DAY 316

DAY 316
TREE 152

I clocked out from work today feeling little concern for what the boss may think.  It feels really good to know I’ll be leaving this job soon.  I made the right decision.  And though I have no other job lined up, I am certain things will fall into place.  For one, my idea to go to Ohio and canvass for the Obama campaign was re-enforced by an email MaryLiz sent me.  It’s a forward from the Obama Headquarters trying to recruit volunteers to go to Ohio and get out the vote.  The polls are strong for Clinton there and I’d like to do my part to change that.  At least to try for one week. 

I drove away from work excited to be in the rare warm sunshine but a little tired from the week so far. 

This tiredness is so dangerous so I promised myself I would go home, change, and go out to climb right away.  This is perfect weather to reclimb that oak tree about a mile or so down Cedar Point Road. 

When I got home I did just that and walked on the edge of the road watching the snow melt into streams towards drains.  A large dog appeared from no where and curiously followed me for 20 feet.  I payed it no mind knowing that would only egg him on further.  A few cars sped past me and I looked back making sure they hadn’t hit the dog sitting in the road watching me walk away. 

When I was close to my tree I heard a car in a nearby driveway.  I waited, turned, and walked back in the direction I had come from till it drove out of sight.  I quickly stepped through the snowy embankment and went behind the tree.  The low limbs out of my reach looked more dead this time than last.  I jumped and squeezed, shifted, re-gripped, and inched upwards till I had a firm hold of the strongest of the dead limbs.  I wearily put my weight on another, smaller peg and continued.  With a tight grip, some finagling, and a lot of hope I climbed on and past these decaying limbs to stronger ones, possibly dying, but not yet without their bark.  From there the climb became slightly more manageable to accomplish with little worry and some speed. 

Though I was in no hurry, I had quickly risen to the top and retrieved my ribbon. 

The sun was warm and I gladly took my time taking the pictures of views out and below. 

I was so high I had no doubt the passing cars would never see me. 

I took many pictures but none of the white horse from last time. 

Then I stood there and soaked in the warmth of the day that was melting away. 

I began to climb down and stopped quickly when I heard an approaching vehicle slow down.  It stopped just below me and for a second I thought it was for me.  Then I saw he was just getting his mail before driving into his driveway.  I continued down and was lowering myself to the dead limbs when I heard footsteps.  I peeked around the trunk and a funny old woman was walking to get her mail.  I do not know how she did not hear or see me, but she got her mail and walked back completely unaware of my existence. 

The down on the dead limbs was much easier and then I slid to the snow.  As I walked back I walked on the steel guard rails like a balance beam.  I felt young and I felt content.  I love sunny days. 

2-17-09:  It is funny to think that on such a rural road as Cedar Point Road that I could have encountered so many people in such a small span of time.  I expect that here is New York, but in Buckner? 

Last Friday, February the 13th (DUNT Dunt Daaa!!!), I thought it was time for me to head to Chelsea to check out the galleries.  I knew I was in for a long day and sore feet but you can never prepare yourself truly.  I did take the subway to eliminate the travel walking time and I brought a stick of beef jerky for a snack and some Jolly Ranchers.  But after about 3 or 4 blocks my feet were getting tired and I had to pee.  I took a break and went to the Chelsea Pier Playground.  I found some port-a-pots then played a little on the playground to loosen up the muscles.  Then I got back to it. 

As for the art I saw, it was mostly uninspiring.  The raw and child-like is gone and been replaced by impeccable finish and design.  Also gone are the inexplicable installations and sculptures and in their places, clever but quick statements and new uses of technology.  Though I see many works adept at portraying a narrative through a series.  But I like what I like and the best thing I saw all day was by Allan McCollum. 

His show, The Shapes Project: Shapes from Maine at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery, was visually and conceptually right up my alley.  He is attempting to create an individual shape for each person on earth.  For this particular show he asked 4 Maine artisans to use his shapes in their craft.  I think the copper cookie cutters are my favorite. 

I did drawings while I lived in Seattle where the purpose was to create unique designs.  I drew combinations of letters numbers and punctuation in a grid to do this:

See more at my DeviantArt page here

Besides that and a handful of other singular works I wasn’t much impressed by my trip to Chelsea this time.  And I was getting so tired and hungry that I began to run through galleries not paying much attention or giving the works a good look.  I knew my art day was over.  But I still had to climb a tree so I headed towards the red line on 28th and 7th. 

On the way I spotted a sycamore next to a fence around some basketball courts.  I almost scaled the fence to get into the tree but just as I was about to start I spotted a cop parked in his car a few yards away.  I moved on.

I took the subway to Central Park and was determined to find a tree fast and close to the south end of the park.  And not too far in at an intersection of two walking paths I found a large tree with low limbs that looked as if I could get to the top. 

It was dark at this point and I knew once I got up high that I would be unseen.  But there were just so many damn people walking their dogs, walking home, walking to dinner, exercising, and what have you.  I saw on a rock near the base of the tree and waited for a break.  When it came, and it didn’t last long, I climbed as fast as I could up the first two branches

and wedged myself in between the split trunk and froze to wait for more walkers to pass by.  Then at any break I could get I would climb and make progress as quickly as I could.  It was such a pain in the ass to be so paranoid and make such slow progress.  I did make it to near the top of the tree and by this point the foot traffic below had slowed.  I took pictures of all the lit up buildings surrounding the bottom of the park,

and some views within the park

and down the tree. 

I sat for a while because I knew the climb down was going to be a pain as well.  I figured I’d wait out any traffic that was left. 

Then I decided to make my way down.  I scanned the 4 directions of the path

and scrambled down.  Stopped for a few people, one which had a dog who heard me and started to bark.  The owner looked up at me and said, "what do you see up there, boy?"  I have no idea how he didn’t see me since there was a street lamp about 15 feet from the tree that lit the whole tree.  A little luck on Friday the 13th was welcome.  Then I went the rest of the way down relieved that stress-fest was over. 

NY tree climbing is for the birds.  But I do like the shots.