Free beer, no sorry, free portfolio reviews…

It is past midnight.. It is late and it smells late..I leave for France in the afternoon tomorrow…I have not packed, nor have I ever learned to pack for any trip in all these years. Always get it wrong. Working on it. I am headed for four days of Magnum meeting followed by four days of Les Rencontres d’Arles arguably one of the most important international photography assemblages. After days of biz meeting with Magnum I am sure many would cut both ears off instead of one as did VanGogh in this fair charming south of France town.

Yet I always go. Never missed an annual gathering of the tribe since 1993 when I became a Magnum nominee and forever changed my life. I have already been to two photo fests this spring, am burned out on the social scene, and would not go to one now were Magnum not meeting on this 65th year in this historic Arles. The vibes in Arles buzz in way as in no other place.

My little book from 1967, Tell It Like It Is,  gets its two minutes of fame along with 10 other Magnum photographers who are participating on a presentation called “First Time”. Addressing the evening audience on July 3 with their first work, their first important work. The work that took them forward. For me this is bracketed with my recent Rio novella (based on a true story) entering the prestigious Library Actes Sud and a book signing at Les Rencontres. So my “first time” and my most recent. All the while surrounded by terrific exhibitions and evening presentations.

Burn will also have a stand where we will do free (buy me a beer) portfolio reviews. “We” being the entire Burn staff: Anton Kusters, Diego Orlando, Eva-Maria Kunz, Candy Pilar Godoy and Claudia Paladini. I do not think we have EVER had all of us together in one place. We work by remote control. By Skype. By text message (should be illegal) and by brain debilitating email. Fate has brought us all together. We are electric. On fire. BurnMagazine, BurnBooks, and BurnUniversity are all happening. Details on all will follow after the Burn gang meets after the Magnum meeting.

It all blends anyway. Magnum’s new website may unleash a whole new Magnum. For sure exciting times. Times to reinvent, times to invent, times to push push the proverbial envelope just as far as we can without losing the thing Magnum members care about the most. A place in history. A seat at the table. Burn seeks to help find new talent and celebrate the icons who may be a beacon for those forging ahead with oftentimes a wrinkled map.

If you are anywhere near the south of France June 3-8 please stop by. If you are on the other side of the world and have a lot of miles to cash in, now is the time. Everyone in this Burn audience knows well they have input in what goes on around here. Either with their voice or their pictures. Burn eliminates a lot of excuses. If you have something to say, you can say it right here and you are reaching an impressive cross section of our craft. Both the photographers and the editors and a lot of well versed serious photographer who choose photography as an avocation, rather than as a business.

I only write tonight and rambled this long to avoid the inevitable packing I must do. So let me get to it. Wishing all of you a pleasant morning/evening and ask you to stay tuned as I report from Arles in the week upcoming to flow alongside our EPF finalists.

-dah-

 

Williston, North Dakota, from the Magnum project Looking For America, May 2012

 

335 Responses to “Free beer, no sorry, free portfolio reviews…”


  • AKAKY IRL: I thought we got rid of that asshole permanently.

    AKAKY: Obviously not, dude.

    AKAKY IRL: Damn.

  • Firecracker Photographic Grant

    Deadline: July 22nd, 2012

    http://www.fire-cracker.org/#/grant/4564375679

  • Jason, it is incredibly hard to make a living at photography. Very few people do it. And it gets harder every day. The level of commitment required borders on obsession. If you don’t get up every day thinking about photography and shooting, it’s not for you. You can make better money at just about anything else. The bottom line is, how much are you willing to sacrifice personally to take photos?

    Yes, you have to understand and take care of the business end, but that’s just part of it. You have to work incredibly hard at it. Much harder than most folks are willing to work.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    JIM…I am with YOU…!!!
    and I would love to say though…Whenever there is a vision,there is a way!

    Oime AKAKIUS,oime…did u have to hit the 100?…did u:)))))))))?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Please,keep repoting…I am still reading older posts…

    you know me…it will take a week to go through everything BUT BUT I love you ALL
    and I want to see your input in regards of your philosophical views about LIFE…
    blah,blah…:)

    free beer ? I am in…and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the birthday BURNIANS!

    for our people in USA…be safe…fires and storms…and FROSTYYY…we are next to YOU!
    See PAUL,SIDNEY,JOHNYG and others came back stronger…
    cause once a BURNIAN always a BURNIAN…we are Unbeatable!

    P.S Spain and Italy…soccer is in my blood…VIVAAAAAAAAAA!!!

  • I don’t do this very ofter–actually, I don’t do this at all, now that I think of it–but since it was MW’s idea of it ain’t easy being green in the big city that gave me the idea for the following, it only seems appropriate to say thank you. So thank you, MW.

    ================================================================================

    [DRAMATIC MUSIC STARTS]

    DA—DA—DA—DA—DUM, DA—DA—DA—DA—DUM…

    ANNOUNCER’S VOICE: THE STORY YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE IS TRUE. THE NAMES WERE CHANGED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT.

    Not the previous announcer’s voice: This is the city: Brooklyn, New York. It’s not easy being green here, not in the mean streets of the asphalt jungle. Some people don’t really care about green, some people just don’t care for it. It’s a free country and everyone gets to have an opinion. When the people who don’t like green start acting on their opinions, I go to work. I carry a badge.

    It was Tuesday, July 14th. It was hazy, hot, and humid in the city that never sleeps, primarily because of all the noise and stuff, so hot and humid that even the roaches in my apartment were sweating bullets and swearing at their neighbors. We were working the dayshift out of Brooklyn South Herbicide. The boss is Captain Dan DiLion. My partner’s Bill Burdock. My name’s Ragweed.

    Bill and I were eating our lunches at our desks. It had been a busy day for the Herbicide Squad and we needed to catch up with our paperwork. I had a ham sandwich and coffee. Bill had pizza.

    RAGWEED: Are you really going to eat all of that?

    BURDOCK: Sure thing, Joe. Why do you ask?

    RAGWEED: I don’t know. I was wondering if you could fit any more toppings on that slice, that’s all.

    BURDOCK: Joe, the toppings are what make the pizza so nutritious. Otherwise, all you’d have here is a lot of empty calories.

    RAGWEED: Is there a topping you’ve missed?

    BURDOCK: Not if I could help it. I’ve got green and red peppers, onions, garlic cloves, sausage, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, jalapenos, mortadella, stewed prunes, sagebrush, two hard-boiled eggs, fried gecko, roast beef, mayonnaise, a slice of haggis, and seven fresh anchovies. That’s a complete meal, Joe, no two ways about it.

    RAGWEED: If you say so, Bill.

    BURDOCK: I’m surprised at you, Joe. I’d have thought a bachelor like you would know about this sort of thing. Saves time and energy. You don’t have to waste time cooking an entire meal and dirtying your kitchen. It’s right there for you. Do you want a bite? I have plenty.

    RAGWEED: No thanks…did that anchovy just move?

    BURDOCK: I said the anchovies were fresh, Joe.

    RAGWEED: Yes, you did.

    BURDOCK: You don’t know what you’re missing, Joe, you really don’t.

    RAGWEED: I’ll just have to live with that.

    [A harried looking man comes into the squad room and goes directly to Ragweed’s and Burdock’s desk.]

    HARRIED LOOKING MAN: Bill, Joe, can I talk to you for a moment?

    RAGWEED: Sure, Sam, what can we do for you?

    [RAGWEED’S VOICE: Sergeant Sam Sumac was a fifteen-year veteran of the Herbicide Squad and in those fifteen years he’d seen the worst the city could throw at any cop. Sam was not easily shaken, but he was shaken now.]

    SUMAC: Joe, I’ve got an old woman in Interrogation #3. Pretty bad case.

    RAGWEED: Yeah?

    SUMAC: Yeah. She’s a tough old bird, as tough as they come.

    BURDOCK: What do you have her in for? 714PC?

    SUMAC: Exactly. Arboricide, botanicide, herbicide, it doesn’t get much worse than this. The thing of it is, I’m fifteen years on the job and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so cold-blooded about it. No pity, no remorse, no nothing. A back yard full of evidence and she acts like there’s nothing wrong.

    RAGWEED: I’ve seen that type before. You’ve got your work cut out for you.

    SUMAC: I know. Joe, I was wondering—

    RAGWEED: Yes?

    SUMAC: Could you take over the questioning for a little while? I need to take a break.

    BURDOCK: She’s getting to you, isn’t she?

    SUMAC: Yeah, I guess so. I know it’s unprofessional but there it is.

    BURDOCK: Those old granny types always do. It makes you wonder how they can live with themselves after what they’ve done. Doesn’t seem to bother them, though.

    SUMAC: That’s about the size of it, Bill.

    RAGWEED: Okay, Sam. Give what you’ve got so far and we’ll see what we can do for you.

    SUMAC: Thanks a lot, Joe. I’ll bring the files right down. [frowns] Did that anchovy just move?

    BURDOCK: It’s fresh.

    SUMAC: I’ll say it is. I’ll be back in a minute. [leaves]

    [RAGWEED’S VOICE: While waiting for Sam to return with his case files, Bill and I finished our lunches. Afterwards, we played table tennis with a hard-boiled egg Bill couldn’t fit on his slice. Bill won the set, three games to two. Sam returned about five minutes later and Bill and I spent the next half hour familiarizing ourselves with the case. It wasn’t pretty; herbicide never is. Gloria Murphy was eighty-three years old and still active for her age. She was a widow and a native of County Galway, Ireland, and had come to this country sometime in the early 1950’s; the reason why she left Ireland was unclear. What was clear was her record. Since immigrating to the United States, Mrs. Murphy had racked up more than a dozen arrests for violating Penal Code Section 714—arboricide, botanicide, and herbicide. Sometime after her arrival in this country, she’d fallen in with garden clubs and other radical specieist organizations. The evidence of her beliefs was in the crime scene photos: pruned tree limbs and pulled up plants in heaps on the ground. And then there were all the sick instruments of specieist torture: hoes, rakes, trowels, and cultivators, among other things. Like I said, it wasn’t pretty.]

    BURDOCK: [shaking his head] I just don’t understand it, Joe, I really don’t. I don’t know how anybody in their right minds gets mixed up in this sort of thing. I just don’t see the attraction.

    RAGWEED: You start small, partner, that’s how it usually starts. Maybe you want to be one of the gang, you don’t want to be a square or a nerd or a goody two-shoes, so you go along with the rest of the kids when they go knocking the seeds off of dandelions. Little things like that, you know, and then it starts getting bigger with cutting hedges or mowing grass and if you don’t get out in time, then brother, you’re stuck. They’ve got you and they know it. Did you see the picture with the bags of potting soil?

    BURDOCK: Yeah. That’s bad stuff.

    RAGWEED: You bet it is. And once they’ve got their hooks into you, you’re in for it, you’re in for the whole, long, sordid trolley ride down to the bottom of the compost heap, and there’s no way to get out or get off, even if you are a nice old Irish lady like Mrs. Murphy.

    BURDOCK: I hear you, Joe, but she’ll be a tough nut to crack. She’s been at it for over fifty years now. She doesn’t think what she’s doing is wrong.

    RAGWEED: Then we’ll have to make her see it, won’t we? [Burdock nods in agreement] Okay, let’s go have a talk with her.

    [RAGWEED’S VOICE: Gloria Murphy was exactly what Bill had said she was: a nice old Irish lady. They’re the worst; they get away with almost anything they want to. It’s the accent, I think; it makes people think they really couldn’t be the monsters they are.]

    RAGWEED: Mrs. Murphy, this is my partner, Officer Burdock. My name’s Ragweed. We’ll be continuing the questioning for Sgt. Sumac.

    MRS. MURPHY: Ah, ‘tis that pleased I am to meet you, officers, but what happened to the other young fellow?

    BURDOCK: Sgt. Sumac had to attend to some personal business, ma’am. He’ll be back a little later.

    MRS. MURPHY: That’s grand, that’s grand, he’s such a nice young man, so he is. I noticed he was very upset when he left. I hope his troubles aren’t as bad as all that.

    RAGWEED: No, ma’am, they’re not. As my partner said, he’ll be back later. Now, Mrs. Murphy, did Sgt. Sumac explain why you are here today?

    MRS. MURPHY: He did, but I could make no sense of what he was saying. All I know for certain is that one of the neighbors came by while I was working in my garden and no sooner than you can say Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, here I am.

    RAGWEED: That’s right, ma’am. Your neighbor reported a 714PC was occurring at your house. We responded accordingly.

    MRS. MURPHY: Ah, she is the little tattletale, isn’t she? I knew that one was trouble from the moment she moved into two years ago. Saints preserve us, she’s a prodigious minder of other people’s business, so she is. I’m surprised you haven’t arrested her years ago, what with the way she invades other people’s privacy. She’s no right to do that, no right at all.

    BURDOCK: Maybe that’s so, Mrs. Murphy, but in this case, she was reporting a crime. That’s not invading anyone’s privacy, that’s a civic duty.

    MRS. MURPHY: Oh, go on with you now. Crime? What crime is that?

    RAGWEED: You know what crime we’re talking about: Section 714 of the Penal Code, the law that says killing plants because you just don’t like them is illegal in this state.

    MRS. MURPHY: [pleadingly] But I was only tending to my rose garden. I have such lovely roses, you know. Have you seen them, Officer Burdock?

    BURDOCK: Yes, ma’am, I’ve seen the pictures. They are lovely. But that doesn’t change anything, you know. You just can’t kill plants you don’t like to get the rose garden you want.

    MRS. MURPHY: But why not? How are you going to get a beautiful rose garden if you can’t get rid of the weeds? Where’s the crime in that?

    RAGWEED: [angrily] Okay, lady, you listen to me and you listen good. I’ve seen more than my share of you fanatical loons over the years and I’m sick of you and your specieist garbage. Tell me something, would you? Who died and elected you God? That’s what I want to know. Who gave you the right to decide which plants have value and get to live while other plants die because you have no use for them? Maybe once upon a time you could do as you please, lady, but that day is over. We live in a new world now, lady, and people like you are going to have to learn to live with it whether you like it or not.

    BURDOCK: Joe, calm down. There’s no need to jack your blood pressure up.

    [Mrs. Murphy starts to cry. She pulls a small afghan out of her pocket and began to dab her eyes with it.]

    RAGWEED: [shouts] Bill, watch out!

    [The small afghan jumps out of Mrs. Murphy’s hand and crashes into the door, exploding a moment later. Mrs. Murphy sprints out the door and down the hall. Captain DiLion rushes out of his office across the hall, his service pistil in his hand.]

    DiLION: [shouting] Check Burdock, Joe. Make sure he’s all right. I’ll get the suspect.[Runs down the hall after Mrs. Murphy.]

    RAGWEED’S VOICE: I went over behind the table. Bill was coughing and trying to get up. He wasn’t doing either one very well.

    RAGWEED: Bill, are you all right?

    BURDOCK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m fine, Joe. Just some ringing in my ears, is all. Joe, I don’t get it. How did she get that afghan in here?

    RAGWEED: Beats me, partner, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough. She won’t get very far, not at her age.

    BURDOCK: I know. Say, Joe, I still have some of that pizza left. You want to split a slice?

    RAGWEED: No thanks. I’d rather not spend the night drinking bicarbonate of soda, if it’s all the same to you. Here, let me help you up.

    BURDOCK: You don’t know what you’re missing, Joe.

    RAGWEED: I guess I’ll just have to live with that.

    [DRAMATIC MUSIC STARTS]

    DA—DA—DA—DA—DUM, DA—DA—DA—DA—DUM…

    ANNOUCER’S VOICE: THE STORY YOU HAVE JUST SEEN IS TRUE. THE NAMES WERE CHANGED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT. ON OCTOBER 9TH, TRIAL WAS HELD IN DEPARTMENT 183 OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF KINGS. IN A MOMENT, THE RESULTS OF THAT TRIAL.]

    [Inane commercials for a variety of products you neither need nor want follows. Screen fades to a picture of Mrs. Murphy looking helpless and shifty at the same time.]

    ANNOUNCER’S VOICE: GLORIA MURPHY WAS FOUND GUILTY ON SEVEN COUNTS OF VIOLATING SECTION 714 OF THE PENAL CODE: ARBORICIDE, BOTANICIDE, AND HERBICIDE. ARBORICIDE, BOTANICIDE, AND HERBICIDE ARE PUNISHABLE BY A SENTENCE OF NOT LESS THAN FIVE YEARS AND NOT MORE THAN FIFTEEN YEARS ON EACH COUNT.

    [Titles superimpose on Murphy. The titles read:

    “Gloria Murphy is now serving her sentence in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women.”

    [DRAMATIC MUSIC STARTS]

    DA—DA—DA—DA—DUM, DA—DA—DA—DA—DUM…

    [Credits roll.]

  • so quiet here today….

    http://karineaigner.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/from-pretty-picture-to-portfolio/

    started following her in instagram and currently reading her blog. I thought this article was spot on!

  • AKAKY,

    I really, really hope you wrote that extempore piece on herbicide while sitting in your office and on the public’s dime!

    (No need to confirm or deny… heh heh heh).

  • Sorry, Sidney, but something that long I definitely don’t do on the taxpayer’s dime. It would be fun, though. Unfortunately, unlike my unionized confreres in the government biz, the public actually expects me to do something while I am on the clock, even if it is only listening to a vaguely schizophrenic Puerto Rican tell me that he is a Christian and goes to church every Sunday and likes to watch women televangelists on the television at his group home. He also likes to masturbate while watching the lady preachers, which was news I could have lived without and is probably not the reaction the ladies are trying to elicit from the faithful while they preach the Word of God.

  • he is a Christian and goes to church every Sunday and likes to watch women televangelists on the television at his group home. He also likes to masturbate while watching the lady preachers, which was news I could have lived without
    ——————————————–

    http://instagram.com/p/MnwQgVBra9/

  • Panos, do I detect a certain hostility towards the spiritual realm?

  • Slightly, but it’ll pass as I’m getting older they told me…
    I truly believe that most folks eventually become a little “more spiritual” once in a hospital..
    Not joking… I personally got introduced to Buddhism ( back in the days of the movie “7 years in Tibet”)
    in a rehab… Sickness strengthens and “secures” faith…not?
    :)

  • It didn’t for me, beyond me praying that the next new drug they put me on would work. And so it does. Enbrel is made from rat protein and seems to work very well and without too many side effects, beyond a overwhelming desire to eat cheese all the time and get into the witness protection program.

  • Pretty cool short documentary about Anthony Vizzari. A vintage camera shop owner and collector:

    http://vimeo.com/31064478

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy 4th of July…

    yeeeew haaaaawwwwww!!!

    Here in Greece…everyday is 4th…oime,I need to have my blood pressure pill…
    tax return is around the corner…
    BUT
    life is beautiful
    and
    the Spirits are with US!!!

    I love you ALL MY BURNIANS…!!!

    P.S…AKAKY,which church is he going to…:)))….hihii…(to be perceived as a joke)

  • BREAKING NEWS!!!!

    Some beardy people who live in underground caves in switzerland said today that they have made the monumental discovery that a particle that is thought may exist, may exist.

    In a press release earlier a spokesperson for the beardies, sporting a lovely white goatee, said
    “It definitely looks like what we may have found might actually be very similar to the theoretical particle we think may, theoretically, be very important for a lot of stuff, even though we dont fully understand what that stuff is yet. So obviously we are very excited”

    STAY TUNED.

  • marcin luczkowski

    John,

    This is really great news. even if I do not understand anything from quantum physics (who does?) I am really excited. Will be the time when I will understand (hope).

  • The New York Times reports that this thing they may have found may be the Holy Grail. It’s last know whereabouts was in England, but it was in the possession of some bearded French speakers, so it’s not all that surprising it would turn up in Switzerland.

  • Well that’s the beauty of science… everything needs to be proven before accepted as fact… you know… the opposite of any and all faith based systems…

  • I dont know how to feel about all this:
    2 major revelations today. the found HIGGS, THE BOZON , THE most important “thing” in the world that will tell them everything…the crystal ball of the universe, everyone is cheering and i see fireworks outside, but i feel im the slowest person around… why dont i get it? why the Bozon did not change my life and understandings yet? maybe its too early?
    but if its too early why all those all folks outside the window waving flags waiting for the fireworks???
    Brisket and hot dogs and lone star beer everywhere …
    Hmmm its just like the 4th of July out there …
    Viva Bozon, Higgs paricle, future…happy 4th y’all;)

  • Congrats Bill on being Cancer free!!

  • Jason thank you for letting us know…
    Bill,congratulations and … more I can’t even put in words…!

  • Bill…
    We all here…this huge family who burns in admiration and affection to you …You can be sure we’re all happy celebrating this good news.A strong hug and many kisses on your way. Today is a happy day and my fireworks go to you!

  • Frosty, excellent news! Many congratulations to you and your colon. It’s always good knowing that your body isn’t out to get you.

  • Bill! Good to hear.
    As we in Germany say: Da ist mir ein Stein vom Herzen gefallen!
    All the best to you.

  • Thomas, so long as the stein vom Herzen gefallen doesn’t land on your foot, all is well.

  • http://instagram.com/p/MwAWOdg1dE/

    SUPER CONGRATULATIONS to DAH FOR BOOK COVER (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

  • Hey all…

    Our new website just went live!
    Take a look at the first issue of our literary magazine in matchbook form…
    all handmade and limited edition…
    Cheers…

    http://www.bookexmachina.com/matchbookstories-01.html

  • This may be a mistake, but I am now going to try to push my way through the blur and haze brought on by the intense pain and the Vicodin and the drug whose name I forget back into the bright if often dark world of Burn. “May be a mistake” because to write an email, post a comment, send a text or make a blog post has become a tortuously difficult thing to do. I would never have believed it, but it is: tortuous. I might just pass out mid-way through or hobble, screaming hoarsely or vomiting, away from my computer. But many of you have taken time to write and to say something encouraging and I want you to know I appreciate it and take courage from your words. If I leave anyone who did out, it is not by intent, but by blur of drug and pain.

    Eva, I will start with you and “Based On A True Story.” Just as I told you I would do, I had so much to try to clear up before I entered the hospital that I had decided to wait until I was on my recovery to open the book for the first time. Then, I thought, I could just take my sweet time and slowly ponder my way through it.

    On the surface, this was good logic, but only because I did not understand how truly miserable I would be and how impossible it is to properly examine a pull-a-part and reassemble book from the narrow confines of hospital bed when it hurts so much to just lay a couple of pages of it on your tummy. I had pages falling all over the place and the first person who came in to help was a very young woman a ways down on the nursing chain and when she first saw the cover and the sexy young bodies spilling out, she gave me a look of utter dismay and revulsion.

    Soon, however, the head nurse came in and immediately recognized it as a work of art right. She gathered it up and then asked if she could take it out to the nurses’ station and keep it there until she found enough quiet moments to give it a good look over. She did – and so did several of her colleagues. Afterward, she expressed her admiration and when she found out that I know Mr. Harvey personally, she raised me 52 notches up her esteem ladder just like that.

    Now I am home, with a King-sized bed. The pull-apart and put-back-together process is still very laborious and painful, but I am taking my time – a little bit here, a little bit there. It is an incredible piece of work, a masterpiece like no other. I hope you received the two defective prints I sent for you too chose from. It has been quite awhile since I mailed them now.

    Thodoris – thank you, and thank you again.

    Jason – We will, and I must get back to your facebook message that came in just as I was going out. I want to listen and see!

    MW – As you know by now, the procedure did go very well and no cancer was found. And yes, it is ludicrous that this should happen to anyone in the nation that boasts of having the best medical system in the world and the greatest wealth in the world. I am going to try to turn the situation around, though, and find a way to use it to bring myself out of it.

    Panos – I take your order seriously. I am doing my very best. This may sound strange, but several times as I lay in the dark and haze of my hospital room, I saw a little point of brightness. When I looked close, it was you! I believe everything you have said to me these past few weeks, both here and in private. It makes a difference.

    Tom, I am listening. I take your order seriously and feel good to receive it. I’ve got a long ways to go, but am on my way.

    Thanks Thomas. All the best to you, too.

    Wendy: Early this evening, I dreamed I was in California and it was warm, very warm. I was asleep at the edge of a 1000 foot cliff rising over a long beach.The cliff was made of sand and as I slept, I was aware that every now and then, a piece of it would break off and fall away, so I would scoot back a bit from the edge. Then it broke away too fast and was falling out directly from underneath me. Thinking I was about to fall 1000 feet to my death, I opened my eyes and discovered I was just on the edge of the bed – right here in my house on the outskirts of Wasilla, Alaska, my black cat upon my feet.

    Akaky – How pleased I am to see that I got to serve as an inspiration for one your characters – who got to eat Pizza, no less, just as I have been fantasizing about doing for a good ten days now. Really enjoyed the story. It made me laugh. It hurts to laugh. Oh, God, does it hurt to laugh! It hurts even worse to cough.

    Civi – I saw another point of light and it was you. Jimmy, the black cat, is taking very good care of me. He has figured out the wound and everything. Chicago cannot figure it out and would kill me with her love, so we must keep her separate from me for awhile.

    Paul, this was a case where I read the message on my blog from my hospital bed before I read you here. It meant a great deal to me to find it there. I didn’t respond, because it was just too hard. But I felt it.

    Roberta – I knew you would leave words to make me feel good. I missed the Fourth, so your personal fireworks were most appreciated.

    Well, I feel pretty done for, but even before I came here, I visited the new essays and Danny Wilcox posted a pic that hit damn close to home, even though I have not been on Pine Ridge since for decades now. I better see if I can go leave a comment.

    I might succeed. I might not.

  • Bill.
    Now that you dont have a colon how are you going to introduce us to the logical consequences of anything you state? I guess its also going to put a real crimp in your apositive independent clauses.
    And how earth are you ever going to state ratios from now on?

    But besides all of that…welcome back.

  • Oh, and you’re not to laugh. It really really hurts when you laugh. Seriously.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    What not to love…WHAT NOT TO LOVE…

    I LOVE U ALLLLLLLLLLL…!!!

    FROSTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY…you are the light too! for so many of us…
    and a fighter!!!
    Again I see the SPIRIT of BURNIANS…
    I told you that together we can do miracles…YES,WE CAN!!!

    THODORIS…I am so proud of YOU…bravoooooooo!!!

    Spread the love…be strong…life is beautiful!
    hmmm…but let me tell you…it ain’t easy to be Greek now days…back to my desk!

  • Bill, yes, I was very happy to see that the procedure went well. And I’m still outraged about the costs. Most of us Americans have horrible personal stories to tell about the corporate healthcare tyranny under which we suffer, but yours is far worse than most. I wish I could help but there’s not even anyone to vote for (though plenty of people to vote against).

    As someone who is not a doctor but sometimes plays one in the privacy of his own home, I strongly recommend you insist on your doctor switching your pain meds from vicodin or the like to oxycodone. By “or the like” I mean pain medicine that contains dangerous levels of acetaminophen. No need to risk damaging your liver over one of the most egregious examples of medical immorality/stupidity.

    And maybe you are a bit cranky. I noticed your devastating critique of Danny Frazier’s work over in the other thread, which is not like you. I suspect, however, that it had more to do with your intimate knowledge of the subject than anything to do with pain and/or drugs. I noted in the discussion about a negative comment of the Serbian work about how all too often stories I read/see about subjects I know a lot about prove misleading, if not outright wrong.

    I thought about you while reading a new book I started the other day as it contains a few references to the Apache. The story in the link is one example. If possible, you may want to look up the April 2006 edition of Arizona Highways. It contains an article on the White Mountain reservation by the same author with photographs by Jack Dykinga.

    Anyway, I hope, and trust you will, feel better soon.

  • BILL,

    Let me also offer my sincere best wishes for your speedy recovery.
    I went through something a bit similar a year ago… was found unconscious lying in a pool of my own vomited up blood and taken by screaming ambulance to the emergency room and then intensive care unit of our only local hospital. For several days I was helpless and taken care of by people whose professionalism I really respect and am thankful for. First time in my life I spent a night in a hospital. I had no medical coverage and almost nothing in the bank… I became partially conscious when the firemen medics were shoving an IV into my arm and loading me into the ambulance, covered in blood and feces, and my first thought was, ‘how will I ever pay for this?’ But when the bills started coming in, they were so ridiculously higher than even my direst expectations that all I could do was roll my eyes in wonder.
    Without going into all the gory details, it is a year later, I am largely recovered, I still have a place to live and groceries in the fridge. There have been mountains of paper work and I am not totally off the hook, but things were not as hopeless as I had first imagined. I’m lucky to be living in Washington State.
    Best of luck to you, both for your physical recovery and also for your peace of mind and grappling with the financial problems.

  • Bill, I’m sorry that the piece hurt, although I’m glad it made you laugh instead of cough. I’d hate to have to go around our happy little burg wearing a sign saying that the Surgeon General warns that Akaky Akakyevich’s prose contains high levels of carbon monoxide and may cause birth defects and lung cancer. That’s pretty much a downer, no matter how you look at it.

  • Strange coincidence that I inadvertently began reading a book that often concerns the Apaches. Just came across an interesting speech by a chief named Gianatah from probably the late 1860′s. Might even have some bearing on the Bill/Gordon discussion in the other thread.

    Gianatah says, “You desire our children to learn from books and say that, because you have done so, you are able to build all those big houses, and sail over the sea, and talk with each other at any distance, and do many wonderful things; now, let me tell you what we think. You begin when you are little to work hard, and work until you are men in order to begin fresh work. You say that you work hard in order to learn how to work well. After you get to be men, then you say, the labor of life commences; then , too, you build big houses, big ships, big towns, and everything else in proportion. Then after you have got them all, you die and leave all behind. Now, we call that slavery. You are slaves from the time you begin to talk until you die; but we are free as air. We never work, but the Mexicans and others work for us. Our wants are few and easily supplied. The river, the wood and plain yield all we require, and we will not be slaves: nor will we send our children to your schools, where they will only learn to become like yourselves.”

    It will be at least 20 years before they are broken.

  • Thanks Mike. I will join back in later as I can. Gordon has taken all my comment energy.

  • BILL

    Obviously it has been way too long since I checked in to see what was going on here in Burn Land. So when I saw your recent posts I immediately went to your blog to get the scoop.

    Oh my dear friend, I am so sorry to hear of the living hell you have been experiencing these past few weeks. At the same time I feel immensely grateful that no cancer was found.

    Now it appears that you must make your way through dreadful pain while doing all that you can to help your body heal itself. And heal it will. Please hold that thought and trust its truth during these days and weeks when healing seems like an impossible dream.

    Bill, I will be holding you in the special corner of my heart where loving energy surrounds and permeates whomever is placed there. And I will keep up to date with your blog entries so I can know what is going on.

    with hugs so light your body will not feel them but your heart will,

    Patricia

  • Thanks Patricia. Set back now. Second emergency surgery today.deep pain. I disengage for awhile

  • Bill, you’re one of the most positive people and you’re loved by all for it… stay strong man…

    On a happier note, our little Matchbook stories were featured on Design*Sponge!!!

    http://www.designsponge.com/2012/07/matchbook-stories-issue-one.html

  • Thodoris – I meant to say way back that I like those little books.

    I am back home from my second, emergency, surgery now. Boy, I really went through something! I hope I don’t have to do anything like that again, but I still got some weeks convalescing ahead of me maybe months.

    There are things I have to do to get better, and I am doing pretty good at doing them. But I find I have little energy for much of anything else, even like reading posts and making comments. I knew this would be hard, but it has been harder than I thought it would be. I am going to pull back for awhile so you might not see me here for a few days. In the meantime have fun and debate lively.

  • FROSTFROG

    so so pleased you got through surgery in one piece..no pun intended….even small surgeries take forever to get over, and yours was major…private email to you soonest, i just wanted to say hello here…

    peace, love, david

  • Bill, thanks man…
    Hope that you’ll be up and running sooner than you think…

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.