Thursday, May 20, 2010

finding the hidden

on wednesday i went for a ride on the trails in the cedar valley. i packed my bag with the usual stuff; my sketchbook, pens and markers, camera, a book, and a journal. i had the intention of riding for a while and then stopping off at a coffee shop to read and sketch. a short ride followed by a long chill time. i started my ride and, eventually, ended up under a highway bridge looking at the pillars that held it up. it was there that i saw some of the best art i have seen in a while. there was graffiti on each pillar. some it was thin and novice, but there were a few that inspired me, since i am an artist myself. i parked my bike [lucy] and pulled out my camera. i spent a good 45 minutes exploring this make-shift gallery, taking photos and admiring this unnoticed art. in the end, i pulled out a marker and added a statement to sum it all up. i wrote "this is real art." nothing profound, just simple.

now, i have driven on that bridge at least 100 times and never have i known about the incredible work that was displayed below. i only noticed this art because i was riding a bike. it reminded me of an email i received from my dad, who is also a cyclist, last fall. he sent it to me and all of his friends who had hung up there bikes and bought motorcycles. it talks about noticing the little things, the things unseen when driving a car, the things revealed when you are "one with the road."

here is the email from my dad:

Today I saw the blackbirds pestering a hawk as he flew from perch to perch, a deer, horses playing in the barn lot because they didn’t even know I was there, a new hole in the abandoned barn roof that wasn’t there in the spring, a tall pine tree standing like a sentinel in the middle of a country cemetery as if it was standing guard over the loved ones who had been buried there, roadkill, the shadows on the crops as the sun rose higher in the sky, a new strip of gravel that had just been place the day before along side the road, a patch of yellow wild flowers dancing in the gentle breeze. Today I heard crickets and other insects looking for one more mate before the seasons changed and the cool weather drives them into hibernation, the pop of an American flag and the clink of the chain as it slapped against the flag pole, the sound of a distant bird singing as it sat on the telephone wire and the sound of small kids playing in the yard. Today I could smell the fragrance of purple cone flowers as they fought out the remnants of an old barnyard and the sweet scent of the corn and beans as they begin to dry down and drop their leaves as they prepare to be harvested.

Why did I see, hear and smell these things? Because I was cruising by under my own power and not that of 1200 cc engine.

Peddle on.

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