DAY 240

DAY 240
TREE 164

I raced from work to the Mary Anderson Center to help Norman unload the soda kiln.  I had two pieces in it, plus I haven’t missed an unloading since I got back here for my residency.  We un-bricked and unloaded.  Some really nice work came out.  Then I helped them set up for the clay sale.  Every so often I’d get that nagging thought, go climb a tree, and I kept telling Norman I had to go to climb a tree soon.  But I didn’t get out of there till after 9pm.  I’m not even exactly sure when it was, but as I drove to Louisville on I-64 I called up Will to see if he wanted to join me.  He was down so I dropped by his apartment and he came out suited for cold weather.  We walked west down Market so we could check out the new Zephyr show through the window.  As we approached Jesse Levesque walked by and I said hi.  She in return that it was strange to bump into me because she had been thinking about me and my work.  She is curating a sculpture park show in Ohio and thought I might be a good fit.  It’s a very good thing I decided to climb downtown.  We walked on and followed the edge of I-65.  We jumped a few walls but it wasn’t long before I saw a few trees that seemed promising.  Somewhere, I think Jefferson and Preston, is the downtown fire station.  Next to the building are three nice maples.  The third one from the station was my tree.  A sugar maple I believe with lots of branches.  I walked up to it and circled the trunk.  Then I grabbed two limbs about head height and pulled myself in.  Then up I went climbing fast.  Possibly for Will’s benefit, but it was fun.  I almost didn’t think, I just lifted a leg, then an arm and a multitude of branches were there to use.  I slowed as I got up towards the top.  When it thins out it becomes more difficult to move quickly.  I put my left leg on a limb without testing it first and it broke off.  It scared me, but then I was disappointed  in my carelessness.  Nothing happened because I had two other sturdy holds, but still, I don’t like close calls.  I climbed up to the very top excited about my view of downtown.  Finally a dark night with plenty of light for good pictures. 

I took two and my battery ran out.  Man, I was pissed.  I tried my cell phone but got nothing.  There was nothing I could do.  It was cool to hear a buzzing siren then minutes later see two fire engines race out of the station.  I took in the view, saw Will below doing handstands, then decided to climb down.  I went quickly and dropped to the ground.  I walked toward Will warm and pumped from a good tree then went back for a leaf. 

I like climbing downtown.  I just wish my camera hadn’t died on me.  And as for the close call, at leastit made the climb interesting. 

12-3-08:  If I hadn’t climbed all my trees twice, I think I would have had to go back and take pictures.  That is so damn frustrating when it goes off.  I also don’t have any pictures of the two items I took out of the kiln.  Sorry.  I’d like to share more, but I just don’t have the images for this entry.  Also, I have now missed many kiln unloadings and it makes me sad.  I loved doing that.  In other Mary Anderson Center news, the house is closed for renovations but the residency is still up and running.  All residents will stay in the Friary’s retreat center.  The art studios and Clay studio are all still open and running as well. 

I was pretty sore that Saturday from the football game.  I was at my parents place and I wanted a pretty low key climb.  I also wanted to see if I could find yet another tree in their yard that I have not climbed yet.  And I did.  I was walking out back by the tennis court and saw that the lowest branch of a tall poplar hung just over the top of the fence. 

As long as the branch was strong enough to hold my weight, I knew I could climb the fence and crawl into the trunk.  But I also knew that once I got to the trunk I wasn’t going to be climbing much higher. 

I didn’t care.  I set up my camera to take a video then up I went.


As you can see (at least for a little bit) I chose to slide down the trunk rather than crawl back out the branch and climb down the fence.  I am much better and sliding down a trunk than I am shimmying up.  Gravity is helpful that way. 

I did feel that it wasn’t much of a climb.  I tried climbing another small tree nearby but realized that I was just too work out and sore for a decent attempt.  I resigned myself to the first tree as my climb for the day.