My morning routine is usually constant. I start with reading the news, catching up on my friend’s daily postings on social media and completing my twice daily Words with Friends game updates. In between, I try to paint, draw or, if needed, update things at the house, do chores and keep the books balanced. Pretty routine. I generally read the news first—right after I wake up. Since i am vivid dreamer, sometimes my news reading and dreams merge in my “waking state” of mind.

Yesterday was no different. I had a dream the night before last of being part of a terrible accident in which I was in a truck with clients that slipped off the road alongside a very steep cliff. In the dream, the truck literally slowly “floated” across a wide and deep canyon heading very slowly towards the cliff face on the opposite side. During the “floating” all the occupants of the truck were saying their goodbyes to each other, crying and holding hands. Just before the truck slammed into the side of the cliff, I opened my side door and jumped. I though maybe if I fell into the treetops I would have a better chance of survival—than being in a 2-ton truck slamming into a rock cliff face.

As I slid away form the truck and watch it continue on its path to immediate destruction, I miraculously starting gently sliding down the cliff face slope. The news that merged with this lingering dream as I awoke was the slide of the Dow Jones Average (-4.2%), the President saying “shut down the government” as he temper-tampered his demands for the “wall”, the avalanche of unreported cyber crimes, the pending release of the democrats rebuttal memo, the anti-migrant anger in Italy and the rise of the far right in Germany.

Both of these, the dream and the news, were about the descent of our social-econmic-polical systems. As I walked to the studio, I could not shake this sadness that our society is descending into a deep and dark place. It was not a pleasant feeling—even for this naturally optimistic guy. I try each day to muster some optimism—and usually that occurs when I paint. So, my first painting of the day was to get this despondency out of my system with this painting “The Descent.” Once that was done, I carried on to a raise my spirits with one new painting and finishing one that is destined for a person who will, as is the requirement for receiving my work for free, donate to her local library. That thought raised my spirits.

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