Dark Veil of Providence Now Online…

I have decided to start posting my first novel via my WordPress site, so if perchance you are remotely interested I have posted my first chapter via my “DARK VEIL” page. I will continue posting a chapter every Saturday, so please do look for the latest installment.

Along with this writing (far too long in the making), I have accumulated a welter of material for a second book, a more mainstream tale titled “Chords of Sorrow“. Not a particularly happy novel, but one that I think will resonate for certain souls.

As well as that, I continue to write and gather pages for my two-volume memoir, a collection of life essays that are humorous and rather poignant. And there is yet a third novel percolating in the wings, a horror tome that will certainly raise the hackles of even the most jaded werewolf.

Along with these assorted writings, I have updated my modeling page (I hope to model soon at Workshop13 in Ware come May!) and will soon post more of my recent paintings.

It has, as per my usual procrastination, been far too long since I last updated this blog. On that note do I thoroughly thank all those who wend their way to my site and for reading my words. Thank you!

Please, please do post any comments, as well as any sites where I can witness your own creations. I am always intrigued to view what my fellow artists produce, whether it be writings, paintings, or photos.

For now I bid all a most pleasant weekend, and may the artistic Muse–in whatever capacity–visit you often!

Take care. Be well. Stay safe.

Paul

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2021

Nightmare’s End…

The entire world let out a huge collective sigh as the Orange Clown Buffoon President finally exited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Not a moment too soon.

As a white, privileged American, I apologize to the masses who have suffered under this supreme Idiot, capitalizing for all what he stood for: Xenophobia, Nativism, Misogyny, Bigotry, Hatred, White Supremacy…the list goes on and on.

Thankfully, the majority of Americans realized what a complete fool resided within the walls of the “White” house for far too long and now, his hideous visage and policies have vacated the premises.

We shall see what transpires during the transition with Mr. Biden. Will he, too, kowtow to the corporate elite, the deep state who pull strings with their pillaged billions, or will he deign to buck the status-quo and deliver campaign promises?

The world awaits and remains hinged on his every move. Will he prove nothing more than a shill, a pawn to the billionaires who have plundered the world and its resources, or will he stay in the fight to counteract the juggernaut of corporate greed?

Time will tell. I think that Americans, unfortunately, delve within the ranks who believe a change is possible within the realm of Insanity. After all, what is the definition of that word? Thinking and hoping that things will change even though it remains the same, day in and day out. Groundhog Day.

May the new administration PROVE not only to fellow Americans but to the entire world that we, as a nation, can indeed engage in the grand human experiment and co-exist in a calm, comfortable, and collective sense that we are all in this together.

One can only hope.

Mr. Biden, the world awaits your directive. May you banish the meaning of insanity.

The planet depends on your next move.

No pressure, though…

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2021, All Rights Reserved.

A Good Samaritan…

During these strange and troubling and rather bizarre current times, I was momentarily brought into the reality of another human being’s suffering.

It was a small gesture on my part, but the moment of the Universe presented itself to me, something I could not simply ignore.

I could have gone on my way, to a dentist appointment, and not give a glance in the rear-view mirror.

But I did. And something had to happen.

You see, I was on my way to the Post Office, to drop off a letter in the box and, along the way, I saw this old woman struggling along the sidewalk. She had a cane, and her left leg was in a brace. I pegged her in her mid-eighties.

As I drove by her en route to the PO, I espied her predicament. Granted, the Post Office was a mere hundred yards away where she resided, at a Hampton Inn hotel. But after witnessing her struggle, I knew I had to help her.

Upon delivering my envelope in the yawning blue box, I backtracked and pulled into the Hampton parking lot. I got out and inquired if she needed help to get to the Post Office, offering a ride.

She asked if I was safe from Covid, and I inquired the same, and then I proceeded to help her into my truck, holding her arm, guiding her safely into my vehicle, two souls complete strangers.

I drove to the Post Office and helped her get out of the truck, guided her up the ramp and into to the store. She laboriously filled out a form, as she needed to post something for next-day delivery. The clerk informed her it would cost $26.75, and the woman balked, clearly distressed that it would cost so much. The clerk then informed her that if she wanted 2-day delivery, it would cost $7.75. The old woman agreed.

As she had to fill out a different form, I took out my credit card and paid the amount for her. She looked up at me and said, “Heaven still sends me angels.”

On the way back, she informed me that she was homeless, that her landlord had kicked her out of her house, and now she resided within the walls of the hotel.

I helped her back into my truck, drove her back, and helped her to the front door. She thanked me profusely, but that was not I wanted at all. I kept thinking that if it was my own mother, who is 82 years old, how I would do the same.

This poor woman, homeless, and living in a hotel, struggling to walk one hundred yards to the Post Office, how can one not offer help?

After I dropped her off and, on my way to the dentist, I thought about how lucky I am; a fine, healthy family at home, a roaring wood stove keeping us warm, a bounty of wonderful gift cards for Christmas, and a roof over our heads that we call home.

I am grateful for all that we have. The very least I could do was to be that Samaritan and help out this unfortunate soul.

As I led her to the front door, I bid her a better new year. She said, “God bless you, Son, and thank you.”

Along the byways to my appointment, I held tears in check, thinking about if my own dear mother was in such dire straits.

I hope that all who read my words think twice when passing an elderly person. They may appear stoic, self-sufficient, but you never know.

Pause. Take a break from your own life. You never know what will happen.

By the way, her name was Barbara. She wore a full length pink suede coat and jeans, with sneakers.

Barbara, I wish you well. Take care.

Copyright, 2021, Paul Grignon, All Rights Reserved.

Hesitation Blues, Part 2…

January 2nd, 2021 

The new year is upon us, and as the second of January slowly slips away, what is in store for this brand-new year, what aspirations do I have to make this year the time where I tend to my dreams. 

For too long they have sat patiently on the burgeoning back burner, piled high and trembling, wondering if more dreams would climb aboard and threaten to topple the myriad of ideas and businesses that have caused much chaos in the cerebellum of their creator. 

So, Paul, what exactly is in store for 2021? Well? Any concrete ideas to set things in motion, or will it be more of the same, squandering precious minutes, weeks, months, accomplishing nothing?

Thinking is not doing, Paul Harry. It’s not quite the same, you know.  

The time to hesitate is through, no time to wallow in the mire. So said Mr. Morrison, and of course he was quite right. Inertia, hesitation, wallowing in the doldrums, always drifting along the Horse Latitudes—for decades!–have produced…nothing of consequence. 

So what will transpire this year? How can you release the bonds of the Internal Saboteur? How can you relinquish old, tired ways that have allowed the slippage of time, kept wandering in the corridors of indecision and self-loathing, of yearning to attain dreams yet realized but then succumbing to the numbing effects of alcohol or sheer laziness. 

How many times can you compose the same old tired story, Paul? Christ, you are approaching 61 years old. Sixty-one! It doesn’t seem possible. It’s like the old Pink Floyd song, “…ten years have gone behind you, no one told where to run, you missed the starting gun...”. 

Yeah, well, is that you, Paul? Still missing the starting gun to your dreams and ideas and whatever else lurks and quavers on that billowing back burner, way back there in the gloom? 

Well? I am waiting. I am that naysayer that resides within your mind, the lunatic that currently holds complete sway. 

The time to hesitate is through. May 2021 prove to be the exception. 

I truly want to release you from the chains you have forged for yourself. 

Set yourself free, Paul. You can do it. I know you can. I’m rooting for you! 

But wait. You know, how ’bout one more drink. Make it two. And what was on TV tonight, anyway?… 

Copyright, 2021, Paul Grignon, All Rights Reserved.

Dad’s 88th…

Wednesday, August 10, 2010

In seventy-two hours from this date in time, my father will have died. How, who knows. Today, August 10, 2020, marks his eighty-eighth birthday.

Found lying on his back in the living room, feet up on a chair, as though doing some sit-ups or other form of exercise. Who knows.

I believe in private, much to Mother’s dismay, Dad always tried to maintain some form of regimen, to stay in shape, making up for lost time when he used to wear a suit and tie. And now free, in retirement, he relished his solitary walks and exercise.

Perhaps he did die from a massive heart attack, as the EMT had suggested. Who knows. But one never really knows when there is no autopsy. “Too expensive!” my mother exclaimed. “Besides, he wouldn’t have wanted that.” Ah, speaking for the recently deceased.

(An oft-told tale here on my blog, about my father, but it still resonates for me, after ten long years.)

He was whisked away to a funeral home—temporarily, mind you—before taken to the crematorium, still in his attire when he died; Nike sneakers, overly-long shorts, and a golf shirt. No, no pressed suit and rose gracing his lapel. Just the sweat stains from his efforts before his heart exploded. At least, that is what I had heard. Who knows.

The aftermath, a pile of ashes, residing in a Tupperware container, placed into a grocery bag, the whole absurd package sitting upon a dust-laden hutch. And within a week it was nowhere to be seen; the contents had been unceremoniously dumped near the driveway, the final resting place of a wonderful man after 78 years on this earth. What a lovely demise for my dear father.

Now, when I venture to Mother’s, I jokingly (not really) ask her to move the Ford Focus, ever so slightly, so I can view my father’s grave from the living room picture window as I nurse a rancid tepid cup of Folgers coffee.

St. Andrew peers through dense foliage, weeds choking the ill-advised site where the ashes of my magnificent father lay scattered. There is no headstone. There is no tiny memorial there to ascertain why St. Andrew drowns in a confusion of suffocating greenery.

To you, Pops, always to you. I just wanted to acknowledge you on what would have been your 88th birthday. How I yearn to hoist a glass with you on your day of days.

Dad, may you find peace of spirit—wherever you may truly reside now.

I love you, Pops. Always.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

The Time to Hesitate is Through…

Yes, Jim Morrison was a poet and a mystic and one who readily spoke the truth, through the fog of whatever he consumed. To you, Jim!

Yes, my time is limited. And yes, as of now, I have now not fully embraced his clarion call; I still remain in a land of limbo, questioning sundry choices and simply wondering, wondering when I can and will engage fully my artistic Muse in all that I desire.

Why? Why does the hesitation exist? Why do I continue in such folly, to continue my existence by simply…existing, without fully embracing my artistic potential. WHY?

Who knows. And who knows how many folk fall into my flotsam existence? What truly can be the supreme Impetus for change? How long can I continue to simply embrace the every day continuance of repetition before, well, before, my time on this spinning blue orb is extinguished?

What is the answer.

Well, it seems, that further contemplation is superfluous. The time, of course, is now.

And on that note shall I embrace my artistic/writing Muse, no matter what nonsense may visit me.

Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it. Feel free to post your comments my way.

Take care. Be well.

Paul

Copyright, 2020, Paul Grignon, All Rights Reserved.

The Middle of May…

Yes, ‘‘tis now mid-May and all is well in my world. My family is safe, I am doing well, despite the ever-present threat of the virus lurking in every cranny, whether I am at work or trolling the aisles in sundry shops.

It still amazes me how so many folk forgo masks and gloves and blithely enter stores with nary a care, seemingly oblivious to the pandemic at hand, carefree as they stroll the corridors not heeding the direction of arrows on the floor. Idiots.

Of late I have been contacting various artists and clients about modeling, keeping them informed that once this horrendous scourge has diminished or, has been vanquished (one can only hope), that I am still available should they need my modeling expertise.

Modeling provides yet another aspect to my fledgling artistic oeuvre, complementing my painting and writing desires, and it would be quite nice to pose once again for my artist friends, be they students, professionals, or private crafts folk.

To witness a few past interpretations of me, please do access the ‘Modeling ‘ page above. I have been fortunate to have posed for many fine and superb artists, notably Dennis Cheaney and Amy Sudarsky.

Perhaps in the not too distant future I will find myself once again on a pedestal or stage, to provide my services to artists who have, like me, been cooped up inside for far too long.

In the interim, I shall continue my writing and painting, and I bid all my fellow artists, as well as readers, much good health and peace of mind.

Until we meet again, under better and safer conditions, I bid you well.

Take care,

Paul

 

More Than Flowers in May…

There’s a British tradition of saying ‘White Rabbit’ on the first day of every month for good luck. Or ‘Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!’. But in my family, it has always been ‘White Rabbit’.

And, given my last post, lamenting the presence of the Corona Virus and all its inherent misery I thought, ‘Why not make a change in my life? Why succumb to the allure of alcohol during this pandemic?’

So, on the first day of May, I arose early and proceeded to utter ‘White Rabbit’ as I made my first cup of joe. It felt good. More so than usual. Initially, I couldn’t pinpoint what it was but then, as the day progressed, I realized I did not need that kick of alcohol in the afternoon, between the transition of twilight and dusk, where the creeping comfort of a cold beer (or warming effect of a slight whiskey sliding down my throat) was wholly unnecessary.

Now on the 4th of this fifth month, it still feels pretty good. More clarity, more wakefulness, more…presence. I realized, given my last post, that I simply wished to drown out the misery of the world, to suffocate the pandemic that threatened the populace, how I wondered if the virus could come into our home. So I drank. Too much.

But so far, not now. The epiphany struck me out of the blue and, for now, it has held. One never knows how one will react upon waking in a brand new month. The force of its revelation struck me, perhaps as a hard unseen slap to the face to wake me from my pathetic spending and consumption.

Looking back on these past few days, it amazes me how I can so easily slip into the realm of alcohol, to simply accept its calming effects, to place greenbacks on the counter in order to slip away from the worries and concerns of both the world and home.

I think, but I can’t be certain, that it remains the latter that has proved most effective in my giving up alcohol for the month of May. Thirty-one days of sobriety. So far, it has not been too difficult. Yes, the witching hour of 5pm still exists, but now I do not mindlessly travel to the liquor store after work, for a few beers and a handful of shots, and consume them without relishing the taste; simply to blot out the day, the nonsense of the world, the sundry happenings at home.

Now, with this clarity (I am quite certain I wrote about this in a distant post) I can readily ‘see’ the absurdity of succumbing to such a liquid allure. For what? For a few hours of forgetfulness, of intoxicating my cerebellum all for…what? To numb. To dissolve the pain. To dismiss, in my fog of alcohol, the inherent horrors of the world and the various machinations of nefarious cretins who threaten our existence.

It is day four of this month of May. White Rabbit is behind me, yet its simple message still resonates.

If you, too, suffer from the pull, the sweet siren of sundry soporifics, then perhaps this simple touch of folklore can help you.

Wishing you all much peace and peace of mind. To your good health.

To your own White Rabbit.

Paul

Copyright 2020-Paul Grignon-All Rights Reserved.

Dreary Virus Days…

The end of a raw, cold April is upon us and who knows what May will bring during this crisis of Covid-19? Scary times, indeed.

What have I been up to of late? Well, it is now 5:40pm on a rainy Sunday evening, my lovely wife resides on the couch watching some program, the dogs hover near the fireplace (yes, we still have fires), and the cats are draped on various pieces of furniture.

Of late, I fear I have been drinking too much. The threat and wonder of what will transpire in the future tend to make folk fearful and filled with wonder. What will happen? How many people will die from this epidemic? Why do we, as a populace, continue to be tormented by the resident orange buffoon in the White House? The idiot should be removed, preferably in a strait-jacket never to be seen or heard from again. Make that the entire lot that holds court in that sullied building at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Christ, what a joke.

I sit here, yes, nursing a 7.2% Torpedo Sierra Nevada Extra IPA. Christ, did those do a number on me last night, along with the several shots I consumed. My Beloved informed me that I barely managed to eat even one slice of pizza, before falling in bed, naked, and finding slumber within minutes. What an embarrassment and fool. And yet here I sit, with the same beer before me. Perhaps I have a problem; or perhaps I have a problem with the virus. Strange times, indeed.

My art and writing have suffered greatly. It feels good right now to compose these words. Nothing earth-shattering, mind you, but simply pecking at keys and making all the words coherent feels good. I miss writing! As well as my art. I do have an easel set up in the basement, with a smattering of unfinished canvases strewn about, but there they sit, silent witness to my lack of interest. I cannot put a finger on it exactly. Why? Why do I forgo the two things that I enjoy? Quite odd, I must say.

Today, besides going into work on my day off for three hours (hell, a little OT helps, especially during this dilemma), I managed to fire off a few emails, wrote a piece for LinkedIn, and a note on Twitter. If I can somehow fit in the trifecta with a post to WordPress than I’d be satisfied. Well, to some degree. And here it is!

Not too much else to report, except for mentioning that my family remains healthy and happily (not really the word I was looking for) at home while I work and do all the shopping.

Now to engage my spirit in my various crafts without drinking too much nor beating myself up. It does not bode well when engaged in self-flagellation with a fine quirt in hand.

For now, all take good care, and may a modicum of calm and complete health embrace you.

Peace,

Paul  ( A big shout out to my good friend, Eric Alagan. Miss you, buddy!) 🙂 :-):-)

Memories of Pops…

June 16th, 2019. My father has been dead for almost nine years now. Nine. Hard to believe.

It seems that I just espied him on the trails in Walker Pond, or spotted him at Walmart, shuffling down the aisles, his certain gait with purpled hands at his sides, his ubiquitous checkered shirt be-speckled with paint.

i remember—still—the last time I saw him alive. At our rented house, at 92 Fiske Hill Road, where Julie and I prepared a simple repast of grilled chicken salad, accompanied by a fine Chardonnay.

We chatted and chortled and soon he was on his way. Three days later, he was dead.

No grand exit from this blue marble for him. No, not even a wake , let alone a funeral. Whisked away to be burnt to a cinder and then unceremoniously strewn near the driveway, to be guarded by a statue of St. Francis and an occasional blooming lily.

I still, to this day, say hi to him every morning. And especially today it was poignant to have witnessed the wonderful flight of a heron as it passed overhead.

”Hi Dad!” I exclaimed, and watched as it languidly flew past treetops and disappeared.

”Happy Father’s Day, Pops!”

The memory of my dear father lingers, like an amalgam of hazy dreams, fond recollections of a man who taught me many things, a man I still miss most dearly.

I love you, Dad.

Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2019