It’s Sunday night. I’m at a motel in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It’s been 4 days and I’m already way behind schedule and a bit pooped. I’m beginning to wonder if and when I will make it to Portland. But in the meantime, I’m enjoying myself thoroughly.
I left Lafayette Thursday afternoon and drove to Monroe. My cousin and I had a very pleasant dinner at a lovely place on the river. We talked smack about family and caught up. I broke a wine glass on my way out. I stopped off to see my Aunt Wilma before getting on the road and was inspired as usual by the prolific collection of work in her apartment. She had a large piece of paper tacked across a wall with a rough sketch on it. Every time she had extra paint from another painting, she added a bit to the piece. It reminded me a little of my daughter’s work.
Friday I went to Dallas to the 6th Floor Museum. Being a history buff, I didn’t learn anything knew exactly, but it was eerie to look down at the x on the road from the window of the sixth floor. I had just finished listening to Alexandra Zapruder’s book “26 seconds,” that detailed the history of her grandfather’s film. His camera was on display. The story is an interesting prism through which to view that horrible day. I wonder if we will ever really know or even collectively agree on, what really happened that day.
Then I managed to find the Kimball Museum in Fort Worth which thankfully was open until 8. It was almost dark when I got there and the moon was rising. The Louis Kahn architecture invited calm. I walked along the water pools, spilling ever so gently off the sides and through the carefully planted, small trees.
The galleries seemed to have an unusually high number of custodians, if that’s what they’re called. I didn’t understand why until I really examined the collection. I had gone there to see the architecture. Original Van Gough’s, Monet’s, Mondrian’s and Picasso’s hung in elaborate frames. I felt like I was in a heist movie and any minute now men with bowler hats were going to march in before a small, invaluable painting disappeared.
You see these painting in print and on screens all the time, but it’s different to look at them in person. The black lines on the Mondrian are precise and layered. They are three-dimensional like ribbons. I was reminded of why it’s always such a strange experience to see famous works in person, as they were meant to be viewed, I suppose. Paintings are almost mini-sculptures. You are supposed to occupy a space with them, not just look at them in a stadium seat as a slide projected in an art class. Experiencing these masterpieces was a nice lagniappe.
I found a cheap motel on the highway, pleasantly decorated in an IKEA-ish style and called it a night.
Tomorrow, I would try to put more miles under my belt.