American Expressions rolled into my family farm in Greentown, IN for a week long stay. It has been a couple years since I'd been here and my father had a few chores for me. Shocking. It has been a nice retreat from the road, very quite and allowing me the opportunity to catch up on design work for future projects. A pleasant stay, but nonetheless a reminder of why I live elsewhere. I did have the chance to get the feelings of some Indianapolis residents on the flag at the Cheerce Festival in Fountain Square. Many thanks to my long time friends Gwynn & Tony for taking time to catch up with me and promote my project.
The Cheerce Festival is in its second year and they have high hopes of being an up and coming event. I would say the future is bring for them, but the experience was lack luster for the flag. It is always the old adage, location, location, location. The event planners had the vendors 2 blocks away from the venue, despite assuring me that people would be coming by. It didn't take long for the rest of the vendors to relocate to the action, but with truck & trailer, I was planted. I met a few people and had some good interactions, but I became a hobo depot with every urban outdoorsman looking for a handout. I must have had a dozen "veterans" see my flag and express their love for our..."hey can you spare some change?" Normally on the tour I have dispersed a handful of coins from my coffee can, but the word was out AND I was parked right outside the liquor store. Talk about local economy. Once I started seeing & hearing the same hustle, from THE SAME DRUNK, I knew it was time to go. I had spent 8 hours working this crowd to get a few expressions, many extolling the virtues of thug life. Not every stop is going to be amazing. I must remember and rely on my dedication to this work and seeing it through.
This stop in the Hooiser state has really given me time to reflect on what I am doing. Something about coming back to where you came from and seeing people you've always known deeply churns my psyche. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate the support of my friends. Mr.Marsh, The Gerry Masse family, Gwynn & Tony, each of them understand the risk I am taking, each of them shared their admiration, and they know it isn't easy. Thanks to all of you because it keeps me going. As the tour rolls on, your support helps keep me charged to see this work through. This homecoming has brought me to my foundation.
This is my dad, Lindan B. Hill. This guy has been the main influence in my life since the beginning. He could have stamped me with the same provincial Greentown perspective, but he didn't. When we examine where we come from, what experiences we had, the shaping and conditioning of 'how to live a life', we get to see the components of personality. My youthful experience was forged by two forces: our family work ethic & my Dad's liberating spiritual journey. Fortunately when I was growing up my Dad decided to question authority, I mean the BIG authority, as in, "what is the function of God, religion, & spirituality in our lives?" This meant we left the little Christian church down the road and started driving an hour to attend a Unitarian church in Indianapolis. This was an eye opening experience for me because it was mid 1980s and in this congregation were homosexual couples, worshiping God no less. Mind you, the tiny enclave we come from still has issues with individuals rights to love who they wish. My Dad broadened our family's perspective because of his own search for meaning in life and in doing so expanded my understanding at an early age. But, as it were, the organized religion of the Unitarians was still a mouthpiece for someone else's interpretation of what living was about. Dad's continued research informed our family through the written works of Carl Sagan, Carl Jung, and most importantly the writing of Joseph Campbell. I clearly remember seeing the cover and reading his "A Hero with a Thousand Faces" because it had Luke Skywalker next to a Mayan hieroglyph. Through my Dad's spiritual journey, I developed my own meaning of life and purpose, which is a very big portion of why I'm doing what I do today.
"The privilege of a lifetime is getting to be who you are". Thanks Dad.