third floor discovery.
amazingly life-like sculpture of gertrude stein. i kept expecting her to look up and say something poignant to me.
detail of a huge combine of different printing stamps.
this pony looks like driftwood but is really made of brass and is brilliant.
electronic superhighway by nam june paik.
a beautiful and somewhat normal-looking painting from alexis rockman (compared this his other wacky, stunning work).
so i've been going to the american art museum/portrait gallery a few times a year since coming back to dc and i love it. i love the beauty of the building, emphasis on photography, proximity to the metro, the atrium (the loudest quietest place in dc), the throne of the third heaven exhibit (fascinating) on the ground floor, and even all the president portraits (i once went through there with my friend justin and memorized each president in order). i could go on and on.
but last saturday i went to meet my abstract painting class for a tour of the rockman exhibit and was late and couldn't find them. finally i ended up noticing that there was another staircase which led to a third floor i never knew existed, a third floor that is full of great work and beautiful architecture. so i forgot about who i was meeting and just i wandered around for an hour by myself, really transported by some of the pieces (and i don't always feel that way about art i see in museums). and then finally found my group just as the tour was breaking up. i hadn't done what i thought i was going to do but i discovered something even more interesting.
this is what i love about life. i feel like i have it all figured out, especially around the things i think i know well, and then something comes and surprises me and i see how far i am from every knowing anything completely. i always marvel at how yoga keeps me interested. i do the same poses all the time, yet they captivate me because it's all happening in the present moment, which is always full interesting things on the secret third floor. it's through this (the lifestyle of yoga, self-awareness) that i learn about myself every day. it's not always easy. lately, i've been really noticing the way that i use frustration and discontent to cover up vulnerability. it's something that i've done in the past a lot, i think. and always blamed it on the relationships not being so good (which definitely was true with a few of them).
but now i am in a relationship with adam, a really great guy who makes me laugh and does yoga next to me and looks at my photo posts each day and has dreams of his own. it's been an amazing past 9 months but man, sometimes when things get really good is when it gets the hardest for me. i read this thing that said that people with addiction are as just as likely to relapse when something intensely wonderful happens to them as when something intensely hard happens. i think intense emotion is so hard (good or bad) for me because it reminds me that i am not in control. i can try to do the best things possible and still not be able to predict the future and whether or not i can hold onto the people and things that i love.
when i think about it, really think about it, i so much prefer to live in a state of wonder and not knowing than control because it is more interesting and always more poetic than what i would create. it keeps me turning, digging, and coming back to who i really am, which is beyond words. i believe who i am, who we are, is that sweet infinite joy and we are most aligned with it when we can keep our thoughts and hearts joyful. so my goal is to learn to tolerate joy, to practice self-awareness when i start to shut down my heart, and to keep on getting excited to find those hidden third floors, inside and out, whether they contain the best of the collection or the dusty bunnies in the attic. because no matter what, there is some interesting shit in there, i just know it.
in closing, i leave you with this song by mason jennings: