tenderness for her. She tried so hard.

Overall, looking through remnants of decades of my life in just a few days has made me feel frighteningly mortal. I’ve lived so long already. What have I done with my time? The memories I unearthed were too much and not enough. What do I have left to do? I don’t know. But whatever it is, I don’t want it filed away.

old school our fest amiphoto of me of a bygone our fest by phil cheney

spontaneous short snippets

crickets

melancholy crickets
playing their last tunes
before the chill of autumn
sends them to their doom

sunset

goat

the goat’s name was bucket
on a barrel he did stand
he seemed awful friendly
until he bit your hand

bucketon art

what is the point
of a a swirl in the sky?
the effort to hang it
to catch someone’s eye?

what is the point
of songs gone unheard?
of plaintive lyrics
sung only to birds?

what is the point
of a simple verse?
of rhythm and rhyme,
moroseness and mirth?

what is the point
of throwing time
at questions that simply
aren’t yours or mine?

swirl

A Voice Through the Door

ocean
Sometimes you hear a voice through
the door calling you, as fish out of

water hear the waves, or a hunting
falcon hears the drum’s come back.

This turning toward what you deeply
love saves you. Children fill their

shirts with rocks and carry them
around. We’re not children anymore.

Read the book of your life which has
been given to you. A voice comes to

your soul saying, Lift your foot;
cross over; move into the emptiness

of question and answer and question.

dusk

Poem by Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks
Photos by Me

Krekel Art

Jason Krekel’s birthday was this week, and in celebration here is an overdue post of a video that was made as a DVD extra for our friend Austin Vince’s Mondo Sahara movie (Krekel created lino cut art for title credits). You can follow along on Krekel’s artistic adventures at www.krekelart.com – new paintings and toys and prints posted regularly!

And here’s Jason Krekel on his snowy birthday…
jason krekel

Sensational, Spunky Seniors

My friend Lora recently shared a link to Fabulous Fashionistas, a film about six inspiring women with an average age of 80. I watched it last weekend, and was very moved. The women in the film are creating new, positive paradigms about aging. Their style and sass and optimism are infectious. From the interviews, it seems that an enthusiastic attitude and exercise are two of the key components to a vibrant life after 70. These women also all have creative outlets, including expressing themselves with fashion. I suspect I’ll watch this film again as I get older, to remind myself what’s possible.

Fabulous-Fashionistas-age80

 

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