EVEN BEFORE PARIS, my head felt scrambled – too many thoughts, too many trains running in too many directions. It had been a good week, but it all came piling in at week’s end. Time for an Artist’s Date.
I make a plan. Saturday early, I’ll go go to the Frazier History Museum to see what’s happening there. It’s been a few months.
I see the Breaking News Alerts on my phone Friday night and again Saturday morning. All the more reason to go. Chaos in the world makes art more essential, not less.
I plan to leave my phone in my pocket, but I can’t resist taking pictures. Whether that’s a sign of addiction or an artistic leading, I don’t know. Let greater minds than mine debate it. Grief is rising in the world and I can’t be bothered arguing the small things.
I worry for some of the ESL students who, only 2 months ago, woke to find graffiti on their mosque. Right here in Louisville. They will experience this latest act of violence on an entirely different level. I know I would not like to have to answer for some of the things done in the name of the Christian faith.
The museum trip is good for my head. You know how just getting out and seeing something different refreshes and resets your mind? But it’s a moment in the gift shop that really gets to me. There, right at the table with all manner of Abraham Lincoln kitsch – his face on socks, golf balls, Band-Aids.
“I will heal your wound as I healed a nation!”
What WOULD Lincoln think? I wonder.
I laugh, shake my head, take some pics.
There is something about the ridiculousness of it all. (Don’t get me wrong – I’d be the first person to buy some of this stuff, even if just for gag gifts.) But I mean, in juxtaposition to the breaking news in the world. Both exist at the same time. And this is what grief is: Surreal. A struggle to make the tragic, the ridiculous and the mundane somehow sit in the same room, behave themselves and get along.
Sarah Bessey, when she doesn’t know what to do, immerses herself in “Ordinary Work.” That sounds about right to me. I have a spaghetti squash waiting for me to find a use for it. I think I’ll go tend to it.