Sometime in college I was introduced to Wendell Castle’s work and I was instantly in love. He makes useful things so whimsical and wonderful, they look like creatures that could get up and walk away and each one more unique than the last. I am always drawn to his chairs or benches they seem like the perfect place to curl up with a good book.

img_4169img_4171Today I got to see Castle’s most recent exhibit at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY. It is called “Wendell Castle Remastered” featuring pieces made in the last few years. At age 85 he continues to push boundaries and embrace new technology. This exhibit was a collection of works highlighting not only his skills, which are amazing, but also to show some of what technology now makes possible.

There were two short movies that were part of this solo exhibit. One was about Castle’s process and how it has changed over the years. He has been creating these art furniture pieces since the 1960’s, so there are a lot of changes that his technique and skills have gone through over the years. The other was about his life and the choices that got him to where he is now. This video spoke to me in particular, because Castle talks about all the decisions, small or large that got him to where he is now. He recently was given an honorary Doctorate in his home state of Kansas, while there he looked back on everything that he might have missed if he had not made the decision to take a position at RIT. I hope someday I can look back on my life with a similar point of view.

Spending time in a gallery is never wasted, and today was no exception. It was nice to be inspired.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.


The Letchworth Arts & Craft Festival

Since I was in college I have gone to the Letchworth Arts & Craft Festival over Columbus Day weekend. It is an always an amazing festival full of talented people, and this year was no exception. Like all festivals it is always more fun to go with a friend. In past years I have not always been lucky enough to have someone, but this year and last I had an amazing person to wander around with.

This morning was dreary and it looked like a horrible day for an outdoor festival, but that is a rookie mistake. Not so fun weather helps to keep the crowds a little smaller and at a huge festival like this one that is important. Despite a short patch of rain we had a wonderful day and made some great purchases.

I am loving every opportunity that I have had lately to spend with friends old and new. Hopefully the friendships will be strong and encouraging to all involved. For me they have been an invaluable contribution to my life.

Now I just need to wait another 364 days for next years festival…

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Full Circle.

More and more I feel like I have gone full circle with my life. I’m back to feeling like all I do is watch the world pass me by as I sit alone. Thankfully I have never minded being alone, but sometimes I wish someone wanted to make an effort to come along side me. That is not to say I am lacking in people who care about me, because I am surrounded by many of that kind of person. What I wish I had is someone who calls or texts out of the blue just because, or who invites me for an adventure.

I have always been excellent at fitting into the in-between. Straddling lines of my interest and being forgotten in every direction. In college I was an athlete, and an art major, two things that usually do not mix very well so I was constantly lost in the gap between them. For the most part that was where I liked to be, but when it came to certain things it was difficult to be left out. So for the most part I ended up alone.

Most of the time I enjoy not having to deal with social obligations. It is nice being able to go home after a day of work and know I have no one to impress for the rest of the evening and if I choose to have ice cream for dinner no one will judge me. On the opposite site sometimes I miss engaging conversation and making dinner to share with someone else. The social aspect of my life is something I am not sure I will ever find balance with, but that will not make me stop trying. Who knows maybe next time I will have success.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Time Machine.

If it were possible to go back in time I would not want to correct a mistake. The way we overcome the struggles of our life is what makes us the person we are becoming. I would much rather visit a happy time. A bad point in my life will always be bad, attempting to fix it is a silly expectation. On the other had a high point can always be enjoyed again, if not made better.

There are so many amazing times in my life I would like to re-visit, I don’t know how I could ever pick just one. There were days spent hiking and summiting high peaks with friends. Lazy days wondering around museums. A weekend spend helping a former professor turned friend. Summers at camp when time seemed to flow differently. A birthday ruined by snow that turned into a perfect escape from reality. The first time I read my favorite book, or late nights with new friends freshman year of collage.

Not long after some of these points in my life the people who made them special disappeared. Somehow this doesn’t change the moment. Right now I am trying my best to only think of the good things, remembering past pain is not worth it at the best of times, let alone the worst. Fortunately a time machine does not exist so I do not have to make a choice as to where I would go, but that does not mean I can not revisit so many wonderful memories when I am feeling lost and alone.

The bad days may help define us, but holding onto the hopes and joys of the good days is what matters.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Old friends. 

I have always loved going to museums. They are one of my favorite places to reflect, see things from a different perspective and visit old friend. I always feel like I walk out of a museum in a better mood and a better person then I went in. I have so many wonderful memories wondering around and getting lost in painting hung halls.

magGrowing up I remember going to the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) with my family. There are some paintings or sculptures I stand in front of and it’s like I’m a kid again listening to my mom explain something. There is a painting of a woman cutting onions, a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, and how can I forget the mosaic upstairs. My mom would ask my brother and I what it was, and we couldn’t leave it until we came up with the name of it.

Going to such a familiar museum right now is perfect, I haven’t been to the MAG in far too long. Everything was in a slightly different place from how it used to be. It echoes the way I feel about things right now. I’m still me, more so than ever, but things feel slightly off and not where I expected them to be. Of course, as with life, in museums there are new things to explore and find comfort in.

Even with things moved around I still know what pieces I am drawn to, what ones I call friend. Wherever there is a Rodin, Monet, Degas, Rockwell, O’Keefe, Picaso and so many other favorite artists, I know I am among friends. 

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When things are hard, I think it is best to remember your roots. Take solace in the things that have always given you comfort, it is the best way to remember who you are and who you want to be.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.