Kristina Furey

Painting #17A-Jackson Pollack

I have considered for quite sometime throwing some things into my blog and attaching the question, “What would you do?”  I think today is the day, we will see if this makes it to posting.

— A “fan?”—I was at a festival.  He greeted me coming off the stage.  A stranger bearing compliments.  Dan had to put his guitar away and I had to put my microphone away.  We were parked close to the stage we had played on.  The guy was saying something about wanting our CD but he didn’t have the money.  I told him to take it as a gift.  He then said he wanted to pay me and send me one of his CDs in return.  I said, “let’s just do an even exchange then.”  His reply, “What address can I send it to?”  I had a pen and paper in the car and we were headed there anyway…  Dan and I each had things to do and not much time to chat.  I wanted to call my mother and see how she was doing.  She was going through cancer treatments and they were burning her from the inside.  I just wanted to make a quick call, check in and tell her I had performed.  She had very much insisted she wanted me to go through with commitments I had and I was trying to be strong.  Earlier that week, I had posted some videos and in one discussed helping a friend leave a spousal abuser.  Anyway, I was at the car with the paper and pen writing.  My husband had headed off to take care of what he needed to do, when out of nowhere, the guy says something about spousal abuse and puts his hand in the shape of a gun, points it at my face and makes a gun sound.  I quickly shut the door to my car having just hit the lock on it and took off to meet up the people where I was helping out.  I asked a couple people if they knew him.  No one seemed to.  He was alone, so far as I could tell…   One person asked me “Why?”  I said, “He said something creepy and I don’t know if it was his idea of joking or what.”  I tried not to let my upset feelings get the best of me and I knew by the way I was feeling, I wasn’t going to be able to call my mother, she could always tell when things weren't right by the pitch of my voice or something.  So instead, I didn’t and I lied later about how I needed to relieve someone.  I mean it wasn’t entirely a lie but…
 …He did send me a CD.  Actually, I think two and $20.00 for my CD.  I didn’t want either.  I threw the CD/s in the trash, unopened and felt gross about the $20 but figured I would donate it.  

—So this friend came to visit me.  Best description I could give is very emotionally driven.  A friend, who came into my life through the door of being another friend’s, friend.  I accepted the vetting process there.  My heart went out to her.  She had the kind of life that would most likely make a person more reactive.  I could see my younger self in her and  I hoped to provide a little peace in her life.  In a pay it forward kind of way.  I’m so thankful to those who gave me the gift of patience, acceptance, forgiveness and direction, in those moments I was lost or losing my way!   Those who were kind enough to tell me to come in from the rain, wait out the storm with me, and assure me I would be okay.  This particular visit (the last) She came in, heading for the fridge, saying, “I need a beer!”  She seemed to be hostile in her conversation.  She seemed angry at me but never once said that was the case.  Yet, I had seen her angrily point her finger at me, with voice raised as she told her stories of past confrontations she wished she would have taken on or at times did.  But she would point her finger as if I was the offender and on one occasion, when we were in public,  I saw some people looking from her to me as if trying to figure out if I was being verbally assaulted or if I had wronged her.  Well, that’s was my perception…    Perhaps that was all in my head.  I will never know…   This time, like the other times, I tried my best to let her run out of steam but she didn’t.  She proceeded to drink all my husband’s beer, a six pack, the whole six pack he had just bought.  She seemed manic.  She stayed way longer than I had expected but I couldn’t in good conscience let her drive.  At some point it occurred to me that perhaps she didn’t want to be okay.  Maybe my friendship had no affect on her ability to find peace BUT it was certainly draining me of mine.  While she marinated in her anger.  I did my best to listen and not provoke.  I did my best to see things from her perspective and not judge.  I did not trust the path she was going down but I understood her desperation.  Haven’t we all had such moments, trying to make sense of what doesn’t seem fair in life?    I so wanted for her to be okay!   For her, but also for me.  I really wanted her to be okay, maybe in part because I realized, I was not okay in her company and I was placing faith in the ability of grace to give rise to grace but it was more of a dominoes effect I was experiencing and I would carry forward with me like a hitch hiker stuck on my clothes.  I made dinner for her in hopes of helping in the absorption of her consumed alcohol and when she left later in the night, I followed her home in my car.  She got home safely and without incident.  I believed she was sober enough but her emotional state concerned me.  The way I know mine has at times concerned others.  

—I was at an event.  My husband and I had gotten up to play music.  I was done with my equipment and heading back to my seat when someone “important” was sitting in my husband’s seat.  Must have been a look on my face that caused them to ask, “Oh, am I in your husband’s seat?”  I nodded, still unsure what to make of it.  I had never met them in person.  Heard about them enough to understand the “important” part.  Watched a video of them talking about people taking loans against their homes, at a shot of making it in the music business and indicating what it took financially to make it.  I’ve lost count of how many times I have heard someone say to me, “You must not want it bad enough” in regards to whatever they were selling and you know, it’s true!  Not at the expense of my peace of mind.  Not that they said that, just something that ran through my head at the idea of mortgaging one's home to "Make it" at anything, especially in something as fickle or manipulated (not sure which belief I hold.  Depends on the day I suppose.) as the music business.  My peace of mind was still trying to exorcise that hitchhiker of paranoia, I had picked up JUST the week before.  (See previous paragraph) I was just about to say something (I don't know what) in an attempt to find out the facts, rather than leave things to my creative mind, when my father’s remarks about music came to the surface in my mind.  My father’s remarks were like Kathy Bates in “The Waterboy”,  only instead of everything being “The Devil”, everything was “A scam”,  “If someone is really interested in your talent, they will find you to be worth the investment because they will profit off the investment.”  “If that’s not the case, your money is what they seek to profit of off.”  I suppose, I will never know what would have been said or if the person just needed to get off their feet for a few and saw me as just another obstacle to their own comfort. I for one have been at some events in high heels and wished I could find an empty chair to sit in.  Yes, I have “stolen” a seat just as soon as its occupant was out of sight.  

I don’t like to jump to conclusions.  I really don’t like it when people do that about me but we are humans and we crave certainty, even if we have to make it up to get it.  I don’t like to tell myself scary stories or untrue stories about people.  I want to think the best of everyone because I know that is the only belief that offers me hope.  Yet, there are days I look around and count my loses, instead of my blessings.  There are days I look around or at someone and shake my head.  There are days I lose my faith in those around me or the world and in turn myself and days when I’m paranoid of the intentions of others.  But I do try to remember there is a delicate balance to this world we live in and I was created by it, for it. I strive to serve it in my actions, for myself and for others because I understand that we are creating the circumstances in our world with our actions.    We are all the artists that constantly create on the canvas of life, whether it is ”A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”  "The Starry Night” or “Painting #17A”.  We work off of each other’s works of art, their lives and their actions.  This blog is proof of that as it is in reaction to this podcast:  https://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/656558932/bonus-who-do-you-let-in

 

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