Saturday, August 06, 2011

when I got back from minnesota, a friend in the office gave me a stack of new york times that were already a couple of days old at the newest; I put them in order from most recent to oldest and set about reading them, until just about a day ago I'd gotten to the death of Betty Ford. I read about a lot of different things, the winter olympics coming to korea, sholem aleichem, etc. I read stuff that I ordinarily wouldn't have time to read. one article was about a high school girl in new york city who had, through facebook, assembled an excellent exhibit of the best young artists in the new york area. she was aggressive, got the word out, and pulled together one of the best art exhibits ever (just because people are young, doesn't mean they can't do art)…

then, this one made an impression on me. here's this guy, Lee Ufan, who goes out to rock quarries in search of the perfect rock. when he finds one he retrieves it or has someone retrieve it for him. then he places it in an art exhibit in front of, say, a steel plate, and calls it "Relatum" or some variant like "relatum – silence b". his art is renowned worldwide. He is a founding member of the "Mono-ha" (School of Things) school or art which combines "what is made" with "what is not made". Part of the idea is that the rock does things to the space around it and that becomes part of the art.

I saved this article and kept it by my side as other books, magazines and newspapers came and went. it reminded me a little of the cairns on the beach although in that case somebody was combining that which is not made, with that which is not made. but in my case the simplicity, the emptiness, was what I was after. when I got to Minnesota I'd taken pictures of the cairns, but I'd also set about skipping stones, sore shoulder or not, and by the end of vacation my shoulder was less sore, and rocks skipped easily along the water. now, back from vacation in the sweltering heat wave (which broke for a couple of days recently) I long for that simplicity, and keep the Lee Ufan article next to my little pile; it's the best I can do.

when the weather broke a little I got out into the garage, which is always five or ten degrees hotter than the outdoors, and sorted stuff out a little. if things go my way I'll hang license plates out there thus conquering it and making it a man-cave with a little character; that's my goal. it has been overwhelmed by junk that is out of my control for many years. I call it out of my control, because, being a large buggy, for example, a major expense, I'm unable to throw it out; yet, it takes up a lot of space, and makes it impossible for me to use the place for anything else. it should be possible, theoretically, to make shelves, and throw out a lot of junk, and store things such that a person could store a car in there, on a winter day. this would be my goal. but, I find that the times when I can get out there are times when I'm not watching kids in the house, or working. this usually means from ten to eleven, late at night, when I'm exhausted.

I have, however, been writing stories at this time. late at night, when the kids are in bed, the littlest one has fallen asleep in my arms (preferably before I did), the thirteen-year-locusts start up their screech, the neighborhood gets real quiet, and, if I have any ideas I've been chewing on during the day, out they come. I've been fairly productive on the short stories, though the novel is at a dead wash; I've also been working on the calendar, and may spring on some shirts real soon here. and I've started the quilt for the young baby granddaughter. more on that soon, and pictures, I promise, for those of you who don't come here through facebook, and already feel like, hey, enough is enough.

2 Comments:

Blogger eaglith77 said...

Cool. I'd like to see the pictures of the School of Things art sometime.
Noah

11:07 PM  
Blogger J-Funk said...

that School of Things art sounds really neato. It's funny that it affected you like that! I'm glad you had so much fun in Minnesooooota.

10:32 AM  

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