"It is better to be in chains with friends, than to be in a garden with strangers." -Persian Proverb
My artist friend Ken Christensen won a million dollars about six months ago. He lives close to Santa Barbara, in San Luis Obispo, so I drove north to stay with him in his new digs for a couple days. At the time he won the raffle, he had recently separated from his wife and immediately gave her half, and government taxes took another 30%. “I had trouble buying a house, because banks did not want to lend to me!” he said. “In previous years, the earnings reports on my income tax statements were very low.”
Ken and I are bohemian companions who share a love of unconventional life styles. While we were together I made a painting and looked at his newest artwork. While relaxing in his home, surrounded by art and books, I did not need to worry about encroaching his space with my artist chaos because he enjoys the same. We took long walks by the ocean, reveled in nature, shared ideas and philosophy, joked and laughed out loud, ate together, talked about women, talked about aging parents, stayed up late listening to music and reviewing art books, and became closer as friends and artistic cohorts.
I am leaving for Brazil in one week. My passport is ready and I have my ticket. I do not know when I will return, but I am sure my friend expects good stories the next time we meet.