Thursday, March 26, 2015

Her Time


Saturday

While visiting Tree Fall today we were essentially accosted by a small, middle-aged, very enthusiastic woman, apparently a docent for this particular work of art. As we walked in the door she immediately began to joyfully push other artworks in the park on us.  

Do you have the Andy Goldsworthy brochure? You've seen Wood Line? You know about the eucalyptus overtaking the cypress? Of course, you must have the Andy Goldsworthy brochure. And you know about Spire? The For-Site Foundation video? Yes, we have seen it. I offer an inauthentic smile. Young trees will eventually obscure the sculpture. You have the Andy Goldsworthy brochure, right? Okay. Okay. Just let your eyes adjust. I love when you walk in and can't see anything at all and then your eyes adjust and it's like, wow.

But I saw Tree Fall clearly when I walked into the space. It didn't seem at all dark to me. My eyes did not need to adjust. I strain to smile again, looking up at the tree and wondering if she will leave us alone with the art, at all. Ever?

Next she pulls out a large hardcover book and begins rapidly turning pages and recounting all she believes to be highlights of the creation of Tree Fall. There were 40 volunteers! This is his daughter. They mixed clay with hair and straw. She points up. Here's a piece of straw!

Then she begins promoting the Presidio in general. There are these great talks on Thursday evenings, she gushes. There's a play they talked about recently, what was it...Ondine! My husband thinks he knows the play and asks if Ondine is a mermaid. No! Definitely not. She lives in the water, but she is -not- a mermaid. Okay. The play will take place beside the ocean, at the Sutro Baths. Outside! At night! It might be cold, but...

I decide this is her time, not mine. I look into her eyes. She's so excited. She cannot wait to see this play. I forget about Andy Goldsworthy and Tree Fall and leave with a vision of Ondine spotlit in the night fog.

Lithograph of Carlotta Grisi in the Pas de l'ombre from the original production of Ondine, ou La naïade at Her Maejesty's Theatre. London, 1843.

22 comments:

  1. I like the moment you stop waiting and give in to Her Time :)

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    1. I had no choice. We've already purchased tickets for Ondine. ;)

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  2. dialogue: a good practice. I never knew how to do it. Nice to see your ways.

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    1. Funny, I didn't even think of it that way. Just sharing an experience. She had a lot to say. ;)

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  3. I loved that turning point, too. "... this is her time, not mine." Something I have to start keeping in mind!

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  4. most would have found her annoying and walked away...it's endearing that you let her have that time. I hope I remember this, remember you.

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  5. I wanted to walk away in the beginning, but I ended up enjoying the excitement she had for what she was doing, and we learned about an interesting sounding play.

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  6. What a character..I too love your turning point, the letting go.

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    1. The benefits of letting go of the right things at the right time, it certainly involves some trial and error.

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  7. Replies
    1. Yes, and it involves time and patience. Still working on it.

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  8. I see grace and gracious here. Good stuff.

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  9. I read your first line about a small, middle-aged woman and thought "My goodness, could that be me?" It made me pause before reading the rest of it. Age is an odd thing.

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    1. Age, yes, it can seem odd. I remember my father telling me how he sometimes moves along in his day, feeling like a sixteen year old, and then catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror, and thinks, who is that old guy? I feel different ages at different times, often not my current age. Life father, like daughter.

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  10. great experience. it was her time. and maybe this is the venue where she gets to express herself? when things like this happen to me, I think, what just happened here? what was that about? sometimes it is as simple as giving a person her time--as you did---a true act of kindness.

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    1. I do a lot of that, what just happened here? what was that about? ;)

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  11. This is what it's like with my children -- when I'm patient.

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    1. Ah, patience. I'm always working on mine.

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