Thursday, March 4, 2010

Running Away With the Gypsies

Life's pressures get intense don't they? It helps to have an escape hatch. Mine has always been to run away with the Gypsies if things get too wonky. A dear artist friend told me yesterday, she may loose her house, but "is looking forward to the adventure of sleeping under bridges, or living with the Gypsies."

My mother told us kids that we were all dropped off on the back porch by Gypsies. I believe her. It explains an awful lot. For one, I like the idea of singing to your draft horse and wandering the back roads. What could be better than cooking an omelette on an open campfire with fresh picked sage or rosemary?

The Gypsies, or the Roma people have music that fires the soul. When I hear it, my feet literally can not sit still. You must dance or die. In their music, they have somehow captured untethered Passion. Pathos. Yearning. Joy. The Pizaaz of life in spite of the miseries.

A couple of my favorite movies along this vein: Gypsy Caravan, Latcho Drom, and The Pied Piper of Hützovina which stars the irrepressible Ukrainian punk musician, Eugene Hütz, who with some of his band, Gogol Bordello, also starred in Liev Schreiber's film Everything is Illuminated.

So what's your escape hatch? You could put on big silver loop earrings and you would be halfway there. Locate you inner Gypsy. Do it. Dance when no one is looking, or better yet dance when they are. If your folks won't level with you, ask your grandparents, "Was I brought here by Gypsies?"


Karin Corbin said...

You sure you didn't really dream of being a cowboy? Seems the better fit.

Protege said...

Ah, this post speaks to me. I grew up and around Gypsies or Roma people. There were whole villages full of these beautiful people, but often very poor people, in Slovakia.

Unfortunately the were very oppressed, but they were responsible for some of the most beautiful music created.
My father always said he would have loved to gave grown up with Gypsies. My mother joked that my sister was found on the side of the road abandonden by Gypsies as she is very dark and actually, the family story goes that my mothers mother, my gradmother aftre which I am named had Gypsy blood in her.
The most romantic vision in my mind is one of me in long flowing colourful dresses, barefoot, on a warm meadow dancing with flowers in my hair...
I guess that can qualify as my escape hatch.;)

Lovely writing and pictures.;)
Have a great weekend,


A mermaid in the attic said...

Ahh, I have always dreamed of running off with the gypsies! The closest I have got I think is a 5 month trip with my family all around Australia in an old '67 Ford Falcon and a little caravan when I was was the most wonderful adventure. I would love to take off again in a real vardo wagon and leave my troubles behind me...I already have the big silver hoop earrings and the gypsy skirts! And there is that old family story about one of my (convict!) ancestors who came out to Australia in the late 18th century being a gypsy...apparently she had long, long black hair and was the tallest woman on the ship! I shall fire up that chinese fire horse of mine, dye my hair red again, and find my gypsy out world! Thank you Richard! ;-)

Julia Kelly said...

Up in Minnisota, my Danish farming family always kept the gypsies at bay-probably blaming them for every missing tool- my mom at 5 years old stomped down the drive with a baseball bat because she heard the gypsies were coming- but hearing the stories I all was thought it would be fun to go see them!
I love your soft water colors- are they from your archives?

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Karin, of course I dreamed of being a cowboy. I even had chaps and a holster with two cap guns, and a hat, but for some reason no horse. Hmmm...maybe that's why I never got far.

Thank you Zuzana, I wondered if you might have seen or known Gypsies growing up where you did. Slovakian dance are some of my favorite. And the Roma influence on the music in other countries as well, like ,Macedonia, Romania, Hungary etc.amazes me. Dancing barefoot in a meadow sounds perfect.

Mermaid, I love '67 Ford Falcons. And pulling the little caravan to go camping around Australia sounds delightful. You should write a story about that Gypsy convict ancestor who was taller that anyone on the ship. I can see her clearly.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Julia, your mother chased people off with a baseball bat? How did your hubby every court you? Yes, these drawings are from my "archives"--crow quill pen and ink (Dr. Martin's Dyes- Antelope brown for line work) with washes of either more dyes or water colour.

jesse joshua watson said...

My escape plan has been (at least for the last decade and a half) .... LIVE BY THE OCEAN. If I need to I have a wetsuit and a long board. I'll paddle my white ass to Borneo (or at least a mile and a half out to sea before I panic, try to get back to shore, then die of terror when a thirty foot shadow passes underneath me).

فشكووول said...

Good evening, artist
It is an act nice to be offered your life to the service of humanity as Khmdp pet animals
For a world of peace, love and tolerance

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Jesse, watch your tootsies with that thirty foot shadow under your surf board. Yikes!

Salam. Thank you for visitingفشكووول السلام عليكم

A mermaid in the attic said...

Richard, rather synchronistically (I think that's the word I'm looking for...or possibly serendipitously?!) I went to see Tony Gatlif's ('Lachto Drom') latest film on Saturday night, 'Liberte', about a gypsy family trying to survive WW2 in France. Based on true events, it's a wonderful film, wonderful music, though sad, sad subject matter. I thoroughly recommend it.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, Mermaid, for telling me about the movie, "Liberte". I look forward to seeing it. Interesting about these synchronicities in life, isn't it?

ruthie said...

Richard, oh a perfectly apt post for me too! since i was a child i have been fascinated by the ways & tales & songs of the gypsy folk, in my heart i should love to sleep under stars & travel the wilds & be close so to nature. I have not heard of the films you mention, i am intrigued. thank you

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks Ruthie. The tales, the songs, the travel, and a closeness to nature and "the wilds" does hold such allure. I remember your photo of the Gypsy King tombstone with the coins placed on top for the journey. Fascinating. The films are good ones and contains imagery that you might expect, but also eye opening.