letter to russia

the harmony of entanglement, oil on canvas, 36"x36"


*****

hello schtee l. fromrich,

the story of your initial encounter with grigori n. chant has solicited recollections in me of how our own group of squatters, known as hotel perdu, came into existence, into being.  the inception, the original motivation of our collective, which still drives us today, keeps us feeling vital, a reminder of the important things in life, is something i haven't spoken about with anyone, so you schtee l. fromrich my russian friend, are hearing a first...this is how it unfolded:

a few years ago i was disillusioned with many things in our current society, not the least of which was the housing situation for the homeless which was and still is pathetic, an embarassment to any society which thinks of itself as advanced or civilized. after spending a few summers helping out at soup kitchens, overnight shelters, housing for battered women and becoming educated with the entire political mess surrounding this necessary and obvious societal problem, i decided to check out, leave the city, become one with nature. in the middle of a summer night, i decided to give up my loft, my art studio, to sell off and give away all of my worldly possessions and struck out, jack kerouac hitch-hike style, headed up to the north of canada, to the yukon, the land of the midnight sun. long story short, i arrived in whitehorse, yukon at the end of the summer, set up my camp at the tip of an exquisite small natural jetty jutting out from the yukon river corridor, north of the outskirts of whitehorse. i spent the rest of the summer in my small tent on my own small private cape coming and going into whitehorse for food and supplies. i purposefully never bought or read any newspaper, didn't listen to the news, if a tv was on in a bar i immediately left,  had no interest in the politics of this world. my days during this period of my life amounted to a basic regime: wake up, stretch yoga style at the edge of the river with the rising sun, meditate for 1 hour, walk, brew some coffee, eat a little, write, sketch in my journal. everything after this point was improvised. when evening came around i would often fall asleep hand-in-hand with the setting sun, to the sound of the river, the sound of wilderness. one night late fall i awoke to what must of been a hurricane or tornado or typhoon. powerful winds, mighty winds, roaring winds. could hear my cooking utensils clanging around, getting tossed by the currents, thrown around by the elements, could feel my tent shifting, sliding, billowing in and out with the gusts. i decided to unzip the door, have a look, saw branches, frying pans, boots flying all around, before i could say wtf, was blonked on the forehead by a pot, knocked out cold, woke up in my tent to silence, to sun, to stillness.

so, schtee l. fromrich, i have to cut my story short today as my battery on this laptop is about to need recharging. so, until next time, i bid you good luck, look forward to your next correspondence.

your canadian artist friend.

*****

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