This evening I went to Crystal Bridges to see the Dale Chihuly blown glass exhibit. Oh my gosh, it was the coolest thing. There were so many shapes and colors, so much to take in. I feel like it’s fair to say that I was overstimulated. It was like seeing the Golden Corral buffet for the first time. I mean–where does one start?
The exhibit consists of two main sections, one indoors, one outdoors. The indoor portion ends this weekend (I think), but the outdoor portion goes until November (I think again). Here are a few “swirly things” that were inside. Aren’t they beautiful? Maybe it’s just the practical side of me, but I think–in addition to being wonderul art–they’d also make swell toothbrush holders.
This piece, also inside, is a chandelier and consists of a ton of glass pieces fused together. For a moment I stood underneath the whole thing and looked up, but stepped away when I thought, What if this damn thing falls?
Think about it. Ouch.
Earlier today before I went to Crystal Bridges, I went to therapy (which was equally entertaining). The highlights were conversations about boundaries, boundaries, boundaries, and fidget spinners (my therapist keeps them around because apparently people get nervous talking to a therapist). Also, we discussed the idea of life supporting us in following our dreams. She said that are first you “act as if” it’s true, but eventually you get to the point where you know that it is–the universe will rise up to meet you. Lastly, we discussed a sign she keeps in her office that says, “Get off the internet.” She said it was for all the people who go online to self-diagnose rather than seeing a professional.
Isn’t that hilarious? I’m sure that more than once I’ve been that self-diagnosis guy. Oh my god, there’s this thing–and what if–and I don’t want to die. I had one doctor tell me, “Doctor Google did not go to medical school.” Lesson learned (sort of). It’s a good idea to get off the internet because it can scare the shit out of you. Of course, I think it’s also a good idea to get off the internet to simply leave the couch behind and explore life personally (rather than just watch everyone else do it), which is part of the reason I wanted to check out the Chihuly exhibit.
Having done exactly that, I’m here to say that all the pictures you see online don’t do it justice. The outside exhibit is along a trail and consists of nine pieces, three of which are “reeds.” Here’s maybe my favorite. I love how they come up around the logs, like they grew there, as if they belong.
Here are the red ones, and I love the fact that they are crossed. It reminds me of fire, something tribal.
I walked the entire trail twice. The first time when I came to the largest exhibit–a five thousand pound collection of 1,400 pieces of glasses–there were a couple ladies taking selfies in front of it. Well, you know how you can’t help but overhear and pay attention to people. So I was watching these two ladies, and they were cracking me up. One of them called the piece “Ode to Reproduction,” since it looks like a bunch of sperm racing toward an egg–everyone trying to cross the finish line before the other.
Anyway, when it was my turn to take a selfie, the ladies offered to take a picture for me. Sweet, that would be fantastic. So one of the ladies took a picture of me full-length, then the other lady said, “Here, let me do it,” so she stood closer to make it look like the “sperm” were coming out of my hair–like Medusa. I think it’s definitely my new look.
Then I asked to take a picture with them both, and we all went on our respective merry ways. (That’s the photo up top.) I finished the exhibit, went back inside, walked around the gift shop. Basically I killed time as the sun went down because I wanted to see how the outdoor pieces looked at night. (Everything’s better in the dark.) Well, just as I finished my second time through the exhibit, I felt this tap on my shoulder, and it was one of the ladies, who said she came back to the trail to look for me and ask me if I’d join them for dinner.
“You seemed so friendly,” she said.
The universe will rise up to meet you.
“Sure, I’ll go!”
As it turns out, the ladies were (and are) named Jenny and Caroline, and they’d tried to find me earlier when they realized we’d taken a picture together but they didn’t have a copy or know my name. So they were walking through the forest sort of shouting random names hoping they’d guess correctly. (Sounds funny, but you’ve probably bought a lottery ticket before.)
Chad! John! Jack! Remington!
Uh–you can be honest–do I look like a Remington?
I realize this could sound creepy, but I just hopped in their car, they drove me to mine, and we all went out to eat. We talked for probably a couple hours. Jenny just got a new job and home schools her kid. Caroline is a poet who graduated for the University of Arkansas. A fellow writer! It was a great conversation. PLUS, there was tomato soup WITH FRIED CHEESE FRITTERS INSIDE. Talk about a good reason to get off the internet!
Today my therapist said that we all have fantasies about how our lives will go–how our dreams will come true. She said that in her experience, the universe always has better plans. I watched a video about Chihuly today in which he said, “It’s not that I’m looking for something new [to do or create]. Something new comes.” Personally, I’d planned on eating Mexican food tonight–alone. I wasn’t looking for anything else. But I’m grateful it didn’t work out that way and actually worked out better. Maybe going to eat with a couple of strangers sounds pretty out there, but I guess life is pretty out there. I mean, we’re on a planet that’s being hurled through space. Believe it or not, I’m starting to love the fact that it’s all kind of unpredictable, that anything can change in an instant, that the universe can rise up to meet you anytime, anywhere.
Quotes from CoCo (Marcus)
"Sometimes the best you can do is metaphorically sit you ego down, look it square in the eye, and say, “Would you shut the fuck up already?”"