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#!?#!? Getting real……….moments of truth

The following is an excerpt from my journal *public, I’ve stayed away from my journal for a number of reasons over the past 4-5 months mostly because the things I needed to experience I needed to do so without being in the eyes of the public. Sorry bout that. Any how this entry is a bit science(y) but it speaks directly to “Pain with Parkinson’s” this was a topic is hoped to never write about again’ matter of fact it was the driving force behind me starting this blog nearly 3 years ago. Any how here’s the entry. I’m going to try really hard to not write about my personal life outside of PD because honestly nobody wants to know what I do behind closed doors lol.

The following entries are a daily recording of my journey with young onset Parkinson’s disease. I don’t sleep check, format, edit my thoughts or words so if harsh language or people being blunt isn’t your thing then by all means go away ;) I will not be discussing or journaling my private life in these pages as those are saved for my eyes and those whom I can trust implicitly. I do how ever feel it’s important for the people who read this later after I’m gone to understand what it’s like to really live with Parkinson’s disease these Are all the things a patient such as myself could never say in the measly 45 min twice a year I get with my specialist team
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The following entries are a daily recording of my journey with young onset Parkinson’s disease. I don’t sleep check, format, edit my thoughts or words so if harsh language or people being blunt isn’t your thing then by all means go away ;) I will not be discussing or journaling my private life in these pages as those are saved for my eyes and those whom I can trust implicitly. I do how ever feel it’s important for the people who read this later after I’m gone to understand what it’s like to really live with Parkinson’s disease these Are all the things a patient such as myself could never say in the measly 45 min twice a year I get with my specialist team
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11/6/14 3a pst
I spent yesterday in bed, sans a small but costly time at PT. I’ve been really depressed lately and it been so hard or impossible to stay focused. Honestly my symptoms have me a bit worried an what’s worse is this isolated little paper tucked away in a website for of a million words is where I decide to tell my story. Sad really.
Pain let’s talk bout pain for sec, pain with pd presents itself to me in2-4 ways. 1. Stiffness. You may be thinking hmmm, but stiff doesn’t hurt does it. Noo it’s the moving after …. Say a whiplash or a major muscle strain. Well now imagine ever single one of your muscles down to the tiniest fiber feel strained.. Got it?? Now imagine that your body wants to do two things PD make your body stiff the medicine make you move = pain. So yes by proxy being stiff hurts ….a lot.
2. Neurological pain. “Central pain” For me this presents itself in 2 ways deep and excruciating muscle and bone pain like the worst Charlie horse you’ve ever had..ie: I once had my left calf “flex” for 3 days… Yes that hurt!!! So basically the signals in my brain forget their purpose and end up doing or telling the body the wrong thing..
3. Neuropathic pain… This one is really fun I’d say that over 3/4 of my body has a greatly diminished sense of touch or feel. So pd takes away my sense of pleasure am has replaced it either pain or a complete lack of sensation to pleasure, pain, heat an cold. Which in some cases can come in very handy ;) and others well not so much. Well that’s my ramble for the day. I’m sick at home with a sinus infection, I’m in 8-9 pain and I’m depressed. It’s not the prettiest story but at least I’m alive to tell it.

10/30/14 3p

Maybe I’m going to keep writing here maybe I’m not, I haven’t decided yet… I started this blog to find people of a like minds and it has taken me on a wonderful an most painful journey of my life and now I find myself wondering what to do with myself. My Parkinson’s is worsening my cognition is slipping and I often simply feel like a bemused observer with in this life. I’ve been feeling so disconnected to my life for some time now. Though it’s odd bc the second I stopped running from my life was the second I was found. And now I find I don’t know what to do with myself. How do I combine the monster and the man, my demons and human fragility with the passion that rips my heart and emotions apart daily as watch this body die…. My life, my heart, my perception.
Benjamin.
10/17/14 1-2am pst
I’ve started sleeping in the studio, it’s far past the time where I immerse myself back into my work and passion.
~~10/8/14 10:30p pst
Hmmm having one of those moments where someone says something that bugs you and you can’t figure out why……. Kind of a uncomfortable feeling. I think I question my happiness everyday. This “new” life is so thin…..
11/6/14 3a pst
I spent yesterday in bed, sans a small but costly time at PT. I’ve been really depressed lately and it been so hard or impossible to stay focused. Honestly my symptoms have me a bit worried an what’s worse is this isolated little paper tucked away in a website for of a million words is where I decide to tell my story. Sad really.
Pain let’s talk bout pain for sec, pain with pd presents itself to me in2-4 ways.
1. Stiffness. You may be thinking hmmm, but stiff doesn’t hurt does it. Noo it’s the moving after …. Say a whiplash or a major muscle strain. Well now imagine ever single one of your muscles down to the tiniest fiber feel strained.. Got it?? Now imagine that your body wants to do two things PD make your body stiff the medicine make you move = pain. So yes by proxy being stiff hurts ….a lot.

2. Neurological pain. “Central pain” For me this presents itself in 2 ways deep and excruciating muscle and bone pain like the worst Charlie horse you’ve ever had..ie: I once had my left calf “flex” for 3 days… Yes that hurt!!! So basically the signals in my brain forget their purpose and end up doing or telling the body the wrong thing..

3. Neuropathic pain… This one is really fun I’d say that over 3/4 of my body has a greatly diminished sense of touch or feel. So pd takes away my sense of pleasure am has replaced it either pain or a complete lack of sensation to pleasure, pain, heat an cold. Which in some cases can come in very handy ;) and others well not so much. Well that’s my ramble for the day. I’m sick at home with a sinus infection, I’m in 8-9 pain and I’m depressed. It’s not the prettiest story but at least I’m alive to tell it.

10/30/14 3p

Maybe I’m going to keep writing here maybe I’m not, I haven’t decided yet… I started this blog to find people of a like minds and it has taken me on a wonderful an most painful journey of my life and now I find myself wondering what to do with myself. My Parkinson’s is worsening my cognition is slipping and I often simply feel like a bemused observer with in this life. I’ve been feeling so disconnected to my life for some time now. Though it’s odd bc the second I stopped running from my life was the second I was found. And now I find I don’t know what to do with myself. How do I combine the monster and the man, my demons and human fragility with the passion that rips my heart and emotions apart daily as watch this body die…. My life, my heart, my perception.
Benjamin.
10/17/14 1-2am pst
I’ve started sleeping in the studio, it’s far past the time where I immerse myself back into my work and passion.
~~10/8/14 10:30p pst
Hmmm having one of those moments where someone says something that bugs you and you can’t figure out why……. Kind of a uncomfortable feeling. I think I question my happiness everyday. This “new” life is so thin…..

So there ya have it a glimpse into my heart, mind, body and soul. A dying man trying to find his way back to happy or at least something that makes me feel connected to something in this life….
** so please remember to always Be Brave, Be Bold and thrive in the life you have. You never know when it’s going to change…. And it will…

Benjamin
2014
“A life in progress”

**sneak peak
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First Paint+1

The end of summer and beginning of fall are always a time of great reflection for me. The days start to grow colder and shorter, the leaves here in the Pacific Northwest begin their change from green to gold. The world looks back at the summer days and longs for one more night.

One more sunburned kiss one more most amazing sunset ever.
**Special thanks to Ottawa for the sunset memories**
Lately I’ve been focusing on two pieces. Both born from a previous commissioned piece.
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#1 green/yellow/blue currently I’m not releasing the title.
And a close up.

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So far on This piece just the back ground is done. It’ll still add some primary aquatic color and texture.
The second piece is I’m colors of passion…. Or as I see it.

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And a little up close and personal pic.

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This piece will be completed in this style:

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I’ve also been re-touching an older oil piece. This was one of the first Abstract “mother and child” pieces I did starting back in the late 80’s early 90’s. This piece used to be 4 feet by 4 feet then one day durning a cross country move~ disaster struck…..a rip in the canvas.. :( this small 18-24 section is all that was salvageable. In my opinion it’s title and image still stand the test of time. It’s an embryonic view of mother and child.

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Well folks that’s about all I’ve got for you today. I hope the world has been kind to you all and you to it. Please remember to always.
Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have. You never know when it will change… And it will.

Always
Benjamin
2014
“A life in progress”

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Studio Tours~ 2014

Good morning, afternoon and evening. I know… I’m bad :( it’s been to long since I’ve posted. In my defense life has been far larger than myself as of late. Between trying to get into a rhythm here at home after what feels like 8 months of travel and having the studio tours in mid swing. Things have been going fast needless to say.

Here is quick look at what’s been going on.
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A nice selection o prints.

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A different view.
I have to say the studio tour was pretty cool. We had about 60 people come through over a two day period. Some how going into this weekend I thought I’d have time to paint during the tour but in reality I spent most of the time talking with guests which was absolutely fantastic. I did however manage to get started on this piece:

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And the customary close ups,

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And one more for good measure,

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Though the weekend had some trying times all in all it was a great experience and something I certainly plan to do again next year. So what’s left for the rest of this year? Well I’ll be hiding fast here at home, no more Ottawa,Saint Louis, New York or UK trips planned for this year. I’m thinking some nesting as start to Dream of Autumn

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I was going to send this piece to a friend but that time has passed so me, a nice cozy warm studio some home cooked meals and a mountain for paint~ Sounds like a perfect way to hide away and create the next collection of work. As always I have to thank those if you who have stood by my side over the paste 5 months. You’ve seen me go through the hardest times in my life and from the very depths o my soul…. I give thanks. I’ve made friends I never thought I’d have and lost friends I never thought is lose. But as the dust starts to settle I’m finding myself embraced here locally in many ways, simply it’s good to be home and good to be back to wordpress.

All my love,
Benjamin
“A life in progress”
Some words:

Colors blend as lines / roles fade and meld into the symmetry of
Form, shaded by candle light giving the knight hope.. Keeping
The mind and souls demons at bay…. Such heart, does this ink bleed for ones taste in the mornings rain.
Lilies, soft and white give grace to day… The soft scent lifts to a place where only your name can be wrapped in words of trust…….
——

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Salt~ eich bod yn torri fy nghalon

There is a time and place for everything they say…..
And tonight brought tears to my eyes.
The crickets here in the upper northeast are in full swing tonight
And I’m missing someone very dear to me. Someone I’ll probably never see again in this life and the crickets seem to know.
I took a walk up the lane after supper only to find myself drifting in thought until I came across the “Blarney Stone” playing my sweet Irish tunes live in the pavilion. The little ones were dancing as the elders tapped their toes. There were smiles all around except in my eyes. My music, me being made up of a bag of welsh and Irish. As the crickets softly sing.
eich bod yn torri fy nghalon
No tune can shine these blue eyes tonight. No smiles can lift a broken heart.
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Some losses are to great to bare alone and some are simply to great to bare.
Tonight’s a night I wish I was stone. Cold and could turn it off make it go away. Bury my pain in a pit and walk away, run away as fast as I could…. If I could….I would….
But instead I write here to you all of you to bare witness to these things of mine that should be put in a box and tossed in the basement with the mementos of past lives… And maybe with some luck they will be, but not tonight. Tonight I will cry with the crickets and drink with the devil. And my god forgive me in the mornings light.
The end.

B~xx

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11 sleeps and 4 hours

Soon I’ll be on my way for one last trip, one last visit to the Kemper museum one last trip to the local coffee house. At least I can say with no confusion or misguided communication that Saint Louis has treated me very well. I’ve been out 3-4 times over the past few years and have always been treated with the utmost respect and care. It always makes me a bit melancholy when a chapter in my life closes but in this case the door that closes is just re opening in another part of the world and I’ll be more than happy to follow that path. Please join me in looking at the collection of art that came from my time in Saint Louis. Similar to the Ottawa collection, but dare I say a bit more impact full.

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Commissioned work

Commissioned work

So today I give a special thanks to my friends in STL for your unyielding friendship and constant support in my journey, my heart and my Art. See you in a week or so to help close one door and open another. Well there’s no time to rest. I delivered Healing Waters yesterday and today is one of the few days I have free. So as always Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have.

Much love and thanks to those of you who have supported me without hesitation, I couldn’t do this without you.

benjamin

2014

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The process~ lotus flower Day Two

Rising above the situations in our lives that cause us pain you’d think would be easy right? It’s kind of a knee jerk reaction, you touch something hot or sharp you’d think one wouldn’t continue that behavior right? With physical stuff it’s easy, sharp=cut=pain= not touch :-/
But with emotional stuff at least on my end it seems not to be that easy. Could be the pd meds could be that I’m an idiot who thrives on self abuse (more likely) either way it’s an interesting journey to be on. To observe my emotional openness and vulnerability yet at the same time desire to close everything and simply fade away.
This morning I spent some time working on more glazing and micro layers of yellow and white.
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This was after 12 plus hours drying time and 4-5 more layers of varnish.

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Since these photos were taken I’ve started the second layer of texture used to create the Lotus flower itself but those pics are for the next installment of “The Process” I had the pleasure today of hanging one of my larger painting “The Long Road” at a friends restaurant/tap house.

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Well that’s about all I have to share today. It’s been kind of a rough PD day which tends to make me feel a bit more alone than usual. As always Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have.

Much love,
Benjamin
2014
“A life in progress”

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Thoughts

“If the feelings of love and adoration lasted as long as the words one uses to express them there would be far less heartache in the world.”

Benjamin
2014

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Giving things up~(words and paint)

It’s been so long I don’t remember the exact time or your I just remember you swinging from the bridge and I knew you had gone. A double noose did the trick preceded by euphoria and a needles prick. Gently in the summer breeze swinging so gently blowing in the trees. I did the right things and called the right people gathered them all to our neon lit steeple. I spoke at your wake and started to cry for I had just watched a part of me die.
*** Ode to Michael Shannon Douglas, I miss you Mike D. Sure could use your advice these days.

Today is a really huge step for me personally, emotionally. I’m giving up my call. Giving it back to M so that she can use it to better cultivate the family we started some 17 years ago. As a huge part of me breathes a sigh of relief to not bare the burden of the things that come with car ownership I’m also reminded of what Parkinson’s has taken from me. I’d held into the car after we separated so I could see my son after school but those things have now changed and my need for societal expectations has grown. Now today I give up one of my last personal freedoms, sure I can take a taxi or rent a car and in time assuming my body allows me to continue to drive I can get another car but for today, right now it feels like another thing to add to the list of things PD has taken from me. My career, family, my car. I don’t write these words out of self pity or woe is me, for they are just simple truths of my life and the journey I find myself on.
Today I will tend to my new home and try not to think of the things I want in my life, today I will try to simply be thankful for the things I have. Tomorrow I leave for Ottawa again to see if there if anything left to cultivate in my relationships with some amazing people I’ve met there, I will paint and write, love and learn. That being said, I hope wherever you are and how ever this finds you that in your life you too may always. Be brave, Be bold and thrive in the life you have. Trust me things will change, they always do.

Much love an light.
Benjamin

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44….One more for the road….

A special thanks to all of you who have helped make my life worth living. May all your days and nights be forever filled with the love and light you’ve brought to mine.

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I’ve tried to not post pics of you personally but hopefully through some of these images you’ll know who you are. Though there are some faces I’ll use no names. One thing and do know this, if your reading this then you where meant to.

Namaste
Benjamin
2014

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New Start….New Studio*** Rant

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Many of you know about some of the most private details of my life at this point..

Some of you would even say I’ve over shared…
I guess that’s the beauty of what happens here we all have a choice. To come together under a common bond and share the joys and
sorrows of each others lives. Some to comment, some to watch from the shadows and judge. Either way I made a decision when I first started
blog to be open. Many people forget that this site didn’t start as an Art blog but as my personal journal cataloging my life and struggles with coming to
terms with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease. This journey has taken me around the united states and abroad I’m happy to say I’ve shared every step along the ways, the good the bad and the very ugly personal truths of my life that in reality many of us share in common but would never put out there the way I do.

I’ve said it before and Ill stand by it. I’m a man, no different than any other with the slight exception that I paint and write my heart and soul for all to see. I end 99% of my posts with a kind word. And I pose some hard questions and thoughts because I believe that one man and one voice can change the world.
Art and words have lost their meaning and I will not stand for it another second. For if YOU will not Be Brave and Be Bold or Thrive in the life you have….. I will. If given the chance I would take your hand and shout your name from the roof tops to show the world your brilliance and compassion. Live your words or don’t use them at all. At this point I’ve lost all of it. My job, my career my home and my family and Ill be dammed if I’m going to silence my heart and soul now.
I just received word that I’ve been accepted into a local art co-op. 4 floors of prime down town retail, commercial and loft living space. A place that is positioning its self at the edge of creating an new feel a new scene thriving and ready to make Art believable again. Any person can put brush to canvas, lead to paper and glue a stone to a ring. But only a few can create through there passion to express that love, fear and strength through their art. So again I say…to you.
Be Brave, Be Bold and Thrive in the life you have…
No… life is not easy for any of us. But if I can live through the things I’ve seen, done and had happen to me then you can too. I believe in you. I’ve seen your strength, beauty and passion.

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That’s all I’ve to say.
Namaste
Benjamin
1970-current
“A life in progress”