Mike’s family decided to have a party for Mike’s mom’s 90th b-day…. so naturally they ask me to do the invite and help Mike with gluing down 90 years of family’s photos. I would have it any other way and I am touched they think so much of including me. Better that than my uncle’s views. I do thank you for your advise and support. At 53, I was officially disowned by the Buhl side of the family. My Quaker friends were a bit surprised too… being they/we are so liberal that we think everyone is… well Uncle proved that assumption wrong. LOL.\n\nWe are having a wonderful time but Luzern was fun but no snow! It was hot and humid… very tough skiing down those slopes. Very picturesque, I’ve include a couple of snapshots. The Swiss don’t use a lot of air conditioning but this warm spell seems to be making them rethink that. The room was hot and stuffy one of the nights. Yesterday we did escape the heat a bit because it was cloudy. We strolled through old town and around the city’s old fortress walls. The views were nice but last night it cleared up and we got to see the mountain range that surrounds the city. So we got what we cam for a glimpse of the Swiss Alps. Looking for Prince William and clan but it the wrong season so we were told. Mike pointed out the ad… and I included it. I think it is a great example of the cure being worst an the ill.
Hope you’re gettin’ ready for a good weekend. Please let me know your news. Oh, I’ve included another photo I think you’ll appreciate.
Until a few minutes ago I didn’t even know that it the city existed … but it does and it rests on a beautiful lake in a valley surrounded by some fairy tall mountains. We should be in Milan in 45 minutes. Sadly our stop will only be about 25 minutes. Mike and I are having a wonderful time. Our stay in Paris and Luzern was fabulous. We aren’t trying to see everything… really we are not trying to see much at all. Mostly our schedule and what we see within the cities happen pretty much by accident.
We were in Luzern for two nights… during what we found the “Blue\r\nBalls Festival” (hmm…) which occurs every year in July. This year it fell between July 21 and the 29. It festival includes live music and lots of vendors that surround the lake, it seem to center on the Kunst\r\nMuseum Square on the edge of the lake and all along the lake in what is considered to be old town. Tons of beer… too. It seems the art crowd can hold their beer better than the old town side. The younger folk seemed to hang out on the old town side. So it was a bit rowdier… Michael seemed to like that side more. It definitely was more casual and the boys were cuter.
Well, we the first language switched to Italian so I guess we are in Italy!
We did a lot of walking in Lucern… and walk the perimeters of the old city and along its walls. It seems almost as if Walt Disney built most of the town. The friezes … I think that is what you call them that were painted on the fronts for the buildings ranged from quite traditional to what might be called images of horror. I am sure you really don’t need a moment by moment of our vacation but I just wanted you to know that we are thinking of you and Steven J. I’ve attached a couple of pictures that we took in Luzern.
We are wondering what is happening with the tavern… Everything OK? Please let us know. Michael said you promised you would.
I guess we are having Italian tonight in Florence. Yum! We are both excited about seeing Silvano on Saturday. It has been a longtime.
Hope you are well… You might think me crazy for e-mailing but this is my form of a postcard.
We made it… after a long day that consisted 48 hrs. It was hard to figure out exactly what day it was. Having taught right up to that very last minute… literally. My interactive and design class did a truly fabulous mural which was process piece of the work they did for the band–The Idle Hands. The mural was topped off by a few of the students doing their own vision of finger painting… like using their whole body. I didn’t have my camera and it was a “real happening” so it will have to live on in my memory.
Mike and I didn’t get much sleep on Friday because we were packing … I know it sounds last minute but not really. We had everything out but it wasn’t bagged yet nor discussed. That took a while.
We boarded the plane … Saturday morning at 6:40 am and proceeded to see the USA first… at least the manufacturing towns of the past. We spent about 6 hours in Cleveland and another 2 hours in Detroit. At 7 p.m., started across the eastern portion of the U.S. and finally made it to France. Air France’s service was great. The food was okay. The entertainment was plentiful. Air France gave us a chance to see our take-off by way of a video camera mounted in the nose of the plane… that was exciting. The only thing one might complain about is that the seats were like sitting on wooden benches…. they were padded but the French must have the hardest butts in the world. It felt so good to be off the plane.
We came into Paris from the airport on the train… that was a great way to start learning the local custom and a few bits of language of French we know. The ride from the Metro took about 45 minutes and I never had the chance of dragging several pieces of luggage through a subway and the several flights of stairs that those corridors consist. It was even more fun dragging the same pieces through the city’s streets. I think our walk with the bags down and through the streets of Paris lasted another 45 – 60 minutes. Luckily, the temperature was only in the 80s with very low humidity.
We got to the hotel that Mike work so hard to find… and it was wonderful. It has a very clean room, comfortable bed and even cleaner bathroom. The hotel is very nicely located it is in sector 14… I believe… but by either taking the metro or walking we are having a wonderful time. Yesterday evening we walk to Jared Luxembourg Park… sat under the shade of trees and watch an interesting game involving a little red ball and big weighted balls. I think the point of the game is to get your balls as close to the red as possible. It was a very social game and the participants were young and old alike. The park had a couple of spaces for artist to show their work… and we run across a woman’s work Rosy Lamb… really beautiful pieces where she used plaster and paint… abstract drawing/painting sometimes scratching into the plaster and at other times molding it. Great use of color, space and form!
We got up to Notre Dame as well… not to see it but just to be able to stroll along the river and people watch and the watching was great. People were everywhere enjoying the evening. We had a nice dinner and then back to the hotel. We slept well.\n\nToday we had a very nice day out and about… we did have to get our ticket for our train ride tomorrow to Lucern and then to Florence a day or two after that. We got to Versailles and were able to spend a few hours in the chateau’s gardens. Now that is a yard. Imagine having a yard that is big enough to house your wive and mistress at the same time and they seemed never to get into one another’s way. Hmm… now that is interesting.
The French are treating us very well… and are being very patient with us. I hope this finds you all well. I hope to drop a few lines now and again to you as we progress along our route. We are expecting to be back on the 16th of August.
We’re heading to Europe… SOON!
Next Saturday at this time I will be setting on a plane… Heading to Cleveland then… some where else then somewhere else… then finally Paris.
I’ve never been particularly concerned about flying or traveling before but after this week’s news I am a bit. I just can’t believe what is going on in the world and what is even more scary to me is the position that Bush and his cronies put the United States in. The thing that is even more amazing to be me is how the American people fall for the hysterics and the smoke screen that the Republicans throw up every election. The gay issue … the abortion issue and the flag. Doesn’t anyone care about family? It seems so strange to me that the Republicans have the nerve to talk about family as the supreme entity and then… saddle the next generation with debt… with a polluted environment and no health care. They are setting up an aristocratic state by doing away with the inheritance tax. Glad I’m gay … I don’t have children. Sadly, I have nieces and nephews so I must.\n\nBut AMERICA AWAKE UP!
Oh this was suppose to be about my trip to Europe… OK. Well, Mike and I are traveling by train… and will be visiting Paris, Lucerne, Florence and Umbra. In Umbra we will find our buddy– Silvano. We will be staying a few days with him. That’s him hugging my man.\n\nFrom Umbra, we will be traveling to Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Zürich and then by to Paris. I am still debating whether or not to take my computer… really have to take my camera. No video… Sketch book… and a couple of other books too. Clothes? I am hoping minimal because we can use laundries over there a few times that will be an adventure too.
This will be the first time that we have been to Europe… I think after the Euro became the currency of choice. That we make our trip a bit easier but it was fun having to be convert to the currency of our host country when we traveled before. Even though, we are excited about our trip and seeing the cities and countryside along our route, I do think we are wishing that we might have went back to Greece. We loved the Greeks and their country and islands. Santorini and Mykonos were beautiful. The beaches and parties on Mykonos were delightful. I have to say Crete was wonderful too.
Well… more later.…
Wow! This has been an incredible month… The GLBT opening at O2 Gallery was wonderful… in terms of friends and family that turned out to view three very small photographs from the suite, There Not There. Plus the space was great. The folks that hung the show were very kind. They did a great job. My work was greatly enhanced by both the curators’ choices and the work of the other artists.
With the announcement of this show came an unexpected disappointment as well. A relative questioned whether or not my art merited to be in a show. To quote my family member, “Would your art merit being shown at an ‘art show?’ Or is it being shown only or mainly because this particular show depicts works of Gay art and you are Gay?” He essence of his argument was art is art period and it is a human endeavor. Why or what’s the need for marginalize groups to do art? Ultimately we are all the same human race–it should make no difference whether not art is done by a gay, democrat, African American or Jew. Evidently the idea of the fractured society escapes him. He demonstrated that he is a Modernist–there is a clear center and very clearly defined binary opposites. The melting pot is the norm and the goal … the land of a patchwork quilt does not fit with the American concept, “Out of many, One.”
I did explain to him that although we are of the human race… there are differences relating to our gender, race, creed, religion… and alas… sexual orientation. I spoke about how each group and I know there are others… relate to the world’s signs, symbols and signifiers differently.
It seems odd that an educated man could deny that a persons experience would affect the way they view the world. That the values of one group may not be the same as the values of another’s … again based on experience or the power that one group holds over the other. What is the norm is very different from what is normal. In short my being gay, my sexual orientation is normal but I don’t fit the norm.
It is sad that this person seems to find it so important find it necessary to marginalize me to define himself and his world. During a few weeks in June, the flaming correspondence went back and forth try to bully me by flogging me with his degrees into accepting his spin that my sexuality it a choice and by choosing to be homosexual I am disordered. Ouch. And me trying to use reason and finally some inflammatory remarks to convince him that one should live and let live. If we are really interested in seeing God’s Will carried out perhaps we should seek God’s Will and preserving God’s creation and be less concerned with try to preserve mans’ institutions.
I was amazed how very black and white he saw the world. He claimed that homosexuality was not normal and I was disordered because my orientation was not normal. Luckily I am an educated man and know myself well. If he had said I did not fit the norm…I would have agreed with him… but my sexuality is normal. I have chosen to live as a gay man but it is because that is my sexual orientation. To chose otherwise would be lying down my cross and choosing denied one of Gods most wonderful creations… me. I have been created as I am… from Psalm 139:14 I know that–“I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well”….
This month included three openings… and I was asked and accepted an appointment to the Board of Director of Soo Visual Arts Center.