10 Important things I’ve learned in 25 years

1.) Family is not always biological. Family is who loves you.

2.) Surround yourself around people that do not need you, but want

you around anyway.

3.) Home is not places, it is love.

4.) Be able to count your friends on two hands….but one hand is much better.

5.) Don’t hand out trust randomly, is a precious gift.

6.) Work hard

7.) Don’t complain.

8.) Don’t pity yourself in any situation ever.

9.) Ignoring people is a magical skill.

10.) Happiness is found in uncomfortable places, and cultivated by accepting new challenges.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Lubbock Arts Festival 2013

Here is a video that my friend Ryan filmed and edited overviewing the 2013 Lubbock Arts Festival where I had the privilege of being the featured artist. It was a blast being back home, and I’m already looking forward to next year.

Art Is Liberty from Ryan Voight on Vimeo.

Posted 1 year ago

 

Diary 52 (Ten Years and an Army)

“Use everything Baron, if you’re good at it do it. If you like it, love it. You have too many talents to let em’ go to waste and never forget that.”

That’s what Joyce Batch told me.

That’s what my mom would say.

Last week marked ten years since Joyce left this earth. It’s gone fast, but not a day goes by that I don’t lean on something simple she would say to me.

 

Simplicity is beautiful.

 

I remember looking out the window of our small trailer watching the clouds with my mom.

“Is heaven up there?” I recall asking.

Through a smile she would reply, “Haha yeah heaven is up there.”

“So one day will we be there?”

“Yup one day we will be there.” She would tell me.

Not completely understanding anything about the whole concept of heaven I was always inquisitive about the whole thing. One thing I did know about heaven was that there was supposed to be angels up there, and angels were good,

And angels helped people.

The movie Angels in the Outfield taught me that.

“So if you make it to heaven before me and become an angel do you promise to watch me?” I’d ask.

Joyce’s response was always the same.

Through her smile she would simply say,

“Of course I will.”

But that was a long time ago, so long ago that I’ve almost forgotten those innocent conversations.

However, things like that are good to remember. Conversations like that should never be forgotten.

Sometimes I forget things Joyce said altogether until I need them the most.

She still speaks to me, and through the words she left with me; she continues to watch after me. She continues to nurture.

And all too often her words fight on my behalf.

Maybe that’s why I love words so much?  Maybe that’s why I have fallen madly in love with writing?  Simply because I understand the power that words hold. They transcend time, and in many instances death itself.

Meaningful words live forever. Meaningful words will defend you and keep you safe when their creator is long gone.

And in the moments when you need them the most they are always close. A meaningful word is a armored brave knight riding a black stallion, yielding a shiny sword, and ready to defend you when you question just how brave you are.

My mom left me many meaningful words.

Joyce Batch left me with an army.

 

About three years ago right after I had finished my last collegiate football season I was waiting in the airport in Dallas and an older woman struck up a conversation with me.

She inquired what I did for a living. At this point in time I didn’t have a job so I said, “Well I just graduated from school.”

She then asked, “Well what’s your job?”

“Dang it. I guess I don’t have one.” I thought.

“Well I guess I’m looking for something.” I uncomfortably replied.

“So your unemployed?” She said.

Then it hit me, “Well yeah I guess I am ma’am. I’m unemployed. You could say that. ”

She then asked, “Well then, what exactly do you want to do with your life?”

I sat for a minute before answering.  Then I responded to her and said,

“Well I like playing football so I will be a professional athlete, I like photography so I will be a photographer, I like to write so I’ll be a writer, I like to speak so I will be a speaker, I like to travel so I will be a traveler, and I like helping people so I’ll do that too. And anything else that I find myself become passionate about along the way, Ill do that as well.”

The woman looked at me with a cynical smile before saying something that I will never forget.

This woman looked me straight in the eyes and said,

“Haha that’s not how the real world works son, you cant just do everything that you like to do, or fancy.”

Feeling a bit belittled I unconfidently chuckled and said, “haha maybe you’re right.”

And at that moment an unseen army came to my defense in the form of my mother’s echoing words. With swords violently swinging they cut down the doubt that was spoken, trampling it into pieces with the heavy hooves of their black stallions.  Behind me they stood bravely, and once again I knew that I was not on my own.

In the Dallas airport that day an unseen battle was won.

Last week while traveling back to Pittsburgh I sat in the same airport. I recalled the battle that took place 3 years ago that an army of brave Words had won. I reminisced over the last ten years, as I sketched things out in my notebook that I always keep close.

And once again a random conversation was struck.

While sketching out new ideas for new art while waiting on my plane, an older man in a suit leaned over and asked,

“What is it that you do for a living if you don’t mind me asking?”

And at that moment I had a flashback of appreciation for what God has done for me. At that moment I realized the strength of the army that defends me.

And with an unseen army behind me, I replied.

“Well sir, I like art so I’m an artist, I like to speak to I’m a speaker, I like to travel so I’m a traveler, I like to write to I’m a writer, I like photography so I’m a photographer, I like helping people so I help people, and I do anything else that I feel I will be good at or have a passion for.”

The man nodded his head smiling and said,

“Boy sounds like you’re livin life right!  I’ve been trying to get my sons to have the same attitude. Your momma must be proud.”

“Thank you!” I said.

He then leaned in closer and whispered, “Aren’t you that football player too?”

“Haha yes I do that as well.” I laughingly replied.

“Proud parents! And a proud momma, thats for sure.” He said

“Thank you sir.” I once again replied.

People say that quite often to me, but this time was different. For the first time in quite a while I realized exactly just what Joyce Batch had done for me.

My mom gave me an army, a powerfully brave one. One that is quick to defend, and is as strong as I allow it to be.

“Yeah…. I bet she is…..”  I replied to older gentleman.

10 years ago God called Joyce Batch home. At the time the boy who stared at the clouds imagining angels felt lonely. At the time I felt weak.

“If you get to heaven before me will you watch me?” Is what I would ask,

And now the answer to that question is all to clear.

“Yes of course I will.” I imagine my mom saying.

Joyce Batch left me meaningful words.

She left me a priceless gift.

She gave me something that would live much longer than she would.

It’s been ten years now, and time has flown by. And even though my mother is gone she still watches over me through her words.

Before my mom left this earth she gave me a gift that in turn I can hopefully pass down to others.

Ten years ago Joyce Batch left me with all her words.

Ten years ago my mom  gave me an army.

 

Blessings,

Baron

Posted 1 year ago

 

Art is what you make it

 

The beautiful thing about art is that it speaks to people differently. You could paint a small white circle in the middle of a large black canvas and people would see different things.

And both people are correct.

Some would see a white spot that is growing, and overcoming the black. Others would see the black consuming the white spot. The picture however stays the same. This is why I love art, because art is what you make it.

But is life much different?

I don’t think so. In many ways I think life is simply a picture painted with different circumstances, and displayed for all to see on a canvas. Some people’s paintings are very similar to others. Some are identical, and some are different.

But in all instances someone could look at someone else’s canvas and see something either the same, better, or worse.

Take two people for example whose worlds are painted the same with identical canvases.

Just like the white dot, one person sees themselves as being consumed by the darkness, and one sees themself as the light illuminating it.  One sees their circumstance and something awful and the other person sees something completely different.

One person is ashamed of the paint used. The other loves and cherishes each brush stroke.

My life has not been easy, but neither has many other people’s. Honestly who even wants an easy life? Nothing truly valued comes easy.

I have had to paint my dark walls with color. I have had to paint them better.

But so have many of you.

Don’t stop. Never grow tired of painting.

I am unsure just how big my room might be, and yeah honestly that is kind of scary.  Sometimes I feel as if I will run out of paint, but never do.

The paint only runs out when you stop using it.

I guess in a way there will always be black walls for me. There will always be spots that need paint.

But that’s ok, because my life is what I make it.

Art is what you make it.

Perspective is all.

Art is what you make it

Posted 1 year ago