Ed’s Art Net is a therapeutic self portrait. A personal website that’s also a virtual behavioral therapist. A self-published soliloquy. A solo sociocultural web media philanthropy. A family size and safe website for ages 12 and up due to some too scary for toddlers artwork and mature subjects including bipolar disorder and religion.
Sharing is at the heart of art!
Artist – Commonologist
Time Equals Flavor – Patience
Keep Moving Forward – Lemonade
Susan – One and Two
Offspring – Kids with kids
Peyt – Best feline friend
It’s Okay to Cry – Goodbyes
Clear Air Turbulence – CAT
I’m a retired free-thinking Christian family man and American artist who doesn’t love large crowds. I love small crowds… especially one on one.
When I was young, words were boring. I would “read” books by studying the illustrations. I continued that practice long after I learned to read written language. I had to grow up a lot before I began to appreciate the art in words.
Sometimes I make up words. It’s a free country. At least it was when I was young. So I learned to think freely from the 1950’s and 1960’s culture that I was living in.
I like to call myself a commonologist. I like it because it reflects my demeanor. “Common…” because I am no better or worse than anyone I have ever met or heard of except One. And I’m an “…ologist” because I’m a fundamentally curious creature with an incredible knack for the obvious. A “commonologist” – I believe that I share these traits with a lot of people.
Thank you for perusing my website and reading the words. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It began as kind of my own personal version of social media but without much outside interaction beyond praying.
I hope this website helps you as much as it helps me.
If you’re old, you’re physically not the same person that you started with. Science tells us that every cell in our body is replaced about three times in our lifetime. And everyone changes their mind at least a little bit over the course of living. But our core individualness doesn’t change. Our “self” contains the “AllSpark” that makes you you and me me. Our unique spirit is at the core of each one of us.
Ed’s Art Net changed a lot over the years since September 28, 2007. Especially after I retired at the beginning of 2020. Retiring and the Covid-19 pandemic “sheltering in place” created a lot of “free” time and it was a paradigm shift when I discovered how to create text hyperlinks.
That’s me in the photo… I’m Ed (Bear)… Edward Michael Caldwell to be exact. I’m also called “Mister Ed”, after the 1960’s television star. I live in Canton, Georgia USA about an hour’s motorcycle ride from the Appalachian Mountains foothills.
This photo of me was taken by Phoebe Chen at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan. I was relaxing from an August 2014 two week business trip at the Taiwan Technical Center. There, I worked with my good friend Rita Huang along with several other designers and managers. The people in Taiwan were great and it was easy to make friends. Rita ❤️ is special and treated me like a daughter! She is around the same age as my oldest.
I’m happily married and my wife and I have two beautiful daughters, the cutest, smartest granddaughter and grandson on the planet! And the blessing of a number of close family members and friends!
My good friend Travis of Echols Financial Services once asked if I thought God’s purpose for me was to be a teacher. I loved the question. Travis knows that I have some strong opinions.
But I’m an artist… not a teacher. Nor am I a preacher. I simply want you to feel good. I hope that something you saw, read or felt from this website and its links, helps you in some good way.
I’m not a natural born writer either. I struggle with spelling and grammar. When I think of writers, I think of Sean Dietrich. Sean is a wonderful and productive writer… writing something about good nearly every day in his Blog. Sean knows about Oxford commas! Among a few other millions of things.
Nor am I a prolific stereotypical artist. Stereotypes follow expected behavioral paths. When I think of prolific artists, I think of Salvador Dali. Beautifully talented, and just a wee bit wacky doodle.
When I was a kid, I started out with my own wacky doodle aspirations to become a mentally healthy family man, jet fighter pilot, astronaut and forest ranger. But not necessarily consistently in that order. At puberty my goal became rock’n roll star and motorcycle maniac. More wacky doodleness!
(It’s important to note that I didn’t die on my motorcycle. And that my rock’n roll band only lasted about three months. We actually got paid to play once.)
Now that I’m retired, I’m rekindling my youthful motorcycle, art and music dreams, but with a bit more patience.
“Time Equals Flavor”
… is a quote from my favorite writer, Sean Dietrich, “Sean of the South”. His wife was explaining to him why cooking homemade chicken soup takes a long time.
Many things in life require time to achieve and patience to realize. Dreams are no exception.
My wife introduced me to Sean of the South’s popular writings. His books and blog stories are about extraordinary people. People that most of us would stop at a polite greeting. Sean goes further.
I love his works, they are inspiring and humbling. He writes with a colorful southern wit that is both entertaining and enlightening. His daily Blog goes down well with my morning mug of joe. His writing helps align my disordered brain for a healthy kickstart to my day!
There are a lot of extraordinary people out there and Sean Dietrich is most definitely one of them!
“I don’t think anyone needs a reason to be nice.” Sean of the South
“Keep Moving Forward”
October 24, 2021 – I was introduced to Pop Tarts at age 13 and now I’m fast approaching 70. My current early morning ritual before I eat a good breakfast consists of a single unfrosted tart along with a stout mug of black coffee.
I negotiate this mass production pastry with my wife because she’s always trying to get me to quit the sugary treat. But I just cry a little and remind her that I prefer the unfrosted version (as if that should help). It’s like when I bought my first Indian a few years ago. I whined and cried (pestered is more accurate) for almost six months before she finally said, “I guess you’re not going to give up”… That was all it took. I made a beeline for the nearest Indian motorcycle dealer.
I’m not saying that Susan is an enabler. She’s a loving spouse that has to deal with a nine-year-old bipolar wacky doodle husband. She generously credits me with being “ten years old” and does her best with what she has to work with. I’m very blessed to have her as my wife and best earthbound friend!
Besides motorcycles and pop tarts, I also love my Ed’s Art Net website. Web building, unlike some art projects, lends itself to change and correcting. But I was spending way too many post pop tart hours reviewing and editing. So I’ve been proving lately that I can function without constantly tweaking my “high tech” hobby.
I have come to realize there’s actually “other” things that I can do to fill my post pop tart day. For example, I recently finished cleaning out several decades worth of neglected files. I made quite a large pile of shredded paper and enjoyed finding some forgotten memories including my ancient application for employment at Disney. I remember that they liked my illustrations but rejected me as an employee because of my background. At the time, I was a high school dropout so I expect they had many more better qualified candidates to choose from.
I didn’t get a job at Disney but I’ve had plenty of other second chances in life so maybe I can do less obsessing over my website as I keep moving forward.
June 3, 2022 – Recently, Susan and I started this detox diet that prohibits pop tarts and various other toxic chemicals that I love and enjoy. It was my daughter’s idea… she wants us to live longer. Kinda seems counterproductive to me. But after week one of three, I must admit that I do feel better.
December 28, 2021 – Well, I’m in trouble… AGAIN!
You know how people generally say cute things like “trouble is my middle name”… well “trouble” is my first and last name… my middle name is “always”.
I was good for a while. Spending time constructively, doing things like cleaning out decades of neglect from my file cabinet. But gradually I have fallen back into obsessively working on this website. Seems I can’t help myself. I am driven and I derive a lot of pleasure from Ed’s Art Net. But my wife and nurse, who by the way are taking good care of me, think that I’m spending way too much time editing and tweaking, as I said, AGAIN!
I’ve had issues with that in the past and we don’t want them repeated.
In my defense, I’m an artist. I’m obsessive. And I love my work. Ed’s Art Net is a fun and challenging therapeutic ART project. I enjoy browsing through it taking note where I typed wrong or where my grammatical skill lacks clarity and fixing it. It’s also fun to look at until I find my mistakes. But I enjoy my writing, especially after EDiting a few dozen times. I envy those natural born writers that seem to crank out great works time after time like making popcorn. I’m not a natural born writer but I do have things on my mind that I want to share. My thoughts don’t necessarily flow freely and in proper order so editing is necessary. Most all of what you read here has been scrubbed numerous times.
A lot of what I share is inspiration from my spiritual life and some of what I share is from my aspiration to be funny and entertaining. A good bit of what I share comes from my bipolar illness. And a portion is simply my art… mostly my youthful art… where angels were, very intently, helping me survive. I still get lots of help, but I’m more acutely aware of it these days.
Anyway, back to being in trouble… I’m on voluntary restriction. I’m supposed to limit my Ed’s Art Net activities to four hours a day. Two in the morning and two in the evening.
It’s only because my Susans love me. Yes there are two. And they are both natural born care givers… wife Susan and nurse Susan. And of course, I love them both.
I’ve witnessed my wife, Susan, help heal things… like birds and cats which will eat a bird given the chance, squirrels and dogs which will eat a squirrel, ducks and turtles which eat young ducks. She does her best to help about anything breathing. But we draw the line at mosquitoes! She’s also our family caretaker. Our grown up daughters still call her first whenever they have any health crisis.
My other Susan is a registered nurse. She has been successfully supervising me for quite a long time. Nurse Susan helps keep me on course without fencing me in. I wear a chemical straight jacket and she helps adjust the tension on the straps whenever they get too tight or too loose. I look forward to my visits with her. She actually understands my disordered brain.
Both my Susans see me as a health crisis project. I expect that’s because I do a lot of sitting and have bipolar disorder. Seems most of the things that I do involve sitting. About the only thing I do that doesn’t involve sitting is walking. But the ratio of sitting and walking tends to tip heavily on the sitting side. Both Susans want me to live long and be mentally and physically healthy so they work towards that end. Both are very good at their work.
It takes a strong person to deal with mental illness. I hope you are lucky enough to have a Susan in your life. I’m blessed with two!
Above is my beautiful favorite youngest daughter Kate ❤️ on the left and my beautiful favorite oldest daughter Ash ❤️ on the right. Their beautiful mom ❤️ deserves most of the credit for growing these two. I deserve a little. They both make us very proud!
January 26, 2022 – Peyton is my feline companion. God sent him to me via my youngest. God does things like that. He knows what’s best… like that 50’s TV sitcom about a really smart father, except way more smarter… “Father Way Knows Best!!!”
Peyton had a rough start. Chased by dogs near the expressway at a few months old and later abused to the point of a broken jaw and shoulder. Peyt did not have an ideal introduction into life.
Along comes my daughter. She takes him in and pays an enormous vet bill to repair his shoulder. They had to add a pin to put his bones back together. He still has the pin, crooked leg and a crooked bite. His leg and jaw healed just a bit off kilter.
I fell in love with Peyt right off the bat. He’s my animal kindred spirit. God knows what He’s doing! I thank God for Peyton. He accepts me same as I accept him.
Peyt is all cat but he follows me around like a puppy. Mischievous? Boy is he ever! He likes to get his paws into everything! He so reminds me of me! I think God gave me Peyton to show me what I’m like as a cat!
No one likes bad news. Peyton was diagnosed with lymphoma on January 12. He had been showing signs that something was wrong. After 13 years, I’m going to miss him terribly. Terribly to the point that my nurse and family are worried about my health. I told them that they worry too much. But as with any close loved one, when Peyt dies, part of me is going to die too.
Peyt has a very beautiful and strong spirit. I’ve always admired his fighting spirit. Like when he got snake bit. We think it was a copperhead because we’ve killed a few in our yard over the years. Peyton was strong at only a few years old but he wasn’t feeling too well after tangling with a poisonous snake. So we rushed him to the emergency vet clinic where they treated him as best they could. The doctor said his chances would improve with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. The nearest one for pets was in Chattanooga, Tennessee two hours away. Long story short, that oxygen chamber might have been the thing that saved his life.
Peyton’s always been a biter. I suppose he learned that behavior as a kitten. I have received numerous bites because that’s how he learned early on to communicate.
Over the years Peyt has backed off the fierce biting a bit. His bites are more of the ‘I love you but I’m still the boss’ kind of bite now.
Love is conditional for a lot of people.
One of my friends recently told me that they didn’t understand how people could get so attached to animals.
I don’t understand how they can’t.
March 19, 2022 – I buried Peyt today. I had him euthanized at the animal shelter where he started his life with us.
I miss my buddy terribly. It was difficult to watch him succumb to the cancer. The disease slowly drained his strength in spite of Susan’s galant animal nursing efforts. I was helpless except to be his buddy and companion.
I worried over Peyton like a dad worries over his son. I never took Peyt for granted but God took him from me anyway.
I know God knows best. That keeps me moving forward.
And I have the best family on the planet.
Peyt is still with me in my mind and spirit. I’m grateful for the time we had.
I miss you Peyt
a spirit true
though I have your spirit
what I miss is you
I buried part of me
that’s what buddies do
because forever I will be
your companion too
It’s Okay to Cry
If you’ve ever lost a loved one, and I know many of you have, they leave a vast hole in your heart. You just want to lay down with them. Your world stops and you cry. You may busy yourself with the mundane but your heart aches with every reminding thought. And you know that ache is never going to go away. Grief can last a lifetime. Of course you realize that “time” will make that vast hole a little smaller, but as long as you’re alive you know the ache will remain. You’d give anything to have them back. And you look forward to the promise of Heaven where you can once again be companions.
Clear Air Turbulence
“Leave sleeping dogs lay!”
“Don’t poke the bear!”
My favorite oldest daughter ❤️ took this bygone picture of me with another family member. I’m the one with both eyes closed. Jake was always the mild-mannered ham! I must have been practicing for retirement.