Sometimes it will hit me that the very idea of Raymond Thunder-Sky might put a few people off. I know he was not universally loved while he was alive. I like to think he was. It gives me great comfort that he was, but I've heard stories (the John Wayne Gacy contingent and other forms of trying to figure Raymond out and piegonhole him into a dark place), and I witnessed a few times when Raymond was alive: people giving him that look, or even saying shit about him right in front of his, and my, face. And here's this Polaroid of Raymond that probably would be unnerving, if you don't know who the man is. "Coulrophobia" is the term for fear of clowns. A lot of people have that, and I could see how Raymond's very existence could throw people off, even induce a little ickiness.
I guess that's why Raymond is a lesson to me in so many ways, especially now that he is no longer on this earth. His spirit seems to be about moving forward, being exactly who you want to be, and creating a solitary space that allows you to survive whatever happens because of who you are. There's a magical freakishness in this world that cannot be pummeled or feared or talked out of existence, and Raymond had that. He was so otherwordly he became more real. His life was a secret that yelled itself out of secrecy. And now we have all his drawings and other stuff, we've established a little art gallery in his name, and it's just a wonder. If you really just step back and look at him and who he was and how he lived, it kind of stupefies.
Look at that face, surrounded by clowns. He's holding a drawing and what looks like some kind of mechanical equipment. He's dressed in one of his finest confections (it's still around; the drawing is hiding the King Wrecking Company decal he sewed onto the outfit), and he is in Heaven here, you can tell. It's like a picture of where he is right now.
You get wiser because you meet incredible people like Raymond and they show you how to be without really saying one word.