16 days, crossing things off the list and postal updates…

I haven’t been counting the days recently so imagine my surprise when I realized that I had only 16 days until I head back to Greece!  Amazing, really, just amazing.  I am very excited to return to Paros and the Aegean Center and begin working. It feels like I do no work here.  Although I take pictures and develop film I seem to spend more time combing through my Netflix queue and meeting friends for coffee and all that.  On Paros I have days full of reading, dark room work, digital work, artistic discussion and more that are much more fulfilling.  I also get more exercise which is good since I tend to loaf around here more than anything-and gain weight in the process.  This isn’t saying that I do not “get things done” because I do.  I have been crossing many things off the list recently and  am confident that I will be departing Ancramdale in ship-shape-and-Bristol-fashion.

The tree work and storm cleanup has been finished.  The place looks lovely and we are getting everything ready for spring, which is just around the corner.  No snow to speak of, but we are supposed to get some tonight and this weekend.  the ‘Farmer’s Almanac’ claims a big storm later in the month, but thankfully before I leave.  We shall see.  Mom’s care is all set-up and all the important adjustments have been made for her going forward for the next few months.  I have visited my father in Pittsburgh and followed through on that commitment.  The donations to charities have been made and I feel hundreds of pounds lighter than I as before–not so much material stuff anymore.  It has been a cathartic few weeks for sure.  I have also hired some new employees to replace my mother’s long-time home maintenance man.  He has been a good guy but in the past few years has begun to flake out due to burnout.  It is time to switch to those who have the resources and will to do the job.  I’ll bring the Mini Cooper up to the shop in Latham next week for a tune-up and then it will be ready to sit quietly until I return in July.  I’ll have someone drive it once in a while during my absence.

The boxes I have sent to Paros have all but arrived.  Three are on the island and have been delivered to the school, but four are still in customs, waiting to be released.  I have had to jump through some hoops to have them cleared but I think that they will be soon.  I’ll be charged a fair amount of money for their freedom, but it will be worth it in the end.  The other night I had to call Greek Customs at 3:40 AM to speak to the official there, but I think I have solved that problem.  It was not without a lot of help so, from the bottom of my heart, I thank those who eased the tensions and fears around this issue and acted on my behalf.  You know who you are!

On another note, I have so many wonderful interactions with other Aegean Center alums here in New York that I am bowled over by the solidarity.  First was the meeting at the Metropolitan with Jeffrey, Liz and the others and then the other day I met with some other former students at MoMA and the Met for a wonderful day of art and conversation.  Really great!  I am grateful to have had the time with them and thankful that I am able to do so.  Super photography, beautiful paintings and a lot of crappy post-modern junk have assured me that I am on the right path and that my ethics are true.

More to come…


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