A few years ago, I took a late winter drive down to Florida with a friend, Eric. My mother was staying with her brother in Plantation (about 5 miles west of Fort Lauderdale), and Eric left me to spend time with her by the poolside. I would meet up with him on the west coast later in the week for our trip back north. I packed a box of paints, brushes and 8 composite panels. A painting a day to while away the long afternoons before dinner. Then I’d cook to pay my keep and play gin with my mother on the patio. Afterwards, I would roll out my sleeping bag on the patio floor, insisting that I sleep “outside” so I could smell the warm night breeze. I needed a temporary out of a brutal Upstate NY winter.
It was almost a holiday. One day we drove up the coast to bury my stepfather’s ashes in the sand. One night a tornado touched down less than a mile from my patio barracks. I slept right through the commotion. The United States is one of six countries on earth that has not legislated a mandatory minimum paid vacation leave. The other five countries: Tonga, Palau, Nauru, Marshall Islands, and Kiribati, have a combined GDP of 1.3 billion dollars, 1/162 of Jeff Bezo’s total financial worth, which is 201.8 billion dollars. There are unions that advocate and often receive paid vacation time for employees, however all paid leave in the U.S. is left to the discretion of employers. That’s why a penniless painter thinks he has to paint and cook with his hair shirt on no matter what the season and whether or not there is any work that needs to be done. He labors on holiday because he has never known leisure. He/she is a trained ant. The super majority are caught in a false, soul-destroying work paradigm. Even the creative people honor an ethos that Rockefeller championed before cars were invented. We have a work psychology problem. Painters go on vacation and paint pictures. Plumbers lie by the pool and order parts for the job they hit running the following Monday. Nobody pretends to be free here without some semblance of shame.
Anyway, these are the rest of my works on holiday:
Thanks for visiting!