Mitchell Shulman
Photographer, Artist, Sculptor

 First time ever on YT, video of a Tarpon (approximately 40 #) being caught STANDING on a paddleboard. Key Largo, FL.

by MIOWSHU

Kim Chesher has been  doing this fun Radio show called "Girls Nite Out" for decades & she has invited MIOWSHU on the air to discuss art, fishing, and the new consciousness in the FL Keys.

The 3rd Thursday Artwalk & Festival at Morada Way is a fun time to stroll and enjoy the diverse creations in this quaint artist village. The event runs from 6-10 PM. Every 3rd Thursday at Mile Marker 81 in Islamorada. Its across US1 from Islamorada Fisheries. 

If you are at our latitude, 

come join us and adjust your attitude. 

We will be showing MIOWSHU’s sculptures 

to the public for the first time, as well as 

showing many other new works which 

are sure to get you feeling some 

FLA KEYS CHARM! 

I was getting my hair cut and, of course, telling the story of my dream, etc., when it came to me why I may have experienced my dream in London and the interesting events which followed. The subconscious mind is a very interesting thing. When we were on the isle of Crete, in Greece, right before returning to London, we were stopped at a scenic overlook on a cliff-side road above Elounda. Since this was the third overlook at which I had pulled over near here, my wife elected to stay in the car this time, while I crossed the road to take more pictures. I navigated the road without getting hit by any of the tour buses speeding around the hillside and I got up onto the wall for the best view. This place was so magnificent, that I did not know which way to point my lens first. Then I chose this view straight ahead and began to frame the shot. Just as I reached my left hand forward and I turned the polarizing filter to adjust the glare on the water, a gust of wind surprised me out of nowhere and hit my back square. My weight was pushed forward and I knew that I was not going to be able to keep my balance and stay on the wall. As I realized this, I saw, in the corner of my eye, a light post. I reached back, and with the tips of my fingers I was able to grab enough of the light post to keep from falling off the wall. I wrapped my left arm around that post, took a deep breath (or two), waited for my heart to slow, and securely took several photos from this vantage point. Then I crossed the road to the rental car and said to my wife, "you almost lost me". I got in the car and as I strapped myself in with the safety belt, I thought to myself, That was really "F#@%ing" close. But then I really didn’t think about this occurrence again until my haircut. Now I thought this could be why I was going through this mental mystery recently. My subconscious must have been dealing with, what could have certainly been my death. Later that evening I reviewed those same photos to clearly confirm that a fall from this wall would have been unsurvivable. My body would have only been slowed by bouncing off rock ledges as it tumbled toward the sea. The Other Side

Please come celebrate & bring your "artsy fartsy" friends.

 

Art Exhibit in Kendall FL[caption id="attachment_61" align="alignleft" width="1277" caption="6-10 PM Friday Dec 10"]Directions to MIOWSHU[/caption] 

When I was at work midmorning Wednesday I got a chance to check my personal Emails and I opened a reply to the unusual early AM correspondence I had sent. My friend had responded with quite an interesting outlook. Especially when compared to his "doom & gloom, you’re gonna die" attitude of the previous evening.  Here is what he wrote:

How old are you? 50… Is it death knocking on your door? Or could it be just a simple mid life crisis. And the term crisis just might be right. You are torn between the old you and the new you. Just like a virgin… Should I or shouldn’t I. I can clearly remember you were saying many years ago that you did not want to work at Comfort. You were always creative and you wanted to do your own thing. But the reality of economics hit you hard. The truth at the time was that the family business needed your talent and expertise. Today at mid life you are ready to move on and fulfill your dreams. The spirits are calling you. An artist sees things that mortals do not. That is why you can make art and I can’t. You see the outer limits. The outer limits of space and time are calling you. They want to be heard and they want to be painted. They are saying "Don’t you see us"? "Can you paint us"? We have a story to be told and we want you to tell it.
Lv 
Your Dear friend
 

 

The Pure Life

His eloquent, creative writing surprised me with it’s clarity, it’s keen intuition & it’s wonderful call for action. This was the fourth time I had been prompted by a loved one to tell this story or paint the spirits in the three days since my dream. (Although another relative told me not to tell this stuff to anyone else, I guess for fear that no one would never take me seriously again.) My wife had suggested that I try to paint the faces from my dream but I told her that even the center, most prominent face was too vague and dark for me to depict. Her sister had recommended that I share these two pages of script with the world. My cousin had insisted that I "do something with it". And now my dear friend was telling me this.

So, to this enlightening E mail I replied that this was an interesting take, much easier to digest than what he had to say the day before.

That afternoon I was getting my hair cut and it dawned on me that my friend’s new attitude had come after I had written a note to the spirits telling them to get lost. So I called my friend and asked him why the sudden change from frighteningly negative to inspirationally positive. He said that when he was writing that Email, his wife had noticed the strange flip-flop too. She, who had heard the things he had been telling me on Tuesday and got on the phone to tell me, "my husband is crazy, don’t listen to him Mitchell, you’re not going to die!", saw his new take on the situation and had asked him, "where did this come from?" He told me that he had responded to her, "I don’t know, this is just how I feel now".

So later, when I found time, I went on-line to look up Stephen King’s Crouch End short story. I was very curious now what the tale entailed. I "Googled" Stephen King’s Crouch End and somehow rode a wave to Wikipedia which had what I was looking for. There is a summary there, of the "Crouch End" plot. If you are getting into this story, I recommend that  you go check this out. Briefly, its a tale of a two cops who were investigating in a small town where some folks had disappeared. The veteran of the two argues to the younger cop that he has seen some things in this town before that shed doubt that this should be dismissed as your routine missing persons case. A strange entity in Crouch End seems to be altering its form, disorienting and terrorizing visitors. What I found pertinent was that at the end of the tale it is left untold what happens to the main character. Does he Live or Die? I remembered the words from the two pages of text for some reason…"What it means is yet to be determined." Then I read something that could have made me question everything I believe in. It seems that the little town where I stayed near London, where I had the dreams with spooky faces staring at me and where I wrote two spontaneous pages of text inspired by those dreams, while uncharacteristically releasing all my emotions, Crouch End is reputed to be the place where the line between our world and the world of the demonic is at it’s thinnest. I don’t particularly care for horror flicks, so I don’t really enjoy being spooked, but this information gave me chills from my chest to the top of my neck. VERSACCI MANSION

This dream in London, had already led me through quite a chain of events and began to summon very interesting input from all those who had become a part of the story. But when I figured out what may have caused the dreams in the first place, the picture came into focus.

 

 

After I had a good laugh about all the things my friend had to say, he suggested I look up Spirits of London on the internet. He was the second person to suggest this to me already, but I hadn’t found the time yet. So now I typed this into Google. Under Spirits of London there was nothing but a couple of uninteresting ads. I scrolled down a bit but nothing special. I shared these results with my pal and he said, "some people don’t call thm spirits, try ghosts". So I agreed and typed in Ghosts of London. Again, not much to look at there. So he asked me what hotel we were staying in when I had the dream. I explained that we were in my brother-in-law’s apartment, not a hotel. But then, I had an idea and began to type onto the Google search line, Ghosts of Crouch End. Crouch End is the name of the small town where we stayed with my wife’s sister. Right away I could see a different story. Of course, many old towns in Europe have ghost stories associated with them, so I was not surprised to find one here. But Crouch End seemed to have more than the average share of spooky history. If you Google this you can see for yourself that this is clear. Since I always look for the logical explanation for things I was a bit surprised at the coincidences. That this little town had so many spirits haunting it. Among the tales told about this place is one of a wandering Goatman and a band of Gypsies from the palace of Alexandria who haunt the town. The kids dare each other to walk down the street at night where I was staying for fear of ghosts. Oh, and don’t forget the other guy who supposedly haunts the town. Some say he jumped in front of the local train years ago. Then there are stories of people hearing the train pass through town at night, when the train tracks had been ripped up decades earlier. I guess that amount of haunting history could be just above average in a London town, but then I read a fact that separated this town from all others in my book. Stephen King had written a short story some years ago titled "Crouch End"! Now, at that point I have to admit I am feeling some goosebumps myself. Further, there is a picture there on Google of a sculpture that I pointed out to my wife while awaiting the bus. I said to her, "thats a weird looking thing" and she peered down at it and agreed. This sculpture is, ready for this?, depicting a man halfway buried in the Earth and trying to reach up and get out of his own coffin. An artistic expression of our fears of mortality. Right in line with everything that has been going on with me lately.

My buddy and I got a kick out of reading all this spooky stuff and by this time I had gone into my bedroom and picked up small Buddha statue which I had bought in Greece. I recounted the woman who sold it to me, to my friend. I explained how she told me to rub the statue on my hair and place some Euros under it for good luck.  He reacted, "she’s one of those gypsies, Mitchell, throw that Buddha away. Just take it and throw it in the trash.

 

Rockin' Bhuda Up Close

 

I began to laugh again and told him there was no way I was throwing away this statue. After all it is one of the few things I bought in Greece to bring back. Then, before we hung up the phones, my friend went on a short rant, telling me once again that I should watch out for these gypsies, not listen to the spirits and not let them into my dreams.

That night at about 1:30 AM I had another dream. I dreamed  that some small children were approaching me with plants or vines on their heads or replacing their heads. When they saw me notice them they stopped in their tracks, posing as trees to hide. 

Then I went back to sleep till, you got it, 4:00 AM, when I got a pen & paper and began to write again. The text once again flowed out of me quite fluidly. This time I was not crying though. I wrote this short statement that night and in the morning I wrote an Email to my friend describing the dream and saying…
 
My Dear Friend, I was not fooled thanks to You!
 
 Today on this full moon, the first of Autumn & the Jewish day of Thanks for the crops that feed us. I woke at 4:00 and wrote this.

Attention all spirits, ghosts, entities, goatmen, gypsies:
If your intention is to take me to your side…
Get lost! I am just getting started. Go!
I have things to do, people to meet, lessons to learn & teach.
My time on earth is not negotiable.
I won’t play your games. I won’t be fooled by your disguises, your camouflage, your innocent personas.
And if by chance you have no say in all this & you  are just delivering the warnings,
I appreciate this.
I will tend to my business, I will use my days to to get my messages to my family & friends.
Actually it seems I already have. I have started that process. I have realized the importance of being aware, the beauty of being live.
So I end once again by thanking you, if that is the case, but if my first impression was right. No thanks
Good bye, for a while!

 Thanks to you my very good friend!

 

[caption id="attachment_53" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Vulture close-up MIOWSHU style. Florida Everglades"][/caption]

 

Tuesday morning, I awake at 4:00 AM, again. My subconscious must have taken over my metabolism or something, because I had not slept very much at all. I had been getting up very early every single day and then working till late at night, yet I did not feel exhausted or sleepy at all. So there I went to work on the sculpture of the Mahi Mahi. I knew that I had only this day and the following to get this piece done, glazed and dry so it could be transported to the Doral Quirch Food Show. I made good progress this Tuesday morning and went off to a good days work at the pillow factory. On my way home from work, I called an old friend just to say hello and tell him I had a great trip. That was an interesting conversation.We began to talk about things and eventually I told him about the dream which I had and the circumstances. I did not read him the script that I had written because I did not have it in the car, but I told him about how the script flowed right out of me, and how I was in tears the whole time. He knows me a long time, and he knows that it is very out of character for something like this to happen. He knows me, of all his buddies, to be a scientific person. His reaction to all of this came without hesitation, my dear friend said to me, "you’re gonna die".

Million-Year-Old Man

He continued to explain that this was the only thing all this could mean & asked if I had been to the doctor lately. He recommended I go immediately to be checked out. I told him that before my trip I had been "checked out" and all was fine. He said "well, you need to go again ". Because you probably have "the BIG C", he said, meaning cancer, "or something like that" he added. Now I took this very lightly, coming from this particular friend who is a bit of a clown, I was not that shocked or scared by his comments. Besides he was actually telling the truth, we are all going to die (eventually), and we all have cancer cells in our bodies. He had not said when I would die, after all, but he did speak with a sense of urgency. He was being a little bit negative, I must say. When I arrived at my house we were still talking and I sat down at my computer. Now, my friend was telling me that I should get my affairs in order, just in case. I told him more about the way I was affected by the dream and he said "don’t let those spirits get inside your head", "don’t play their game", he said. He told me that they wanted to take me away, but that I should resist them. Me, I was still joking with him, making a wise crack in response to each of his statements. I was having a good time with it. Then he asked me if I knew how I wanted to be buried.

 

Are the spirits coming to get YOU!

 

 

I told him that I really wanted a burial-at-sea, but that I did not want my dead body to be cremated. I continued, explaining that unless you are in the military, you can not be buried at sea, unless you are cremated. Then to my surprise, he said, "yes, you can, now you can!" He argued that just last week he had seen in the Miami Herald that this is an option now. You can be freeze-dried and buried at sea, he exclaimed! So meanwhile, I have already googled "burial-at- sea" and sure enough, there they were. Several offers to take my remains out into the gulfstream or the like and make this my final resting place. "Wow!" I thought, "that’s great". Then I told my buddy he had solved the mystery. In a joking tone, I told him that this explains why I had the dream. This was the reason for it all, to get me to go on Legal Zoom and get my manner of burial changed to "burial at sea"! I laughed and thanked my dear friend for figuring out this riddle of a dream.

 

The next part is where it gets a little weird.

 

 

 

WET FEATHERS CAN HOLD YOU DOWN

[caption id="attachment_49" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The kind of Pine that makes me feel warm & fuzzy."][/caption][/caption]

 

 

I arrived at my office, Comfort Incorporated, and greeted my brother there. After a while I told him that I had a dream the last night I was in London and he stopped me immediately to tell me that he had a dream with me in it two nights before also. I will not divulge the contents of his dream, but I will say that it was a very interesting and strange dream in which I was the unlikely hero. 

It was nice to show off some of my pix from the trip to co-workers and send out a few E mails to friends & family with some images fom our trip done up a la MIOWSHU. I touched base with my friends at Promarosa Seafood Co. about the food show and found out that I needed to finish the Mahalo Mahi Mahi sculpture and install it at the booth Thursday! I had thought the show was Saturday but it was Friday! So when I left work I knew I needed to continue towards finishing the fish. I also had well over 7000 images on memory cards from three countries which I needed to sort out.  I had to choose the best ones for the Datran Lobby wall where I would have my first big art exhibit of my life December 5. Then I would have to digitally master and enhance them, print them onto canvasses and have them framed within the next several weeks. I had lots to do and I was finally going to get a chance to get to it. So I was driving south on the Palmetto Expressway toward my house when I suddenly decided to exit on Miller Drive and visit the grave of my mother. What? Yes, thats where I went Monday after work. I visited the cemetery.

This cemetery always reminds me of my childhood. The large native pine trees there are the same as the ones in my backyard when I lived near there as a kid.

 

Kendall in the Sixties

 

It brings up special memories for me. I used to walk in those pine forests for hours by myself, exploring, thinking, learning. As I walked to my mom’s grave I passed my uncle’s. I took notice of his age when he passed away, 40! I was now 50, I thought, "what a shame", then glanced over at mom’s. She had passed on so young, at 35 years. I thought to her about how I wished she was able to enjoy more of the beautiful world before leaving. I thought about the magical trip that I had just enjoyed. I told her that I hoped she was proud of me for my new accomplishments, becoming an artist, officially. I then laid my MIOWSHU business card on the stone and placed a small pebble on it. Then I chuckled to myself at how silly this was. First, because I am a scientific man, and second, because if she could see the card there, I thought, then she has seen the card and all of my artwork! As I began to walk away, I saw some small snail shells in the dirt near another gravesite and this made me stop. I turned back to my mom’s grave hoping to find a shell there. You see, I have a display case in my home with many seashells from around the world and remembrances from events and trips throughout my life. I thought that a snail shell from my mom’s grave would make a nice addition to the display, and just maybe, since these snails basically live in the dirt, a molecule of my mom could be in one of them. Right away I saw some shells there. I scanned the area and found two shells. I began to walk away, thinking that these might represent me and my wife. But then I said to myself, "no, thats not it!", and I returned to her site and kneeled at her stone, asking, "what do these mean?". Then, right next my knee in the same I area that I had scanned and found only the two shells, there were two more! Now I stood up with the four shells in my hand and it came to me that these were me, my brother, and my two sisters. I don’t know why I had that feeling, but I seemed so sure. She was sending me a message that us four were numero uno.

 

Remembrance

 

Then as I said good-bye and left to look for my father’s grave, a strong feeling message seemed to come to me again, this time it was, "Awareness is Everything!" and that we must look around, live life fully, do good things with our lives and not waste our days. It was something that I had always believed, a lesson I had been taught many years ago, when my mom had died so young. But it is so easy to believe in something strongly and yet, let it slip from your focus and from being your priority in your life. Our routines and our daily grind often takes over and we let days pass without reaching out and touching someone or giving them a chance to touch us. We make our way without really opening our eyes and seeing the interesting and beautiful things which are all around us. So, I had always believed in this, but now I felt like it was slapping me in the face.

 Now I moved on to find my father. This was not so easy. You see, I had only been to his gravesite twice. At his funeral in 2004 and at the unveiling one year later. This time there was no one to follow, no one was crowded around the grave. I had to look around in the area where I remembered it being. I saw many familiar names, and even ran into my cousin’s grave and stopped to pay my respect. But even as I doubled back over the area I did not find my father. After I went around a third time I decided to expand my search & go ouside of the area I thought his grave was in. Only then did I find my father under a big tree that I had no recollection of. It was actually in a very beautiful place.

Immediately, upon looking down at his grave, I saw and picked up four more snail shells. I thought, the number four must have some significance, I have woken up two nights in a row at 4 AM & now four shells at each grave. But then I saw another shell and I wondered if this one represented my wife being added to our clan. Then I realized there were many others scattered around. I kept picking up shells and thinking, "who are these people?". I can’t explain it, but again I kept relating these little shells to loved ones. Were they those who had passed on? Were they my wife’s family, my new extended family? I had found thirteen shells there next to my father’s gravestone. Two of these were broken off at the tip, and this made me ponder what this might mean. Then I stood up and had little heart-to-heart with my father. I told him that I wished we had worked some of our issues together years ago. It s clear to me that we both suffered some similar personal insecurities, and we could have both lived better years if we had only been able to see this and support each other in moving passed this. I also told him that he would have to understand that just as he had his passion for his business, now I had discovered mine. I told him my art was now my passion and I refused to get stuck caring for his baby. I had my own baby now, to care for. I promised him though, that I would leave his business well cared for, even when I left there. I also left him my business card and chuckled again about how silly this was.

So I headed for my car with my 17 shells clutched in my hand. I got in and looked for where I could put them. I saw my Thailand cap on the floor and something told me that it was okay to use this cap to temporarily store my "sacred shells". Then I began to sort them out by size, trying to see if their sizes matched up with the sizes of my nieces and nephews. I was intent on figuring out "who" these were. Then I ran across the broken shells and again wondered what these could symbolize. These were found at my father’s grave, and perhaps the broken shells meant someone who was hurting. I grabbed my cell phone and called my cousin, the elder in my family, who was very close with my dad and is not in the best of health.

She answered, and I said Happy New Year! , she returned the same and I said, I think its going to be a very good year. She replied that this was great, and asked why I said this. I told her that I felt great and that many exciting things were on the horizon. More of my art would soon being exhibited in public and I was very excited about all the photos I would be working with from my recent trip. As I explained this to her I thought to myself that she was talking to a "New Mitchell", and I thought that this must be obvious to her. I could hear in myself, a distinctly new positive tone. It was obvious to me that my outlook had changed significantly. She asked, "oh, where did you go?", and I told her, "London, Greece and Paris". She said, "you know, I went to Greece with your father." I first replied that I did not know that, but as the words left my mouth, I remembered, yes, it was she, with her second husband, who had gone with my father and his wife. While traveling, I had thought about the fact that my father had been to Greece many years back, but it never dawned on me that he had been with my cousin. Coincidentally, she went to Greece with her second husband who just happens to be the cousin I had just paid my respects to in the cemetery after "accidentally" happening across his grave while searching for my dad’s. The whole thing was just strange. I told my cousin where I was, and a little bit about my visit with my parents. Then I began to tell her about my dream two nights earlier and how I had written the two pages of text. I began to drive home while we talked. My cousin came alive as she started to tell me stories and memories from her trip to Greece. How she had ridden a donkey up to the top of the volcano in Santorini, but refused to ride one back down for fear it might stop short from its gait and toss her down the mountain. She told me that she walked down to the bottom, stepping in donkey crap the whole way and she was happy to do it, to avoid the donkey ride down. I was very happy to hear her relive these and other memories of her trip. It was warming my heart in a very special way.

 

waiting for passage to the other side

 

Then I arrived at my home and went in to get what I had written in London and I read the two pages to her. She said, "Mitchie, you’re giving me goose bumps, you have to do something with that! I don’t know what but you have to do something with it!" Since she had been a travel agent, she suggested, " maybe you can give it to a travel magazine or a travel agency?" But again she reiterated, "you have to do something with this, I don’t know what, but you have to do something with it." I wrote those words down from her lips, as she repeated them, over and over, DO SOMETHING WITH IT! Later, upon re-reading these words on that paper, I thought, how interesting, she is giving me the same message I had received at the cemetery. Do something with it….LIFE YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING WITH IT!!!