Sailing to Byzantium

Maypearl Bank

That is no country for old men. The young

In one another’s arms, birds in the trees

—Those dying generations—at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,

Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unageing intellect.

William Butler Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium”

I am following up the broad lacuna of my blog by acknowledging another grueling week of school (only two weeks left now), followed by a three-day art festival.  I have been watercoloring consistently, but without time or computer access for posting.  My art work is in Booth #11 at the Downtown Arlington Levitt Pavilion Music Festival.  We set up on Friday, opened that afternoon, then I rose early Saturday and drove forty minutes south to the quaint little town of Maypearl, Texas, where I twice painted the Dr. Pepper billboard on the side of an aging hardware store.

This time I looked across the street at what used to be the bank in downtown Maypearl, and devoted my morning hours to cranking out this watercolor en plein air.  I was forced to stop at 1:00 and returnn to Arlington in order to shower, re-pack and get to my festival booth by opening time at 4:00.

As I painted, I thought of these words from the W. B. Yeats poem, and the reality of loss that comes with time passing.  Though it was Saturday, hardly anyone stirred on Main Street in this town as I whiled away the hours painting.  It could just as well have been Edward Hopper’s depression-era Early Sunday Morning.  Nevertheless, I chose to look at this bank building as one of our American “monuments of unageing intellect.”  And as I soaked in the cool breezes of the overcast day and painted the building in the gray light of a Texas morning, I thought of how time passes, yet we find ways to hold fast the memories of things that we knew as stable and dependable, much as the citizens of Maypearl did this bank.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


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2 Responses to “Sailing to Byzantium”

  1. coreyaber Says:

    I like this composition. Interesting geometry. I also like that the bank has become a massage therapy place. Community banking is an interesting segment of the finance industry, and I am sure each bank, either the extinct or the still going, has an interesting, complicated story to tell.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Very interesting social commentary. I couldn’t agree more. I felt a profound silence as I worked on this piece, because it was Saturday and there was not a soul to be found anywhere on that main street. I guess Memorial Day weekend took all these citizens out of town.


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