Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Delphic Ambiguity" 12x30 inch canvas
Santa Catalina Mountains Tucson, Az.

new clipping from Hawkin's book of tales...

The song that says “…and if I ever lose my eyes, hands” etc. is in my head.  I’ve wondered about losing a limb or two. What kind of dreadful circumstance would be required for their loss?  My next door neighbor was missing half of his right hand. I was determined to not end up like him, at least in regards to his finger situation.  He lived in a one room adobe with a tarpaper roof, his wife and five kids.  A lot of mining goes on around the little mountain town way, way south of my origins.  Easy access to explosives, shallow graves and silver are the common temptations/reasons for living in those mineral-rich hills. I guess my reasons were a bit more altruistic originally but at least two of those, with time, factored large.  There was a good number of one armed, one legged deaf men in town due to mining accidents.  If I ended up like Lefty my guitar picking would definitely suffer. The up side?  I might end up with a large family.  Pancho wanted me to take him “fishing”. He had worked with Lefty, saw his fingers fly and would make the same blasting caps available to us for a small price. A little excursion to our favorite fish hideout was in order.  Gun powder and water-proof canon fuse are readily available these days. Small, effective depth charges can be fashioned pretty easily in your home shop. Back then I was reliant on our miner friends for these type of supplies.  The day dawned expectant. I had in hand a stiff paper tube about the size of a roll of quarters. It had a cone on one end with a black smudge on the tip. I guessed that was the fuse. I would try to light that first. This was a test run. I wanted to see if this little firecracker could really take off a head…of a fish.  It wouldn’t light.  I tried the opposite end, lit it on fire, picked it up and blew on the now forming cherry. I held the smoldering grey cigar in my right hand and remembered Lefty.  I put it down. I built a fire of match sticks and weeds, laid the cone into the flame and breathed life into it from 3 inches away.  It started to spark, smoke pouring out of both ends.  I quickly walked away, 10, 20, 30 steps, and turned in time to see a bright blast and concussion cloud form and accelerate toward me in super-fast slow-motion. I had placed it under a dry cow skull at the last second. The blast cloud hit my chest, sucked all the air out of me and  I watched my  shadow detach from my body.  We showered in cow head dust. I have all my fingers.