Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Sometimes I wonder where money comes from and where it goes...Not just my money...ALL money.  I recall a song from a little known Broadway Musical (Tenderloin) that is about money changing hands:  "Oh you got to pay the Dentist for a tooth he's gonna yank, so you go and get some money from the bank..."
The money gets handed off from person to place.  The song--and the money--go round and round and eventually, the song ends and the money ends up back at the bank.  Banks expect their money to return.  And it does.  With interest.  My money doesn't seem to return.  At least that's the way it has been.  Or perhaps it's just that it doesn't return as money but as rich friendships and a wealth of adventures.  And I guess that's the way I set it up with the Universe.
Recent Dialogue
Me:  I need some money to pay some bills and create a wonderful project.
Universe:  What did you do with the last money we gave you?
Me:  Uh, well, I paid some bills (not all of them, unfortunately) and I donated some to friends and organizations that needed money and I put gas in my car and I bought some food--including pet food and wild bird seed---and I took a grieving friend out to dinner and I paid someone to fix the heater in my kitchen and I bought new flannel sheets and well, it's almost all gone...
Universe:  So, now what do you need that money can purchase?  And how much do you need?
Me:  (in a whisper...hesitantly...not yet ready to confess to the Universe my financial needs and whims---why? I don't know)  Uh, I'm not sure.  I have bills and dreams and needs and uh, I'm not sure...
Universe:  Let me know when you're sure.  I'll see what we can do.

I'm never sure.  My ideas and dreams and plans and obligations have always outpaced my income.  A psychiatrist once told me (and this is verbatim:  "Money is a supply and you get what you need."
Is that true?  How would a Supplier know what I need or needed when even I don't know/didn't know!

When my Gallery closed (I don't like to use the "F" word:  Failed) I had debt and uh...more debt and no job and no savings and no partners.  I had my imagination and some free-floating optimism and a sense that somehow (?) everything would work out...and I was adamant that I would not make debt management my ongoing theme.  I figured out that I would have to be my own bankrupt-leaning banker.  I would have to acknowledge and list my assets and my uh...I am resisting the word...oh, yes, my liabilities!
Over the long months since Linda Durham Contemporary Art became "Linda Durham Temporarily Out-of-Pocket" I have minimized my debts...Some through payment and some through stressful re-negotiating with credit card companies.  It's still shaky. 
Perhaps that is why some people can not understand why in Heaven's Name I would be planning to go around the world.  I can't respond with the familiar retort:  "Because it's there."  That response has already been used as a "you-will-never-understand" reason by a different kind of risk-taking adventurer.  Instead, I answer by saying, "As the one and only Architect of this Life of mine, I  embark on this trip knowing that it is central to my survival as a creative and optimistic soul." 

One day, in Greenwich Village, in the mid-sixties, I ran in to my friend John Allen who had recently returned from an extended foreign excursion.  He put his hands on my shoulders and, with great emotion, he said, "I've been AROUND THE FUCKING WORLD!"  It may be the most amazing, exciting sentence anyone ever uttered to me. 
To breathe my way around the World has been a decades long dream.  As I enter my seventieth year on this planet, I know that NOW is the time for me to fulfill this dream.  NOW!  All financial obstacles and contra-indications notwithstanding!

Me:  Dear Universe, Dear God, Dear Oversoul, Dear Spirit Guides,  I need to find $12,000 to finance my round the world journey of Peace and private pilgrimage.  Please help me find a way.
Universe:  Hmmm...wondered when you might ask...Here are a few "ideas"!

Shazam!  Drum Roll!   Eureka!  Ta-Daa!  Open Sesame!!

I raised the money with a personal letter campaign in which I offered artwork from my collection in exchange for financial support.  Next, I presented a reading of MOBIUSTRIP to a generous audience.  And I collaborated with a friend on a "Kickstarter" publication project in which we raised about $3000.  I am about to sell my Rolex.  I'm going!  Somehow that psychiatrist was right. At least, he imparted a motivational message that I choose to use in an effort to get the supply needed for this wild, personal, possibly capricious dream of mine. 
And, as my friend Reverand Gayle says, "And so it is."