Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More about Stayton

What do I like about this place in Stayton?
The little town of Stayton isn't as interesting as this house out in the more rural outer edges. I think my interest starts with the history of the place. Stephanie stayed at this house for a few years when we were dating and so I would make the ten hour drive or the 16 hour train ride and get to this cabiny place where all we could do is hang out with each other. You just relax and talk, it's really fantastic to do that. We've made it an important part of our lives to continue to go out there for that very reason. I go there to get away, to escape, and also just to let everything that's happening in the city disappear for a little while. I think it's healthy to do that; in no way is it irresponsible or lazy of me. My life and my relationships are way more important than whatever job I have, or whatever art project I'm working on, and going to Stayton allows me to remember that priority.

The family that lives there has 4 daughters, all of whom are within about 8 years difference of age and all of them are about the same age as we are. They also all married some really cool guys so sometimes we go out there and there's just a big party type thing happening. Other times we go and we are the only ones in the house, that is nice too. Stu, the father, has built his own wood shop and he's making flutes and wine bottle stoppers. Patty is probably the most hospitable person you'll ever meet.

Back to priorities and work though, I think artists often feel that art is the most important thing in the world and they think that art can solve the worlds problems. I don't think this is true. Art seems like a religion when we start talking about how important it is. I'm wondering if I should just see it as a job sometimes. The things I do in my art practices I think are didactic and they model a behavior that I want people to consider incorporating into their own lives. Not beer drinking, but the act of cultivating a relationship. The drinking beer is just a means to get there, and when I pair beers together, the pairing is just a representation of a relationship. There's more to it than that, but if I had to put it simply, that is what I do with those beer events. The difference between my experiences and reasons for going to Stayton, and my reasons for putting on beer events is that with Stayton, I'm not trying to create a project out of that. I'm not formalizing it as work. I might formalize it as not-work, or leisure, or a vacation someday but it is not work. The beer stuff is work, I'm purposefully doing it in order to say something to other people. I should be paid for my beer events, not for my time in Stayton.

I hope this all makes sense, i'm just freewriting and I'm not even going to edit what I just wrote...

I don't really have a dream house in Stayton, although I would love to live out there. I absolutely love the house that I visit regularly, as well as some of the houses of the their neighbors. I would love to have enough money to buy the house from the family when Stu and Patty die or something. That will be a very long time from now, so no worries. If the kids all decide to sell that house, it would be perfect if I could buy it and give it back to them in some way.

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