Sunday, March 20, 2011

A number of things

Had I stayed home today, I would have continued to clean the greenhouse. I started the project the day before yesterday, first dismantling two growing tables I built in year two of our experiment in farming. The tables were actually elevated troughs for growing greens in late winter, if not to sell, then to at least have fresh lettuce and spinach for our own table.

Each table top was eight-inches deep, one somewhat larger than the other, the larger longer with a storage shelf below. Both were lined and had drainage systems.

As I took them apart, I studied how they were put together, and although I could not remember the process exactly, I came to the conclusion that much time and thought had gone into the construction. And knowing the speed at which I work, I estimated that these two tables, plus a third that has weathered outdoors for several years and will therefore be taken to the burn pile, account for three days of planning and building. This is what I occupied my mind with for the two hours, from removing the first screw to lumber stacked in the barn where it now awaits repurposing.

But clearing out the under-utilized shelves, rusting tools and spilled soil would have to wait another day, for the city called.

My editor suggested a couple exhibits. He thought they'd be right up my alley, given, perhaps, my most recent essay. This is not to say he assumed I would appreciate the work, but nonetheless be inspired to put thoughts to page. This, despite my notice that nothing would be forthcoming in the week before Vegas and I was squeezing in another trip to Portland against my better judgment and additional pressure from a 'Dry-Day-Honey-Do' list.

"Ah, Vegas," he added over coffee when we met a bit later, "I will be giving a presentation there this spring with DH (a rather well-known arts writer).

But style has gotten ahead of a time line. I saw one exhibit, about which (jumping back to coffee) I will write over the course of three weeks, not only because of my schedule but there is so little to remark on that I will be able to attach other contemporaneous issues of concern. There are reasons, both realized and delusional, for making failed art, and the level of expectation that the viewer brings is contingent on oh so many of life's variables. I am grateful for such latitude; yet, as I come to understand more completely, it is the depth of experience that allows me to both draw from and readily dismiss an object in a very short span of time. That said, I have also learned to circle back around a couple times and try to understand why someone would spend the time in the creation of. Therein lies my continued learning.

I could leave it at that and be content to let the parallels sit as a pair, if I was not aware that what comes after the sophomore endeavor is that most telling; that, and while two is a number, an implication has been established that more would be forthcoming. Therefore, I don't suppose my editor would take umbrage with the observation that a conversation with him is akin to reading several chapters that require only that one take notes. The man can talk, and it behooves me to indulge in a shared fuel of choice, not so much to stay awake but keep up, be at-the-ready, and bolster an efficient cogency.

A tennis player and a furrow-stepper walk into a coffee shop... It ends well.

Coming and going, I counted four mattresses and two utility trailers alongside the highway.

No comments: