Sunday, October 19, 2008

Traveler, Return!

The grass is always greener on the other side, the old saying goes. This Oklahoma City horse believes it, willing to stick his neck through the wire fence separating his homestead from the stretch of our motel. Actual grass to eat, unlike the shrub and brush in back of him, made it worth the chance of getting tangled or cut.

How often can you look out your motel room and find an oasis in the city, horse walking past your window, surreal juxtaposition of a country home and encroaching city?

Just returned from an over 3,000 mile road trip, the most difficult journey I’ve embarked on. Along the way, I've learned and experienced a great deal. And was lucky to visit with my favorite Minnesota Four.

For all book binders/printers/book lovers, you’ll be interested to note I visited the Minnesota Center for Book Arts []. Wandering through the gift shop and spaces where workshops are held, I saw book presses, wide work tables, drawers of old-fashioned type, boxes of tools, walls of exhibits, but not Dean Ebben--scheduled to teach workshops that weekend and this--who included some of my gelatin prints as examples. Just being in the downtown recycled building, walls several feet wide, fired up my love of books, my dabble in book binding, my creative juices. “Welcome to your environment,” my step-son Steve said, a former art major himself, as he guided his father and me into the center.

While on the road, I began an altered book, painting pages and creating poems appropriated from removed text. For a book lover, it seems somewhat sacrilegious to destroy a tome, but it keeps the landfill free of dollar remainders and births a brand new art form.

While I unpack, I'll leave you with my favorite summing up from the television program "No Reservations."

"As you probably noticed, I am not an expert on the places I visit. I'm not an authority, I'm a visitor, a traveler, an enthusiast. Is it possible to feel enriched and hollowed out at the same time? Travel isn't always pretty, it isn't always comfortable. Sometimes, it hurts; it even breaks your heart. But, that's OK. The journey changes you. It should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, in your heart and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully you leave something good behind."

Anthony Bourdain, “No Reservations”, Malaysia (Into the Jungle), first aired 08/22/2005