Waterworks by Jim Alabiso

Angels in the River City

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Angels in the River City

I’m at a local coffee shop with a friend working on a project. We wrap up and head out. I’m unlocking my car door when I hear a woman across the street yell the word “Watermelon.” I turn to look at her. The woman looks directly at me again and yells “Watermelon.” Then clickety-clack proceeds up the street with her shopping cart full of things. I’m stunned and my friend looks at me in disbelief. It’s not important for the purposes of this article why watermelon is significant, but it is. A lifesaving message I needed to hear at that point in my life. I see her again a year later and run down the street to catch up with her.

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Water Works: The Mila Furstova Interview

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Water Works: The Mila Furstova Interview

When I saw the artwork for Coldplay’s Ghost Stories, I was taken by the mythology and discovered Mila Furstova for the first time. Mila etches in Perspex, often creating multilayered pieces. Enamored, I looked at her body of work, including the Flow Series, of a woman in the water. It is featured in last month’s story, “Apo Helios” (Jan/February). Mila, who resides in Cheltenham, England, balances an exhibition in the world’s largest venue – the album cover, motherhood, art and business. She will soon release her new series, Motherhood; to be shown at the AGallery in London. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mila Furstova for Arbus …

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water works: Apo Helios Part 2

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water works: Apo Helios Part 2

Willis can talk me through this. Why is he abandoning me now? Reaching out, I find he is unable to hide his own pain.
I see him on the beach before his awakening. A young Kristina, surfboard under-arm, running out to the water during the riptide. Willis tries to stop her. She mocks him and heads to the surf. Her board is seen hours later on the north beach, her body never found. In his tall proud frame, he carries guilt that he didn’t do more.

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water works: Apo Helios — Part 1

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water works: Apo Helios — Part 1

It is at precisely 1:14 a.m.1 that I’m suddenly awake, staring at the ceiling. I know every crevice in the spackle like every nerve in my leg; scars painting the accident that took me down as a child. Not sure how long these severed and sewn limbs will serve me. Sleep ebbs and floods with the spasms. By 5 a.m., I’m done. I don’t care what day it is . . . tired of feeling so bad. I take another look at the hydrocodone bottle in the medicine cabinet.1a I slam it shut, grab my towel, sling goggles around my neck and drive to the beach to find relief in the cold winter water. As I drive east, the moon races to the horizon behind me.

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water works part five – the ART of water*

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water works part five – the ART of water*

waterworks TTS3 FlipHCrop_VIBRANT fI’m sitting in a gazebo, having a chat with my friend Dr. Marie Bailey. Marie is a yoga therapist, former clinical psychologist and my meditation coach. We’re talking about healing and we’re located precisely where we need to be. This gazebo sits on the St. Johns River between the water and St. Vincent’s Hospital. The tide is ebbing, the water taking the shape of the river bed, making its way to the ocean . . . the constant sculptor, slightly changing the shoreline at every moment. As a healer, she nourishes all along her way. I observe that water takes the shape and changes the shape of its container: Two of the most powerful elements of healing – empathy and change.

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Part four – Water Lines

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Part four – Water Lines

Earth is a system like any other. Birth, peak and decline. There isn’t a system in the universe that doesn’t perform the cycle: Real estate, dot com booms and crashes, populations, cultures and super novas. On a physics level it’s a property of the forward motion of time. It’s pretty much in our face.

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part three — River Lightning

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part three — River Lightning

I’m walking the river by Memorial Park with a friend. The river is ebbing back to the ocean, the wind is moving gently, and opposite of the current, and the sun is creating millions of glistening stars on the surface. Walking under a tree close to the bulkhead, we see the caustic reflection of this meeting of light and water beaming off the leaves. They move in the light breeze, further randomizing this beautiful show. We name it river lightning.

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part two: arkhi-tekton

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part two: arkhi-tekton

Tony Bennett has said, “Nature is the master artist.” The arkhi-tekton, the chief builder. While it is our nature to personify nature, the sea is never angry, she is just the sea. When I think of water, I often think of her as the artist and architect.

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Water Works

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Water Works

Last summer I went swimming solo down the coast of Jacksonville Beach. While I rarely go alone, the glassy sea and the sunrise was a perfect lure. Walking the path back to the pier parking lot, I encountered a guy squatting in the sand, puffing on a spent filter-less cigarette. Looking up at me, one eye open, one eye squinting in the sun, he said, “You. You’re part of the water system.”

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