Friday, October 7, 2011

No Two Ways About It

Everyone has days when they hate their life and I'm lucky that mine are mostly few and far between.

But I got so low today that a close friend advised, "It may be time to curl up with a good book and some relaxation time."

She was telling me to look after myself but I knew if I stayed in I'd just wallow in my maudlin mood.

So I went out and everywhere I went, random people saying nice things kept me occupied.

A gallery owner told me that my "Style Weekly" article about a painter had enticed a reader to come in to the gallery and he ended up buying two pieces of the artist's work.


An editor came up and said that she not only reads my blog but also my "Belle" column and has discovered interesting stuff she didn't know about there.


A musician I know stopped to introduce me to his fiance who, upon hearing my name, said, "Someone was just mentioning your name this afternoon, talking about what a supporter of the arts you are."


A non-profit director asked me to consider being on their board because I am such a cheerleader for RVA.


For that matter, a handsome man got down on one knee and kissed my hand, saying that the moon was now shining brighter because of my arrival.

Charming bullshit.

And while all that was happening and I was strolling First Fridays, maudlin mercifully moved to the back burner.

Art 180 had taken over the empty space next to the Visual Arts Gallery with a series of large panels created by kids.

The theme was "What I Stand For" and on the front was their painted depiction of that and on the back, a written statement about the work.

Making my way around the colorful works, I was asked to give my own thoughts on what I stand for to a camerawoman.

I did my best spontaneous explanation of what matters to me, but it probably wasn't the ideal day to put me on the spot.

At Metro Gallery, Wade Mickley's assemblages addressed the unpredictability of life, underscoring my mood.

"An Undulating Mess" was a whimsical creature crafted from cut-up 45s with a cloud for a face.

A square picture of a bird was surrounded by nesting material and (again) clouds, making for a square nest in "Widespread and Abundant."

At Gallery 5, Abigail Larson's drawings and watercolors showed a definite nod to the macabre and the illustrative qualities of an Edward Gorey with lots of fluid lines and bizarre details.

In the Craft Gallery, the "Pin Pals" exhibit was a series of buttons made by artists and mounted on fabric swatches on woodblocks.

There were some talented names on display (Noah Scalin, Ryan McLennan) and many I'd never heard of, but the array of miniature art was impressive.

It might be the way to own an artist I couldn't otherwise afford.

That was all the art I had time for before high-tailing it to the Byrd for the bone-crushing organ skills of Cameron Carpenter.

The benefit for the theater (we will get new seats in my lifetime...I hope) was really well attended considering tickets were not cheap.

On the other hand, Carpenter is the world-renowned bad boy of organ playing, right down to his glittery wardrobe (silver lame suit and shoes with lights) and offbeat programs.

And speaking of programs, he never announces his in advance. The program has no, well, program.

Tonight he began with fast and loud (Chopin) with his lighted feet almost dancing on the pedals before going to slow and soft ("Colonial Song").

He did Bach before switching to Gershwin ("The Bach of American pop music," he opined), Henry Mancini and Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting" ("She's right up there with Tom Waits and Schubert").


Carpenter is not your mother's organist, but his mad organ skills make even the stuffiest classical music fans sit up and take notice.

Early on he'd announced, "I'm going to have a grand old time playing this marvelous monster," and that he'd only had twenty minutes of practice on it this afternoon.

Talking about where he might go with the musical selections, he said, "I've no more desire to hear serious organ music than you do."

But by the same token, he acknowledged that "Nobody wants to hear Lady Gaga on a pipe organ."

I'll do him one better. I don't want to hear Lady Gaga at all. And still haven't (a source of personal pride).

By the time the performance was over, the evening's distractions had traded places with the back burner's contents and there it all was again.

Lonely. Profoundly lonely.

1 comment:

  1. That's what I thought might be going on.... If it helps.... I think you are great,
    Smart, funny, nice, open and just an all around bowl of cool beans...