I couldn’t have had a more perfect three days.
The weekend started early on Friday afternoon after selling my portrait of Percy. I left work to meet Amanda at Yazoo for a beer. I went home where there were three new CD’s waiting for me in the mailbox. I fell asleep in front of the television during a new episode of The Entourage (I love that show).
Saturday I went to the office to update some website stuff. Not feeling too productive I trekked out to Lebanon to Nathan and Cynthia’s for a visit. Nathan was replacing his brakepads when I got there. I realized how seldom I’ll be able to hang out with him after moving to California. I’ve only recently started to hang out with him and Cynthia, albeit infrequently. They are so rooted to Lebanon and their lifestyle together there as a young married couple keeps them busy. It is nothing like my life, or the direction I seem to be pursuing, but it is inspiring and sweet. I can’t help but admit that were my life less “artistic,” theirs is exactly the traditional home that I would have aspired to. Whether deliberate or instinctive, Nathan has nested himself into the exact same life that I imagine my parents had at his age, as well as both sets of our grandparents. He seems to be following a spiritual and genetic heritage that simply makes sense, but was never broken down with such careful instructional detail – his garage, his yard, his kitchen – they all bear nuances that are so reminiscent of some of my earliest childhood memories. Except instead of being two feet tall, wandering through my grandparents house trying to make sense of a new unexplored world, I’m five foot, ten inches tall wandering through my little brother’s house trying to make sense of the same world through a more informed, slightly tarnished lense. I love my brother. I love his wife. I love the life they have tackled together. It gives me hope to see them continue so faithfully the life we were raised to live.
After a quick bite to eat from Sonic, Nathan and I pulled Phillip’s motorcycle out of the garage and he showed me how to ride it. I was surprised that Phil’s helmet fit me so perfectly. I have a smallish head. Several trips around their isolated suburb block helped introduce me to the driving mechanisms of a motorcycle: the clutch, the gearshift pedal, the rear brake pedal, and the accellerator. I realized that a lot of practice will be necessary before I commit to taking the bike to San Francisco.
From Lebanon I went directly to some art shows downtown at the Arcade. That community has exploded with activity and support. I am almost jealous that it couldn’t have happened sooner when I was still doing the Secret Show Series, but the right ingredients just weren’t there yet. The convenience of the Arcade has made a huge difference, and I hope Nashville will continue to nurture this art boom along the 5th avenue area.
Around eight I left the Arcade to find my way down to Peagram TN where the Fugitive Group’s Sixty Second Video Festival was taking place at Harmony Landing, just off I40. I shared a blanket with Heather, Kristen, Derek and Andrea. Seeing Kristen was completely unexpected – it felt as soothing as it felt unsettling. I wanted to be somewhere else, visiting with her and finding out how she is, what has she been up to? Instead we sat quietly in the peaceful, dark field with these other familiar-but-drifting friends, watching experimental art videos back to back, laughing, groaning and cooing. The gentle smell of dewy spring grass, the giant film screen backed by a starry country sky… halfway through the screenings a train rumbled down tracks that bordered the field. It fit perfectly into the spirit of the videos, almost as if planned. For sixty seconds an excerpt from Will’s video “I’m Masturbating Right Now” filled the screen and as he pontificated with himself on the meaning of life, Kristen leaned against my shoulder, laughing with me, and it was a welcome dose of times past.
From Peagram I ran home to Franklin and picked up Percy, then trucked over to Matt and Danny’s for Cinco de Mayo. It was midnight so I slept there. After a lazy Sunday morning, Matt, Danny, Brandon and I spent the afternoon on their boat, catching sun and enjoying the lake. Without the engine on, we drifted with Pringles and sandwiches, rocking rhythmically with the gentle wake of passers-by. Matt’s friend Lonnie joined us at the Elm Hill Marina for awhile. When we concluded boating, we went back to Matt’s and constructed a “Storm Safety” poster to complete Chris’s weather project. Seventh grade homework is much more frustrating than I would have ever thought, and extremely boring – although as adults we were able to take it less seriously and have fun.
I got home around 11pm. Percy is worn out from playing with Matt and Danny’s Chihuahua, and I’m worn out from 56 hours of enjoying life. My shoulders are pink and warm from too much sun, and I don’t know when I’ve felt more blessed.