Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What gets me out of bed every morning?

Alan Akman. Not Alan Akman personally because that would make it very crowded in the morning with both Alan and my wife. I get up because I want to come to Pyramid and see Alan screenprint. Or to watch Jill Parisi etching, or Anne Albagli printing, Amelia Hankin drawing, Laura Kinneberg making paper, Amdy painting, Patty Lee making books, Lindsay & Jody making boxes.

These are a few of the artists who create art at Pyramid. I see them everyday. They come in with a mission and a purpose. They could not be anywhere else. They take out their inks, their paper, their tools. They get set up and get right to work. There is never a peep or small talk. It’s work. It’s sacred work. It humbles me.

I am not a visual artist. But I get it. I understand work. I understand it because its where I come from. My dad (in the pictures above) came to this country in 1959 from Havana, Cuba. He didn’t plan to come here. There were things he wanted to get done, but one day he is in Cuba, wondering what to do tomorrow, where to go. “Am I going to have dinner at home or go dancing with friends,” he might have thought. The next day, everything changed. Fidel Castro. He was making plans to come to the US with a wife whose 8 months pregnant (my brother, Humphrey). He didn’t plan to be here long. Just until everything in Cuba settled down and then he‘d be back at work at his Dad‘s shoe store. But it never settled down and here he was in a new country with a family, broken English and a thick accent. So he went to work.

He arrived in Miami, and then went with his young family to New Jersey to work in a box factory. He made boxes. Once that job was done he came back to Miami and drove a beer truck. Then he sold chips and candy bars, then watches and calculators, then luggage, then souvenirs, then wine and finally scotch. Always working. I loved getting up early when I was a kid, like 5 in the morning to go to work with my dad. It was chilly, quiet and dark in the morning. It was just him and me. I loved spending that time with him in the morning, riding in his truck, headed to the warehouse to load up for the deliveries that day. It was a sacred time.

My dad past away 8 years ago. When I wake up early today, and its chilly and quiet and dark, I think about my dad and it makes me smile. I am going to work. It’s why I get up today and everyday and come to Pyramid and watch Alan. It’s what I know, it’s what I believe in, its what is sacred to me and what inspires me.

I hope I inspired you. Help me reach my goal by donating here, any amount makes a difference and gets me that much closer.



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