swing at Oxbow, MI
In 1987 I visited Oxbow for the first time amidst a short but uninterrupted group of months, maybe 7-9 months without drinking. There was always connecting tissue between living as an artist and the means I found to explore ideas mind altered. There was some necessity in protecting one self from the unknown forces upon which no reasonable act worked. I attempted everything at getting clean. I stood unsettled in 1987 and against a Michigan tree looking at the bend in the lagoon that seemed to soothe my soul. A moment of knowing, that my life as an artist was not tethered to anything other than my will, imagination, and insistence upon simply taking my own advice.
This year, (2017) I returned warmed by reconnecting to a space that settled some matters of deep stirring. I walked to that place where the tree lined up that spot perfectly for a clear view of the bend in the lagoon. This was a mystical spot I needed to mark. It was a place that helped without any real effort in 1987 other than time and distance. I built and installed a simple swing from my youth this summer. The steel and wood drawing board seat, steel chain hung, flying machines that worked to quiet my thoughts of childhood. The swing was an interrupter of grand proportions. It is there now for 30 years maybe, for those to sit as they cast their eyes upon the bend in the lagoon and make their wish.