Real-Time Travel; last day in Catskill

Tomorrow’s my last day here, and it will be busy.  Chae Eun and I are going into Catskill to pick up packing supplies (and road food) and take photos, then we meet Purcell for lunch and a last bit of “networking” (something to do with Art Omi and a visit to a paper artist) and then, back here to pack up and load the car.  I want to head out very early Sunday morning.

I may not be stopping in Cleveland, or at least only overnight.  There’s been bad news from Chicago.  On Wednesday, Purcell took Chae Eun and me to the Saugerties lighthouse (beautiful); we had a picnic there, and stopped for ice cream at one of the ubiquitous and excellent roadside stands. I came back late to find a number of e-mails and text and voice messages.  An old and very dear friend and mentor is gravely ill (and so is another, which I learned last week, though she is recuperating). I think I need to get home and be with the others who care deeply about these remarkable people.  It’s a sad time. Thursday was spent on long sad phonecalls, trying to hear while waiting for 35 people from the Wadsworth (or was it Boston?) Athenium to climb up to the Tower.  They were here in the main house, but never made it upstairs, for which I am glad; I was not in a good frame of mind for “networking”.

Other than the sadness of these events, it’s been a good residency; productive in planning and sketching, and unexpectedly productive in other ways.  I needed what solitude I could get, to simply slow down and process everything that happened in the past two months before I got here. (I arrived here exactly two months from the day I learned that I’d been shot down; it seems like a year at least).

When I get back to Chicago, besides rallying with my friends, I’ll need to hit the ground running.  I’ll have two weeks to pack and ship out a huge number of artworks for three shows, beat a lot of fiber and make several hundred sheets in the back yard, finish up as many more of the (S)Edition books as I can for a fourth September show, and beat even more fiber to take to Jentel…and, very likely, effect the largest change, so far, of the New Life.

So, blahgs might be short and sweet or even nonexistent.  I found another entire blahg from the second or third day in Edinburgh; it somehow got buried in a job application folder. Though it’s not a great one, I’ll leave you with a little more time travel. 

Just in case you thought I was getting too cultured, what with this networking stuff and all.

Time Travel: Edinburgh, with Museum


Polished cross-section of bony limestone, which I wanted to steal.  It probably weighed a ton.

This morning, after another session trying to get the correct password to work at the guest house, to no avail, I headed to Waverly to try to get my railpass in person.  On the way there, though, I got sucked into a gigantic used book sale put on by the Christian something-or-other league.  It’s probably a good thing that I’m traveling; lots and lots of fascinating stuff.  There were many gorgeous old bindings.  I saw some wonderful samples from the l700s on up.  I did buy myself a present, a trade book from 1869, for 4 pounds.  It’s Dante in Italian, very small but thick, quarter-bound with a vellum spine and a shiny paste paper loosely resembling vellum.

Then Waverly, where great huge crowds of people were queued up.  I took a number and pulled out the Lonely Planet, and found that internet access on a rented computer was five minutes away. I got out of there.  2 pounds later, I had checked e-mail, ordered the railpass (which still hasn’t been confirmed) and had my credit card denied by a hotel in Glasgow, the night before the flight back, because it was an American account.

Then, I stopped in to the National Museum of Scotland. I confess that I don’t really enjoy most large museums, so I expected to just duck in and out, check on some information I needed for the research part of my trip, and shoot a few of the Lewis chessmen for Linda. But, it was fascinating, one of the best I have ever visited. I spent hours there. It’s historical, cultural, geological, a natural history museum, and an art museum both in the artifacts displayed and the manner of their presentation, much of which could be called contextual installation work. It traced the development of Scotland from pre-pre-history, well before humans, via reconstructions, large dioramas, and geological samples; and then, as humans entered the timeline, it traveled through all their permutations, presenting a plethora of excellent artifacts that have been found here.  And, it continued on to the present. They allowed a non-diner go out to the open-air rooftop restaurant, for some great city views, as well.  Excellent.


Pictish carvings.  I love the accuracy and economy of the line.  It was good to  see them in person.  I’ve also long been fascinated by the little creature in the top of the second photo.  The other carvings are so very accurate, so what IS he? There are a number of carvings of him, all the same. Sometimes historians call him the ‘elephant’ but that can’t be right.

Evening was spent attempting to use the wireless at a Starbucks, then not quite two hours at a massive cybercafe; they closed while I still had just under 30 minutes to go! I lost a pound. They wouldn’t extend it till tomorrow.  They were Russians, I think.

I had a very late sort-of dinner in the room to save money (Hmmm. I buy a book I can’t read because it’s beautiful, and then eat cheap stuff.  Feed the soul first; that’s me.)  Yogurt, fruit and oatcakes, with jelly filched from the breakfast room.  And then, I tried to plan the rest of the trip. Frustrating.  I’m going to be locked into a schedule, won’t be able to just stay longer when I find a place I like. I need, oh, a year or more here! It’s 1:30 and I’m signing off for now.

                                           Now, what man wouldn’t look great in this?