Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bike Trip Sunday

James Castle
James Castle,
originally uploaded by sokref1.
Yesterday rocked my jelly-buns. We -- the partner duo -- logged another bike trip along the Schuykill River Trail and also made our way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I'm mildly horrified by cars when on foot, deeply horrified when inside, and panick-stricken horrified when biking alongside. There goes my chance at being coolly hip, riding a bike in tight jeans. Even tight jeans couldn't keep my mess together. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, which is true I suppose, but the self-conscious nervousness was never a factor as a kid. Anyway.

The river trail is beautiful, despite all the looming concrete highways and 'scrapers and the river's own filthiness. The sun and the cold air and the Philadelphian vibe were just wonderful.

That you can take this trail and wind up at the art musuem is a whole other wonderful. I kinda hate the grandiose museum experience, especially paired with tourists, but since my daily art environment consists of my own silly ideas poorly executed, it was quite invigorating. 'Course there was a touch of nostalgia for my art school days.

I'm ashamed to say I'd never taken note of James Castle's artwork before, but the surprise enounter at the museum was too much like an epiphany to have regrets. I love that. Serendipitous, fortuitous, miraculous moments that punctuate our human blundering. I still can't get around the questions of significance in an apparently insignificant existence, but those bright happenstances keep me feeling delighted about the whole mystery of it. Life.

You can't help but be moved by Castle's soot-ink drawings and cardboard constructions. As I learn more about his life, removed from the world but so fantastically of the world, I think of my own childhood, my current self-imposed isolation, and I feel a deep fondness for lonely human beings. Looking to your own mind for interaction, letting it decide your immediate or immaterial world, existing in a sub-world, I suppose, is such a rare and unique privilege. I'm able to move back-and-forth between these places, but Castle stayed within far longer. The amount of drawings and books and constructions -- what a beautiful, frightening use of the time available to an average human being on Earth.

The return trip home was hard on my puny leg muscles, but then there was a spring roll feast afterward, so it was awesome.

I recently made my first ever Etsy sale, followed by the second, third, and fourth, so I'm delightedly grateful for that. I've been frantically making and re-making different inclusions for the packages, plus learning about what happens after someone does buy something. Whee. I wish I'd started this years ago! Particularly with these worsening economic woes, I think I missed my chance to jump on the Etsy wagon. :) Oh well.

Off to lose myself in carving stamps and making books.

Have an out-of-this-world day, anyone, everyone.

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