The art of gratefulness, memories…and Turkey.

Open Road

This time, next week, my wife and I will be enjoying time with her sister’s family and her father and his wife.  There is little doubt that we will all be stuffed, bloated, and a tad lazy…but then again, that’s exactly what the day after Thanksgiving is supposed to be!!!  And I can’t WAIT!!!

I’ve always loved this time of year.  My favorite memories growing up are of the times when my family would all gather at Thanksgiving, then again at Christmas.  There was laughter and tears (mostly my tears because I was being a little brat and not getting enough attention…or not getting my way.  Call it “only child syndrome”).  There was cooking, games, football, crude jokes (that’s just how we rolled in the Perrin/Allison/McKinney Clan), crazy aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, mom and dad…and me.  And we all had stories to tell.  Gut busting, painfully funny stories.

All those great times are stored in the great memory bank i’ve been blessed with…shocking that it’s still intact after all these years and after all the damage I did to it over 24 plus years of addiction.  After finally getting sober a little over 3 years and 2 months ago (which is still done one day at a time), I found that God’s Gift of a good memory had, in fact, been left mostly intact.

The small change

It’s been quite a journey for the past 3 plus years in sobriety.  I’ve learned a lot about gratitude…and an appreciation for not only the big things in life, but the smallest things.  In the past, I would have NEVER thought to take time to stop and look at the lines in a leaf, or a blade of grass, or take enough time to slow down to watch a hummingbird land.  The latter of which helped begin my spiritual journey of recovery when I was in treatment at New Beginnings at Lake Charles in late August / early September 2011.  It’s this 11th month…the month of Thanksgiving, that reminds me to be thankful, re: grateful, on a daily basis for those small things.  It’s something that, in this busy, crazy world we live in…is easy to look past, or forget to do altogether.  So, I’m going to pass along something i’ve learned…something that helps me…something I need to do more of.  It’s simple.  Ready?  Slow down and just look.  

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Back to that mostly intact memory God Blessed me with…As I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, my wife and I will be heading to her family next week for Thanksgiving.  We will be continuing to create our new memories which will be placed right next to all my childhood memories.  They all intermingle on this grand road of life…which is never a straight road.  And that’s another thing i’m thankful for.  Every curve i’ve encountered, every pothole, every uneven pavement on this road of my life…i’m truly grateful for God placing me on it.  It’s the road He chose for me…good and bad.  I’m grateful just to be able to walk down it.  It helps to have a wonderful wife, family and friends traveling with you, too!

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Memories in our mind are always at the ready for a quick recall.  But, sometimes a visual not only enhances that memory, but will help create a new one.  Above, I wrote about the laughter of family at Thanksgiving and Christmas…well, a lot of that laughter is brought about by looking at old pictures and the stories that are attached to the faded images in the aging hands of an elder relative.

This holiday season, millions and millions of photographs will be taken across the world by individuals, families, tribes, clans, organizations, etc…regardless of religion, creed, country, government, lines on a map, etc…of a special time with people who care for one another getting together in laughter and cheer.  Memories will be made.  And, years from now, an elder’s hand will point to an image…a story will be told…a new memory will be made.  The cycle, thankfully, will continue.

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This holiday season, we at PerrinStudios, would like to be part of helping you make new memories.  For portraits, party photography, weddings, special events…email info@perrinstudios.com.  We also offer a number of our photographs as prints and can print from 4×6 up to 20×30 on paper, metal, and canvas.  email info@perrinstudios.com for pricing and to inquire about our artist reserve prints.  You can also reach us by phone at 337-304-5599.

Now that the self-promotion is over…i’ll leave you with this…

I’m going to eat turkey Thursday.  A lot of it.  And a lot of cookies and pie.  I will be a bloated animal on Friday.  I will not move much.  I will be a sloth.  I will consume mass quantities and be a sloth.  I will wear stretchy pants.  I am ok with that.  That is all.

-Brice

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The art of gratefulness, memories…and Turkey.

Art…light and music.

This week saw the release of what, by all accounts, will be the final Pink Floyd album “The Endless River”.  As an AVID fan (those who know me know that is an understatement) I’ve been flooded with emotions and reflective this week about not only the album and my Floyd geekdom…but about how I got to this place in this moment in time, where I am now…the owner of a company, with my wife, whose tagline is “…the art in every moment.”

“Let’s go back, Let’s go back, Let’s go way on back when…” -A. Franklin

Growing up, I was always fascinated by colored lights…christmas lights, buttons on appliances, light bright, space ship control panels, etc.  My father even built me a space ship cockpit with little light up buttons he got at an army surplus store…loved that damn thing!!!  Anyway, anything that lit up and had color, I was digging!!  (i’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s…dig?).

There was also a fascination with music.  I had a little olive green record player that you could stack about 8 records on and I would load that thing up with the big records of the day…Sesame Street Christmas, anything Disney, the Star Wars Story album…ya know, the hits.  I would play those records day and night…going to sleep with a stack of wax loaded up.  Ended up burning that poor record player out.  But, by then I had a tape player.  Anyway, I digress.

It was a simple time…read along stories playing on a record player while making cool designs on my light bright.  Who knew that times like those would be such a major player in my life so many years later?

“Tongue tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I…” – D. Gilmour

My father was an amateur photographer…a DAMN good one, at that.  He had a darkroom, could develop his own film, make his own prints, and even do color correction with the photoshop of the day…big pack of color pencils.  I loved playing around with all his camera gear…he had a ton of it!!!  Nikon, Canon, Mamyia…speedlites, backdrops, light meters, etc, etc, etc.  But, as interested as I was…all that gear “is not a toy!!!”.  He did eventually buy me an older nikon with a coupla decent lenses and a flash.  I took that camera to summer art camp that year and had a blast with it until the photography instructor got in trouble for saying a cuss word infront of us kids and, I guess, was dismissed a few days before it was over.  (little did they know we were already using those words thanks to smokey and the bandit.)

My love of photography started back then…but ended up on the shelf as the years went by. It was first put up by the disease of Ulcerative Colitis, which I was diagnosed with around 1985.  I just felt too bad to move, much less pick up a camera.  So, shelf it went.

As I got older, my taste in music changed…moving from Sesame Street and Disney, to the Footloose soundtrack, PacMan Fever, and Huey Lewis (some may argue that my change in taste was a lateral move).

In the later part of 1987, a friend of mine forced me to listen to this strange CD.  Made me sit there and listen.  As the music started, I kept asking…”well, where’s the singing????”  I was holding the jewel box, looking at the cover…there was one guy shaking hands with another guy…and one of them was on fire.  “Dude, this is stupid…what the hell is this?”  44 minutes and 28 seconds later, my life had made a considerable hard right turn.  After the next 44 minutes and 28 seconds…the small embers, that were barely burning from those early childhood fascinations, began to burn brighter.  What was needed was more fuel for the fire.

“a momentary lapse of reason, that binds a life to a life…” – D. Gilmour / P.Manzanera 

The albums, the cover-art…stirred my imagination.  The video for their “comeback” single “Learning to Fly” featured their live stage set up for their 1987 world tour.  As the kids say…OMG.  Visuals, Music, Lights.  And it still has the same fascination to me today.  Staring at the album covers, listening to the each album beginning to end (the only way one SHOULD listen to ANY album), watching the “Delicate Sound of Thunder” concert video, seeing them live twice during their 1994 Division Bell tour.  All those little embers of light brights, christmas lights, and olive green record players…the fires now rage.

As I listened to “The Endless River” this week…as I am at the time of this writing…I am brought back to not only the first time of hearing and seeing those beautiful images in my head…but i’m brought back to that record player, to that light bright, to that homemade spaceship cockpit, to that olive green record player. Brought back to the innocence and I feel young.  

A couple of weeks ago, I was out doing some shooting around our property in south Lake Charles, Louisiana…it’s a beautiful piece of land with some great trees and bushes.  Great for sunsets, nature and portrait shoots…and we don’t have to waste gas!  Anyway…as I was shooting, I caught myself playing songs in my head, pacing myself and shooting to the music in my head.  Playlist that hour was The Band, Rush, and one of the great bluesmen of all time, Son House.  All art is symbiotic.  And as human beings, art is as necessary for us as air and water.  Art is what keeps us humans from being lawn chairs.     

All those moments. Images, Music, Lights, Colors, Emotion, Thought…colliding into a single moment. That’s what was going through my mind when I came up with the tag line for PerrinStudios…”the art in every moment.” Everyone has those moments when it all comes together…whatever “it” is for each of us. That’s what we want to free from the ever moving hands of time. Those moments. That is what we do.

Art…light and music.