circles inside circles
This morning I packed art objects made over the last year into the car to take to the library and hang on the walls in their exhibition / meeting room, Sherry's office space, for the month of October. Took two hours hanging them, got plenty of stair-step exercise stepping onto a wooden chair often and back down. I get them up on the walls and they look so puny in a big room. That's neither here nor there. It's hard for me to say if it looks good or not. I know them each one, individually, intimately unto conception. I know the why behind them. I need to write this out in a kind of artist's statement for anyone who is curious. First and only rule for every piece was Simple, simplest possible. When something became complex visualizing it in mind's eye, I'd stop and say, no complex---simple only. Each one is about getting the max out of the least. I decided to call the show Punk Art. Had a good time in there. Hung the pictures as low as the hanging chains allowed. I wanted them down where kids can see them easily. I've asked the people working in the library to suggest to kids who come in to go have a look.
the foot of somebody's bed
First of the month, had some cash, decided to treat self to a good meal while in town. Went to a small restaurant called La Mexicana. The spirit is the best in there since Consuelo, of Bogota, Columbia, opened it. She served Venezuelan, Mexican and Columbian cuisine for lunch. Her cooking had the quality of a chef. Her personality was vibrant, a woman who likes to dance on weekends. She's moved to Charlotte, last I heard, the restaurant has been through I think two owners between Consuelo and the people who have recently taken it over. I saw an article about the new owner in the paper a few weeks ago. He is from Spain and his wife from Bolivia, La Paz. She does the cooking. Several Mexicans came in while I was there. The food is real Mexican. The Mexican restaurant in town for years, Mis Arados, is Tex-Mex. La Mexicana is the food they eat in Mexico. I love Latin cooking. Flavor is important. I will return to this place often, already feel at home there. Good meal, good vibrations.
Walking from the car to the house told me I was worn out from hours of physical activity, not strenuous, but motion. Emptied pockets right away, shed shoes and socks and fell down on the bed, covered up and slept a few hours. Did not want to get up. Did not want to write. Wanted to be still. Could not get back to sleep. Thought I'd watch the movie in today's mail, Love & Mercy, Brian Wilson's story of the Beach Boys. Set it in motion, sitting back with Sophia, feet up, in for a couple hours. Phone rang. It rang a long time for me taking so long to rise from my nest and get to the phone. My friend Billy Potter from forty-five to fifty years ago. I knew when I heard his voice, my friend, his uncle, John Zeigler had left the body at 103. So when he told me, it was already redundant. John was the owner of the bookstore I worked in part-time during the years at College of Charleston, the Old South College of a student body of five hundred. Now it is ten thousand, a state university, has a big art department, big music department, big science department.
When I went there, the main building and the old library were it. The plaster walls were cracked and patches gone. Old, old maps hanging in some of the classrooms, plaster busts of Greek and Roman generals lying about. Tall windows. Old wooden floors, old desks. Some of the professors were present day people, several of them were from the Old South past. It was fascinating for me, a culture, the South, after growing up in a world without culture. I loved being in a culture and learning the ways of the culture. Throughout my sentence of involuntary servitude, every port the ship stopped in, the other guys went looking for the bars. I went looking for the bookstore. I became acquainted with several bookstores along our southeastern coast and the different ports in the Mediterranean. I bought paperbacks every place the ship pulled into port. I fell in love with bookstores and wanted with all my heart to work in one. I became acquainted with the Book Basement in Charleston and bought several books there, quite a lot.
four quartets: the universe
When I started at the College, I asked John about working there. He always kept a college student part-time. The guy working there had one more semester to go. If I could find something to get me through til then, I'll get the job. I made do and got the only job I ever wanted. I believe I learned twice as much by way of the bookstore as I did in school. It was a hyper-learning time. I was learning the ways of the Old South. The New South had yet a decade before it reached Charleston. I loved the Old South. I loved the massive live oak trees that made a forest canopy for the quadrangle. I loved the College's neo-classical architecture. While talking with Billy, I told him John taught me authentic morality. The morality I grew up in was you-better-not. John's morality had to do with practical everyday life, the morality of "To thine own self be true and it must follow as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man." Shakespeare. He kept a small calligraphy copy of this sentence framed on the wall in the store. I saw it every day multiple times. It was the core of John's morality and became the core of my own.
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all ouvres by tj worthington