Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cedar Run

Just back from a few magical days in the mountains. The walk-in sites at Big Meadow. The hikes..

J's stamina is ever-improving. We made it down to the waterslide at Cedar Run and back in good time and good spirits - the return improved by promises of ice cream at the wayside..

And oh that waterslide:

Cedar Run waterslide! Videography by J.

A video posted by Ben (@lonesomeace) on

Off to Dulles shortly for Montrose, CO. Hopefully I can squeeze in some time at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison..

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hey Joe

HipCityVeg for lunch. I love the "chicken" sandwich. Walking back down sun-baked 7th, the band on the corner of F Street was slow-jamming Hey Joe. And I smiled. It was loose and ragged and just right..

That, for now, is all...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible

I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail.. If I could. - El Condor Pasa

Relivin' the past? Your loss. - Beenie Man in Send It Up

Whistler watercolor of the beach.. NGA lunchtime rambles are sublime.

A photo posted by Ben (@lonesomeace) on

Wait? Has it really been a month? Do I need to do this in bullets again? So much to capture... I'll work backwards...

  • Robert Irwin (Hirshhorn) / In Celebration of Paul Mellon (National Gallery) - I've spent the past two days at lunch wandering galleries again. The Mellon show has some lovely Whistler watercolors - the subtlety of his brushwork is amazing..

    And Irwin. What to say. His conceptual LA cool is a bit much at times - but when it works, it's transfixing. The wall-text alone shows art theory writing at it's finest - the surgical deployment of adjectives.

  • Chris Stapleton / Jason Isbell / Frank Turner - Merriweather (June 18) - Spent last Saturday night on a blanket at Merriweather with a new co-worker and her boyfriend and their extended group of Michigander friends.. watching the sun set. I'm not sure I'd been back to Merriweather since that magical night with Beck back in July 2014. The Michiganders were excited for Frank Turner's up-tempo Billy Bragg-esque punk-folk.. I was waiting for Isbell and Stapleton.

    As it got dark and the moon came up and Chris broke into Traveller, well.. all was right with the world. His voice is incredible, the songs speak so simply - but powerfully. And the great world spins.

  • Oh sweet swampy muggy Florida. I've been quite a bit lately. Snorkeling off Islamorada with sea turtles and tarpon and barracuda. Kayaking with manatee. Spinning, spinning, spinning on airboats across the Everglades. It's a great case - and only getting better.

    Made some pie from key limes I smuggled back in my suitcase - delicious. Reminding me of the time Beth made key lime pie and brought it to me by Penn Station - wrapped in tinfoil - and we ate it in a doorstep during a downpour. Captured here. These words do have some value, I suppose - preserved experience over time.

    Limes and lines and light...

    A photo posted by Ben (@lonesomeace) on

  • Spent Memorial Day in NYC. Friday night and Saturday with J - Staten Island Ferry, Central Park Zoo. The greatest hits.

    Then Sunday in the Met Breuer with Beth and Kei at the incredible "Unfinished" show. We were there for almost five hours. Looking. Thinking. Talking lightly and loosely - about the work, mostly. Such a deep, rich show. Then wandering down 5th before ducking over and taking the train down to Union Square to buy t-shirts for Beth's trip to Italy. Incredibly easy, relaxed, alive. Present. The kind of day I've been craving for years.

    Then Monday out in the Rockaways in a wetsuit - "learning" to surf - or at least how to fall off a board. But, somehow, I rode a few waves and that feeling was simply extraordinary. Grey cold misty day. Like a Catherine Opie photo..

  • I'm taking J back to Big Meadow on Friday. Another quick ramble to warm her up for a week at Corbin Cabin in August... I think I'll try White Oak Canyon this time. And the stars. Then off next week for work to the mountains of Colorado - Montrose and Boulder. Hoping to squeeze in some hikes and solitude. Then South Carolina with extended family for the first week of July. Then Joshua Tree and the high Mojave for work the second week.. motion. Almost too much motion.

  • Reading Nin's Henry & June - which is scintillating, sexy, Paris in the 30's. But written in such a high emotional register.. and full of repetition. She loves June. June loves Henry. She loves Henry. Henry loves June. Everyone loves her. She loves Hugo. Hugo loves her and only her. But Hugo is a banker not a writer. That said, there are moments, insights, flashes of realizations. All carefully edited from her diaries which must be fascinating to read in the original.

    Speaking of diaries... in NYC I fell into conversation with the proprietress of 192 Books (just about a _perfect_ bookstore) about Oberlin and Rivka Galchen's new book (Little Labors) and Nin and Karl Ove Knausgaard - and memoir as form. Which is fine as far as it goes. But I'm craving something a bit more.. structured. So will likely turn to Fates & Furies next.

Summer. Sweet sweaty sultry summer. Late nights and stars. Back-porch bourbons in the night air. Tiki parties and a sense of possibility. Stirrings. Fresh shoots. And memories. Sometimes visceral ones.

[B]reeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain.