Can undeserved suffering beautify? One could consider Jesus, our would-be messiah, I suppose, who departed so crushed and forsaken.
We see stigmata everywhere, in the commonest corners. Here is the battered tailgate of a pickup truck that was owned, a few years back, by my friend Thomas; he, a gifted artist, a flinty outsider, a fiery communitarian, and, like Jesus, a skilled carpenter.
The accumulated patina - an action painting of sorts in the de Kooning mode - records Tom's daily struggle to earn a living and evolve on his own terms, while skirmishing endlessly in life's relentless hailstorm of unexpected disappointments and undeserved hard luck.
If you met this fine soul, you would observe how grappling with the helter-skelter each day has, over the years, called forth in Tom a singular grace and a steely resolve. Also, how it has taken a toll.
TITLE - "Tom's Fight"
WHERE - San Francisco, California (2015)