Tuesday, February 05, 2019


Oh, how I fear that word. When I hear "should" I know that I will be called upon to do something that is out of my comfort range. If you are keeping score at home, that's a lot of things.
Things like dinner parties.
Or Pilates.
Or doctors appointments.
I hear this word most often from the mouth of my sainted wife who has nothing but my best interests at heart. I should save all my receipts. I should consider portion control.
I should do a lot of things. But I don't.
Instead, I tend to travel the mind-numbing rut that has put me where I am today: In a comfortable rut.
Then my younger brother came by. He came by in part because my wife often reminds me that I should see him more often. Here he was, with a few hours to spare on this side of the bay, and we exchanged witty banter as we often do. This felt good, as did the brunch I ended up cooking for the three of us. I have heard that we should have more people over for brunch. As it turns out, my brother had to drop by the club where some of his neon art was being displayed to hang one of the pieces just a little higher on the wall. It was determined that I should go along with him to help out. And afterward, I should go with him to check out an exhibit of neon art Legends.
Going to art exhibits and museums is precisely the kind of thing that I really should do. I know this because I have been reminded of it many times. After conquering the brunch challenge, I was up for another. We walked into the gallery, and were met by a woman who seemed anxious to share what she knew about all the art and artists in her space. My brother and I wandered about and took it all in. Inside my head I kept track of the number of moments I took to examine each piece, each painting, each installation. I didn't need to look too closely, because this was the downstairs gallery. The place we were headed was upstairs, where they kept the neon. As the only visitors, we felt obliged to keep a mild stream of commentary going, until we had run out of pleasant observations and things at which we could look.
Then we went upstairs. I listened as my little brother rhapsodized about the work he saw, and his connection to it and the artists who had inspired him and his own work. I did this because I knew I should. No one had to tell me. I walked with some mild purpose through all the displays and then we encountered the woman who was running this show. We had another flurry of art banter and commented on the connections between the artists and their art, including the upcoming show in which my brother's work would be featured.
And then we were done. On the way back to the car, I mentioned that I was never sure exactly how long I should look at any particular work of art. My brother, the artist, said that he understood that clock and I took some comfort that he felt his own need to be on his way after taking in what he could. We were there to look, not to study.
So now, when the discussion of getting more culture into my rut, I can say that I have recently been to two different local galleries. And I enjoyed them just about as much as you think I should.

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