Tag Archives: Arthard

Hat

Years ago:
I had a hat and a waistcoat.
I put them on, picked up my instrument, and went to work.

It was raw craft, at first. I had a little skill with words and so I used them to hide the flubs.
Raw craft … and then

I missed my mother. I was unhappy that she never saw me perform one effect, never saw what my hands were destined to do. I said so while shuffling cards. I made up a trick that i thought would make her laugh, could she but see.

… and they laughed. And they gasped. And they wriggled a bit in delight.
The laugh exploded and crystallized into art. Laughter through tears.

A marine. (hard and sober)
A goth chick.
A rabbi.
A homeless man.
A homeless woman.
A college student.
A lawyer.
A superstar athlete.
And several anonymous souls
… have told me that I saved their lives with my words and my art.

Tonight I made a woman weep with my stories.
I reminded her of her son
Who died …
Laughter through tears.
“He would have loved this … thank you for being who you are.”

tonight I drove home.
And I put my instrument down (for now, not for keeps)
I took off my hat and i hung up my waistcoat
and I wrote this to you.

This … is who I am.

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Filed under poetry

Fellow Travelers

“Excuse me.”

That was the entirety of our conversation. I was on my Delta flight, flying from Minneapolis to LAX, to work a week at the Magic Castle. I was seated in my aisle seat, and the young gentleman was assigned to the middle. I had boarded early, and he was asking to get by so he could get set for our flight.

I plugged my music into my ears, settled back for the 4-Hour flight, and let my thoughts drift. It’s the way I cope with long flights. Turbulence doesn’t really bother anymore, and it’s become rather routine. The modern Life of a traveling showman, eh?

About twenty minutes in, I saw him fading: sleepily leaning forward and catching himself.

And then … He succumbed. He fell asleep and slowly leaned over, tucking his head onto my shoulder. For a moment, I didn’t quite know what to do. Window seat dude gave me a bemused look like … ‘wow, glad it’s not me.’ 

I thought about waking him up, but … Something just told me to let it be. He wasn’t hurting me, he wasn’t being inappropriate, he was tired. Weary.

And man, aren’t we all, these days? 

So when he shifted in his sleep and put his hand on my chest, I didn’t mind. Apparently my cuddling abilities are legendary.

He slept, he found some peace for a couple of hours, and some human contact. Contact is good for the soul, right? I mused on why he might be making  this journey, and  what strength he might need to gather on his way. He found some peace, and I was fortunate enough to be the ‘pillow’ he found it on. 

Shortly before we began our descent into LA, he sat up and then slowly came awake. I don’t think he ever realized what had happened.

It felt good to be comfortable being a comfort.

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Filed under Public Diary

Lessons

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In my Magic life …

I have four amazing children. Amazing. Clever, loving, beautiful kids. Well, no longer ‘children’, I suppose. My eldest turns 27 this week. Wow.

Anyway, they were raised in the midst of love and art and encouraging affection. Often one of them will say or do something that reaffirms to me that .. we did okay.

My son (the youngest at 19) recently posted the below. All I have to add is: THAT. IS. MY. SON.

Braiden,  I couldn’t be more proud of you.

“So I found this little jem earlier while I was surfing the Internet. So that’s me when I did the rocky horror picture. When I did this show I had a real job. And progressively every day I’d come into work with makeup still on my face, or glitter everywhere, and at one point lipstick marks on my cheek. They always kept asking “what is that?” Or “how hard was the party last night?” You know it’s not easy to try and do what you love while working with normal people. I cannot tell you how many times I just wanted to sell my guitars and say fuck it I’m done. But some people don’t take the time to think what this world would be like without art, or crazy people like me. You’d wake up everyday and work 9 to 5 go home and have any color in your day. But if at that 9 to 5 there’s a guy like me you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but everyday won’t be so mind numbingly boring you won’t have dreams every night about blowing your brains out. It takes even the most talented artist to put on a smile and tell himself he is gonna have a good day. The least you could do is help him have a good day by letting him know the picture he paints is worth a thousand words, or the stories he tells are worth a thousand pictures. Why not start creating a life of art rather than looking down at entertainers for being artistic.”

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Filed under Blither Blather, Musings, Public Diary, View from the Pew