..........Tell them stories about your past and draw a connection between that and what's going on now....people will love it....it'll be poignant.... Oh and hello. The idea of a blog is still new to me, so please forgive my irratic entries, all my adoring blog readers. When I was a small boy, I was bent on going in the opposite direction of anything country or religious in my small town. Oddly enough, after hearing about the horror and macabre of Stephen King, I decided that his writing should be an avenue that I follow. I borrowed a collection of short stories he published, by the name of Four Seasons. They were digestable for me, and short enough that I could finish reading them at the young age of 10 or 11. The story that stuck with me most was "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". Many years later I would see it on the big screen, but as a youth, the script made an impression. First off, it wasn't what I was expecting of Stephen King. I guess I was hoping for satanic ritual, and after reading his work as an adult, I'm sure I could have just as easily stumbled upon that. But "Rita Hayworth and the Shashank Redemption" was a realistic prison story about pretty normal people. It described prison life over 30 years in 1950's America. That was new for me. Above King's gritty portray of Andy Dufrane's frail character in Shashank prison, what struck me was how King captured the mentality that the inmates had toward about the hope for freedom, and how being institutionalized can change that. As this is a journal of my studio practice and thoughts about such, I relate this quote from Red to my recent placement on the alternate list for the Graduate Program I applied to. "Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane." Hoping for a change of direction is a especially tricky, as one is always thinking about what could have been on the other path. It's almost like finding yourself in a weird service lane, when you can see the highway you want to be on next to you, over a few concrete traffic walls, and a 50 ft. drop between them. As an artist, the disapointment is almost tangible, even before a final verdict. The work must continue to be made, despite any detour or redirection. Hope can get in the way of that process. In fact, there may be little room for hope in the work process of an artist. I can't imagine anyone has ever relied on hope to get a piece done, and realistically, if the amount of hope that was had was ever quantifiable and meaningful, things like world hunger would be staved off. When Red gives his two cents about Andy's hope to be a free, he is speaking as a broken man. Although this makes him more appealing for parole later in the story, the conversation is what spurs Andy towards the climax of the story. Andy's response is classic. He says, "Either get busy living, or get busy dying", which was something Red had told him earlier. In the context of hope, despite either option, we are obliged to move forward or not all.