Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 2. June 2, 2011-Pride, the Road, The Dog and the Sun

The journey taught me some lesson yesterday.
1. I may need to slow down and rest more often-give myself a day of reading . I planned a logical route from my desk in Decatur, but all of that melts away as the miles fly under my wheels. I get very tired, and I’m still on Eastern Time, waking with the sun way too early.

2. Too much sun is dangerous. I may have gotten a touch of heat stroke yesterday at the Indian Mounds outside of Tuscaloosa. Big headache now and ringing in the ears. The site was recommended to me to see, but the heat and relentless sun took their toll, despite wearing a ball cap and having lots of water to drink. Etta was wiped out too. The temperature must have been 100+ without shade. Once out in the giant quadrangle, we had no choice but to walk back as fast as we could.
3. Etta rules what I do. Because of this heat I cannot leave her in the car very long. A trip into a grocery becomes a mad dash. Blogs may be intermittent as I search for cool, dog-friendly Wi-fi spots.

So, dear readers, my pride has been modified and I humbly proceed with a new respect for the weather and my aging body.

I’m grateful for the nuggets of wisdom that people have shared with me in these two days. The Tuscaloosa painter Tom Wegrzynowski experienced a turning point in his painting career with this new series of close-ups of the faces of sports fans. He said that he slowly realized that his previous body of work was crap in comparison. The previous works are larger and full of layered images. They are technically beautiful, but do not carry the visceral punch that the smaller, simpler, more passionate series does. The new paintings are pared down, and yet more formal in academic painting terms. The oil paint shimmers. What an insight that I can use in my work as well!

A student archaeologist on a dig at the Indian mounds talked about the ancient carvings on display there of an eye in the palm of an open hand. An upside down hand and eye is pictured on his T-shirt. He told me that they think the motif represented a portal through the constellation Orion for the dead. The soul is then free to journey along the milky way into the cosmos. I like that.

Finally, I spent an evening in beautiful, semi-tropical Fairhope Alabama, near Mobile. The town was founded in the late 1800s as a utopian community where land was kept in common . Today it is a quiet tourist destination on Mobile bay.I walked at dusk with my glove artist friend, Peg Tilley. She is now concentrating her energies on getting an MFA in writing. I returned her military dress gloves printed with maps of Iraqi bomb sites from her week of news stories from 2006. She impressed upon me the importance of resting.

Thistle in the sun with the grasshoppers and armadillos at the Indian Mounds.

No comments:

Post a Comment