The Life and Times of DOUG MARCY

To know something about Doug, you have to go beyond the birthdays, beyond the places I’ve lived, and the people I’ve known. It’s not about the airplanes I’ve flown or the ships I’ve sailed. Does it really matter how much money has been made or lost, the schools I went to or what I studied? I think there is more to the story of any person than those things. I think that in order to truly know another, you have to go with them into the silence and sit quietly in the dark to hear the music and see the light of the candle that shines from within. Then, and only then, can you decide if the story makes the man, or did the man write the story? And then you have to wonder “Does it really matter?” For me, it’s not the beginning or the ending that holds the focus of attention. It’s not the chronicle or the details. It’s the transition that’s so astonishing.buckrake

From the hillside where I stand, I look down a long valley where once a sparkling stream cascaded its way through cattail marshes and willow thickets. Now I see only endless rows of corn and the only thing flowing is the wind in the wheat fields. Places where I learned to fish, hunted ducks and trapped for beaver and muskrat, are dry pastures with tumbleweeds chasing the dust across empty plains. The only water comes from wells sunk deep into the prairies. As I reflect on my past life here I am aware of an even more astonishing transition. The horses and harness I used in the hay fields on this Nebraska ranch have been replaced by tractors and other machines of amazing complexity. Driven by efficiency rather than the calloused hands of numerous summer workers that I remember from a time past. The winding dirt roads that became impassible with giant drifts of snow each winter have transitioned into wide, straight, paved highways with strange green numbers at the intersections that in years past were known as “Ole Jules’s corner” or “The Miller place”. As for the gigantic snow drifts I remember plowing through as we rode our horses to grade school, there are no children here now who have dug a snow cave or built an igloo. The snows have blown elsewhere. The people here who have snowmobiles trailer them hundreds of miles to have a weekend adventure. The tools have become toys. And what happened to the miles of empty beach and the swamps I used to wade through to fish for bass each morning during my life in Florida? Now the shores are lined with housing communities from Jack’s beach to St Augustine and the swamp is a golf course. Somewhere under someone’s sunroom or beneath their patio overlooking the ocean waves are the ashes of my first son.

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 A tragic accident buried by a tragically relentless serpent we call progress. Even the rocks of Colorado that called to me and held me for so many years have changed. Where I once chased deer and elk, there are street lights and Safeway stores. The rivers and streams no longer make it to the ocean. Swallowed by lawns, laundries and thirsty croplands in the plains beyond the sprawling cities, long before they reach the salty shores of any sea. And I have changed too it seems. The face in the mirror is no longer a man I recognize. 
The spirit remains intact but the body tells its own story that gives me pause to believe in its credibility. In truth, there are a few scars on the outside and a few aches in the inside. Some are predictable but many are the after-effects of the game we call “life”. However, the challenges have been met with courage and the blessings have far exceeded the struggles. I have sons and grandchildren to attest to the rewards bestowed on the fortunate travelers of the universe among the ranks of which I count myself with humble gratitude.

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Through all this, a time of transition and changes, the studio has changed as well. What once was a spacious upper room with drawers full of pens and pencils and brushes has transitioned into a portable easel that finds itself on kitchen tables or boat decks in Panama during the winters or RV tables and rock ledges in Colorado during the summers. And of the artwork? Yet another story with an end not yet in sight. It has been a good trip and the journey continues by air and by land and by sea. It is worth sharing and my payback for the ‘Gift” is to use the talents with which I have been blessed in ways that hopefully create an awareness and share some insights as I illustrate the beauty of what was and what is.