9.6.13

The Gryffindor, the rabbit and the crows.

I'm not an artist but I have made art. Perhaps having made any would be enough to codify or at least allow for the usage of the word 'Artist' with a capital A as part of how I see myself and how I am defined. But given that I went to a school not far from Oxford, ahem, Oxford, Ohio, I could rattle off a list of dead white men who have debated the point that merely naming something is enough to make that title meaningless.
That's fine for me--things don't need names to be understood, they need names to be categorized and referenced. And anyway, I make what people who go to art school call, "outsider art." What that means to them is I'm just guessing. There is no theory.
Some people might think that's stuffy and pretentious of them, but in my case, at least, it's correct. I love me some Bob Ross but I can't make trees half as happy as his. I don't understand shadow or blending or a bunch of other words and techniques that well, who cares--I can't really explain to you things that are beyond my capacity to do or duplicate.

Yesterday my youngest brother graduated high school.
I'm 12 years older than he but we still hung out when we were kids. I mean, technically it was my unpaid job to hang out with him and my other younger brother and our littlest sister, but my Broseph always wanted to watch cool movies like Jurassic Park and Happy Gilmore so we got along really well.
Anyway, he graduated high school last night and after a long catching up with my mom I got his phone number out of her.
I was shocked and amazed that he and I could carry on comfortably a seven minute conversation. The few times I've been home in the last couple of years have been brief and busy. Actually he had started acting like a tool around the house and I confided/yelled at him that I hoped all this garbage was just a phase and that he would become cool again once he went off to college.
You see, it's been a long time since he was practicing pratfalls in our kitchen or punching me as hard as he could in the gut while I pretended that it didn't hurt. But last night when I rang him up he put his time with his friends on hold to ask me questions about my life, my upcoming travels and I asked him about the new basketball team and if he would know anybody on campus. He told me that he loved me in front of his friends that I could hear laughing mercilessly at him in the background and I told him I was proud of him.
I made him this painting last year. It's not as simple as that. I didn't set out to make it for him--his likeness just sort of ended up on the canvas. This likely is not an issue for trained artists, what with their studies

Sebastien told me I shouldn't send it to him because it's weird when people make unasked paintings about you or for you. Seb's the reason I called my brother instead of texting him and I'm very glad that I did, so I'm going to trust him on this as well.

Have you seen the film Two Days in New York?
I thought it would be pretty stupid because I hate New York and Chris Rock has only shown me two speeds, lecturing and absurd. But it's actually a film about how a French person who has lived most of her adult life in the States views French people and how out of step they are with intercultural relations in the US. It's a little unfair at times because it might lead you to think these are the views that all French people hold. But I'd be lying if I said I hadn't run into them...a lot.
Norman can sum it up better than I. (Turn on the captions if you don't understand French. Uh, but not the French captions....they are hilariously incorrect.)

Anyway, at one point during the film, someone tells the main character that if she finds a trapped animal and lets it go, she can release symbolically someone dead from the burden of this existence.
Well, the other day on our morning jog Sebastien and I came across a rabbit and two crows hanging out in the middle of the street. My first thought was, ok---there is a fable in progress, proceed with caution. But then I hear this pitiful scream that was a cross between baby Mario in Yoshi's Island and a blue jay call--arguably the ugliest of all bird songs. One of the crows was attempting to grab a small morsel and fly off. It took two failed attempts before I realized that it was a baby rabbit the crow was endeavoring to abscond with.
Hey! I screamed. Pick on someone your own size, I was hoping to convey, but I really meant leave that cute thing alone! I'm bigger, fly away.
The crows fly to a branch and the mama rabbit crosses to one side of the street. Sagely, Sebastien and I cross to the other....but the dumb little bunny comes right to us! The crows maneuvers to a tree directly overhead and calls down to their would-be snack, tauntingly.
At this point the baby bunny is visibly throbbing with each breath. I'm a little worried that it might die of a heart attack right here on this curb. I ask Sebastien to take off his shirt and use it to carry the miniature adrenaline bomb to safety. Which he tries to do but the little guy starts his baby Mario cry again. This gets mom's attention though, so at least she doesn't run off.
Soooooooo, which one of you knows how to change a diaper? 
Soothingly, I pick it up and try to bring it over to her side of the street wrapped in Seba's shirt. This spooks the mom and she runs away. I briefly consider having a rabbit as a pet. I then consider scaring it to make it cry for its mother. Eventually, I set it close to the house she ran behind and continued our jog home. Sebastien's Don't Give Up the Ship tee shirt bounces from his belt as our breath resumes it's four step rhythm and the sweat of our backs stops feeling cold.

I thought about how I helped that rabbit and what doing so meant in terms of the film, but I don't feel changed by the event. I just feel like a Gryffindor who pulled rank on the food chain. I can't even say it has a happy ending. But I can hope.

I got a lot done in the garden today.
We're having a few friends over tomorrow for a cookout and we want the yard to look nice.
Sebastien's mowed all the lawns and pulled up some weeds. His parents will be home from their trip to Seattle on Monday, so they'll appreciate that. My two best friends bought plane tickets to Columbus to see me the weekend before we leave for San Francisco. I'm very excited to share drive through liquor stores with them. This sort of thing would be thought of as classless in prudish New England but not so in O-hi-o.

Congratulations once again to my little brother whom will be spared the awkwardness of receiving a painting in the mail. But I am going to try and find some weird candies in China to send him since I doubt he'll want a string of pearls.

Well, I've got to get ready for our date! We're going to see Into Darkness. Swoon. I want to do such dirty things to Spock, it isn't even logical.

Fair thee well, all.
May we each get closer to letting the things that trap us, go.

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