shadow from the past
Laid down to take a nap at 6, woke a few minutes after 12 to the plaintive cry of a cat outside the door. I believed Caterpillar was in the house when I closed the door, but I've shut her out all night before. This is her home. She knows safe places under the house a dog can't get to. She can curl up and be warm at home. It's just my preference that she be in the house while I'm sleeping. Dogs come around by surprise. I want her in the house when dogs are present. The cry of the cat outside the door alarmed me. It sounded so forlorn like it was crying. My immediate thought on waking was I'd shut Caterpillar out and she was hurt, though really didn't believe it. She has a hidden bed in another room she sleeps in mostly now. She has several beds around the house. She moves around to the different ones. I learned early she does not like the same old catfood every day. I buy her a variety every time in the can, and each bag of dry food is different. She'd rather be having mouse or bird sushi. At age 17 she doesn't jump onto chairs anymore. I will lift her when she wants to nap on my reading chair, and lift her again to let her down. From the bed, I stepped into my slip-on shoes, hurried to the door, turned on the outside light and opened the door. No cat. It did not sound like a dream. Yet, I've never heard Caterpillar cry so mournfully. I was thinking she must be hurt. Or it could be another cat. Maybe the cat ran when I turned on the light. My dreams over the last few years are odd. I will meet someone in a dream, reach out to shake hands and wake up with my arm extended and hand ready for a shake. I've dreamed cat Tar Baby was standing on my chest watching me wake and when I wake, cat's not there. One morning I dreamed I was lying in the bed gazing out the window. I woke seeing the same scene with blinds closed.
Thought I might get up and read, but it was too cold. I'd have to put on a sweater and even then it would be too cold. Even turning on the heat, it would take too long to get warm enough to be comfortable slouched down reading. I threw on a sweatshirt and turned on the laptop. A good time to write to you after a 6 hour restful sleep. I wasn't sleepy when I laid down, just thought I'd take a nap between scenes. The day's project was to mix an orange to satisfaction and slather it onto prepared white surface with palette knife. I'd thought about it so much, I knew step-by-step what to do. I took a piece of scrap plywood I'd found someplace years ago 26x12 inches. Glued and screwed two strips of wood to the back to hold the plywood's tendency to warp over time. Turned it over and glued a rectangle of cardboard to it. I'd cut the cardboard from a box 20x6 inches, and placed it where it felt right for the feeling I was looking for to accompany the fire orange. This is a hot orange. I wanted to juxtapose a cold, geometric line with the hot color. Balance. It is minimalist. I slathered the orange paint on it with the palette knife to make an abstraction with the marks of the palette knife. I did not want the markings to look like I was trying to do pretty aesthetic sweeps of the blade or make a repeating pattern. I wanted to spread it over the white, to cover the surface, making it a point to let each swipe of the palette knife function to cover the white and thicken the thin places, only. Slapping the paint on is an abstract expressionist approach. For my own personal exercise in what I like, I like the principles of both. I feel like minimalism is abstraction without the personalized texture. Abstraction, soft edges, gave evidence a machine did not do this. Acoustic. A minimalist object looks like it probably was made by machine, had to be. Electric. Yin and yang.
About the time I was wondering where to put it to let it dry, thinking all the red in it will take at least a month to dry. The phone rang. Melvin wanted me to meet him in Whitehead with a check for him that came to my address in the mail at one, for work he did last week for Carpenters. He needed to be in town to get it cashed and get electric bill paid before two to prevent cutoff. He wanted me to meet him to save him the 20 minute round trip from hwy 18 to here. I did not want to go to town today. This was not going to town, just driving down the mountain and back up. Thought I'd take the camera along. We were to meet at the old Whitehead store, a Sunoco station before that. I was a little early and sat listening to NPR news product and looking around at familiar scenes, scenes so familiar I didn't see anything interesting in them to photograph. I saw the shadow of an old light fixture on the pavement, picked up the camera thinking I could get the picture I wanted without leaving the car, and left the car. Photographed the shadow and discovered details in the building I felt were interesting. Found some chance markings in the pavement made by tire, and several bottle caps melted into asphalt. I'd guess these were ones opened on the way to the car and cap dropped on the ground. On a summer day of sun all day long the pavement is soft, a car rolls over the cap and pushes its circular blade down into the asphalt and there it stays. A moment in time frozen into rock like dinosaur tracks. The graffiti of chance. The closer I looked, the more subjects I found. It came to mind to get some pics here for the facebook group called Rambling Revolution. It's about showing pictures from around where we live. Everybody lives in different places. What is familiar unto boring to us is fresh, exotic and new to somebody in another part of the country or world.
I thought I'd mosey home, take my time and see what I can find on the way to make a five-image picture of scenes in Whitehead. I wanted to get pictures of a field of goldenrod in full flower where the pavement ends before the turn up the mountain on gravel road. I parked, walked up the road a ways looking at the meadow of goldenrod flowers assessing how I wanted to photograph it. I held camera up arms length with monitor turned downward so I could see like a periscope. That worked the best. At eye level, it was a line of the yellow flowers, green below and the green trees above. I needed to get the camera up high to get any sense of the field. Next stop was Air Bellows to get some pictures of a stack of rocks the man who lives there keeps growing and changing. He has been doing this for years. Sometimes a storm knocks them down when a tree limb falls on them. Sometimes somebody will knock them down. Turns out stacked rocks freak some people out. They claim it has to do with religion and the devil, but I suspect they get it from horror movies about devil-worship kinds of nonsense. The people freaked by stacked rocks tend to be of a generation that saw those movies in childhood, possibly parents went to church and watched horror movies until they fused in the kids' minds. There was a time I put rocks from the road on top of fence posts, something to do. It freaked out a lot of people. Somebody left a note under one of the rocks, "Are you a devil-worshiper?" I'm not going to look at any of those movies to see if there is anything to my hypothesis, but I already know it has something to do with television. It has been several years since I've seen evidence of that way of thinking. Possibly horror movie trends have got weary of the devil and now use trons.
air bellows rock formation