DAY 151

DAY 151
TREE 104

I went with my brother again to run. Only this time I wasn’t going to run with him. I just wanted to climb. We drove to the high school but it was locked so we went down to the Stepping Stones Park. My brother took off on the trail and I walked along the edge of the woods to find a tree. The 10 inches of rain this area received in one day caused some serious flooding and damaged the forest floor. It also made for a dramatic increase in mosquitos. I stepped into the woods by the creek and was quickly swarmed by 30-40 mosquitos. I freaked out, waved my arms around and ran out back to the field. I walked some more around the edge of the woods looking for trees not too far in. I attempted one, got about 8 feet up then freaked out about the bugs again, jumped down, and ran out. It wasn’t a very good tree anyway. I did find a buckeye which is very pretty. Then I walked a little further along the trail beyond the woods. I spotted a nice big tree somewhere between the park grounds and someones backyard. I got up on the first branch, then to the next and the next, hanging from limbs to lift my feet up for a hold. I got up really high in this massive tree. I had a good view and the bugs weren’t bothering me. I got a comfy spot and took some pictures. Then I decided to climb down but felt a little scared. I didn’t feel I could use the same methods to get down as I had used to get up so it took some problem solving to finally make each step down to the next branch. I made it and that always feels good. A really great new climb.

9-2-08:  Buckeyes are very pretty nuts.  The dark woody part has intricate grain like a beautifully stained piece of furniture.  The buckeye I found that day I still have.  It’s like a lucky rock or penny you keep around.  The picture I am about to post is not that particular buckeye but one I found on google images to help you see what I mean.

See what I mean?  Too bad I couldn’t find a good buckeye tree to climb while I was in Ohio.  It is a primarily native to the state.  Hence the University’s mascot.  They also make incredible desserts made of dark chocolate and peanut butter.  Mmm, mmm.   A recipe:

1 1/2 lbs confectioners’ sugar
1 16 oz jar crunchy peanut butter
1 cup butter, softened
1 12 oz pkg semi-sweetchocolate chips
1 tablespoon Crisco or vegetable oil
In the bowl of a food processor, add 1/2 the quantity of the butter, sugar, peanut butter. Process until well combined.

Shape into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate. Repeat this process with remaining ingredients.

In the top of a double boiler, combine Crisco or vegetable oil and chocolate, simmering and stirring until chocolate has melted. (If you don’t have a double boiler, melt it in a small metal bowl over boiling water in a saucepan; alternatively, use a microwave). When melting chocolate, be careful not to allow any moisture to touch it (or steam), as this will cause the chocolate to seize and you’ll have to start over!

Dip each ball in chocolate until partially coated. Place on wax paper or silicone sheets.

Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

Yesterday I helped Robert and Cheyne move a very heavy piece of art.  It was a big plexiglass thing Cheyne had made for an art show and had been stored in the bedroom I will be moving into tomorrow at Drew’s place.  It was a fragile and heavy item with no places to grip.  We had to wear special gripping work gloves and just squeeze the thing to pick it up.  It took a lot of breaks but we got it to Cheyne’s studio.  Then they helped me take my huge speaker cabinet, the Seaburg, to Drew’s office.  We all went out to La Que for some good thai food then back to the office to blog.  After I was done it was about 11pm and I had to get out to climb before it was too late.  I had the truck which actually seemed limiting.  Usually one my bike, I have the time and view, not to mention freedom from traffic laws, to find a tree.  But I did what I could in my truck and found a tree just off Market buy a parking lot on the corner of 8th Street (I think).  I parked and walked over to two small trees that looked as one from a distance.  I chose the one with the easier entrance and was pleasantly surprised to see it was a sweet gum tree.  Right now they have a nice sweet smell and plenty of the pointed seed pods hanging around the five-pointed leaves.  I waited for no cars and then climbed in the low branches.  I worked my way up to the top which went quickly and I was soon at the top.  I did my best to capture some images of the downtown buildings and lights but the branches were so thin I couldn’t keep them from moving and blurring my photos.  Since so many of them turned out blurry I thought they would look best small.  However, by themselves they don’t have much impact… so I decided to do something I have not done yet.  I made a photo collage of the days climb.  Tell me what you think, what you prefer.  I realize my entries have turned into postings of image after image and I feel the power of many of them are lost in the quantity. 


Then I climbed down the small tree and paused at a low branch to take a couplemore shots of the bars going by.  If you look closely at some of the images above you can see the ghostly light streaks made my the passing cars.  I love that effect.

I’ll be moving to Germantown tomorrow for a month.  I’ll miss my apartment on Clay but I am comforted by the knowledge that Drew and I will be moving to Butchertown in a months time.  I have come to really love downtown Louisville.  It has a lot of growing to do to accomodate a growing residential population but I believe it will be worth the wait.


8 Replies to “DAY 151”

  1. Good luck with the move!

    I have a few questions that I am asking after only skimming your entry. They are mostly inspired by watching an interview the star of a show I love watching on-demand, In Treatment:

    1) What do you think when people say, if this has happened, “you should get a real job” or some other statement of disrespect for your work?

    2) Why do you climb a tree everyday?

    3) Is there an entry of yours that strikes you, extemporaneously, as a favorite, whether to write or to read or both?

  2. 1) I just calmly explain that I am an artist, it is my profession, and I will try to be successful at it no matter if it brings me money or not.

    I thought this entry was good at explaining what tree climbing means to me. Or what it has become anyway.

    3) let me get back to you on this one… i feel there are many more good ones to come. I am finally starting to open up and share on these things

    written 11-10-08 much after this comment was posted.

  3. You could tap into something like the Obama effect with your Livejournal! Some people will paint onto your unclear representation of purpose something that attracts them keenly. Some of these people will want to be seen with you, on this public Livejournal, thereby expressing to the world their commitment to the deep humanity of art, finding comfort in nature, defying the pressure to work a spiritless job, and so on.

    The entry you linked is great. Gutsy in its intimacy. Again, tapping the Obama effect, by letting people abstract away from your description of the effect climbing has on you, um, no. I lost it. I think this is a weak argument. But in honor of your commitment to not intensely edit your entries, I’ll let it stand.

    Now, more than ever, I feel like what you are doing represents quite an accomplishment. I feel like there’s a lot that could be said about your work. Maybe it was seeing you climb such a tall tree, or the evolution of personal disclosure in your entries, or that I work in a cubical, but I now believe you are creating something very special.

    While my eBay listing of your Livejournal may have failed to generate much interest in your work, I continue to brainstorm…

  4. Would you mind defining the “Obama Effect?” Is it as simple as an inspiring personality that has created a following? It’s hard to compare myself to a man from a very different background who is trying to something so large and so challenging as to change the direction of a nation and actually succeed in winning an election that seemed so improbable. I climb trees and take pictures, write and share about it. If that is inspiring, great… but I would never expect a following.

    And thank you so much for your words, I appreciate your appreciation.

    Also, let me know what other things you come up with.

  5. Yeah, while I was having fun with hyperbole, I also was tapping into the possibilities of your symbolic appeals. It seems like for maximum attention, you would have to represent something special in the minds of many, and you could do that by a cloudy blanket effect – people would project onto you that which attracts them. This is what I meant by the Obama effect.

    This brings me to a question though: Do you want to be inspiring?

    As for more ideas, I will continue expressing them through comments. I wrote a bunch yesterday evening.

    – Rick

  6. I would like to inspire people in a few ones. One, to simply get out and enjoy trees, be it climbing or just taking a walk and looking up and noticing them anew. Two, to try and find or identify that thing which most makes them happy and to put time aside to partake or participate in that thing often.

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