Clever Seattle Artist, Shanti
It's been far too long since I posted anything in my little blog here and with Lent upon us once again I have been motivated to revisit the project.
A couple weeks ago a man came up to me as I was walking to the bus and asked if I had a car nearby so he could wash my windows for some grocery money. Well, I didn't think the bus driver would accept his offer but it had been a while since I had helped anyone so I offered to get him dinner. He had already ate but now I was committed to help so I upped the ante and said we should go get him some groceries. An hour and a little bit too much $ later I was helping him carry too many bags back to the bus. I helped him load them on but didn't accompany him further so I hope he managed to get it all home okay...he got a little carried away, and so did I, because it was his wife's birthday the next day so he wanted to get her cake and ice cream in addition to all the other stuff he needed.
He was a very talkative guy and told me all kinds of things as we perused the isles. He admitted being a hopeless drug addict and a bit of a con artist but insisted that he wasn't taking me for a ride. I told him I didn't care if he was, everybody's gotta eat. He told me would pray for me for a month because I helped him out so much and I told him I'd reciprocate though I think I've dropped the ball a little bit on my half of the bargain. He also told me he was a paranoid schizophrenic...he had to explain this because he kept pointing out this guy who he insisted was following us around the store. It was a bit comical (he thought so too) but the feeling he had was quite genuine.
Anyway, all that was just supposed to be a side story leading in to why I hadn't sought out any more meals since the beginning of Lent...my budget can only handle so much...but today my attention was attracted by a street artist on my way to the bus. Once I started talking with him about his art he seemed almost a street performer as well, he had a very smooth way about him...even with the slightly crazy, political personality.
Ultimately I bought a $7 sticker of his artwork (but I only had $6.25 on me...I felt bad ripping him off but he insisted it was okay)
When I asked him if I could post a copy of his image in my blog he said okay, so long as I mentioned this:
H20/Fire, two great things. Without which you couldn't have "coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or my favorite, soup."
I couldn't quite quote the whole thing verbatim but I got the important part right.
He was a great guy, I hope I'll see him around again, if for no other reason than to give him the $.75 I owe him...
Some of his art was extremely thoughtful and he had great explanations for the symbolism. I'm not really much of an art fan, I picked this one because I liked the colors I guess but he has a great way of putting very poignant messages into his artwork that, unfortunately like much in the art world, may need a little explanation to the simple minded like me but is still brilliantly done.
Anyway, if you're ever walking through Seattle and spot an older middle age African American, surrounded with art and missing his front teeth (and if you have a few minutes to spare) stop by and take a look and a listen to what he's got for sale, it's well worth the time.
Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of this blog again here...if people are interested still (???) and share some more good stories.