Mornings are always good in The Gallery at Redlands

Preparing to return to work on the “mules” watercolor

I managed to rise early enough this morning to make the two-hour journey to Palestine, arriving in The Gallery at Redlands at 9:00 sharp. The fatigue from yesterday’s university events still tries to cling to the peripheries of my consciousness. But today is a new day. I love to begin each day with what others laughingly refer to “executive time.” For me actually, it is the quiet, reflective time of the morning before I pursue any kind of major task. I love the quiet, the coffee, the music, the open journal and the open book, and most of all, the open part of a schedule that allows my mind to drift unaffected by the outer world. When I can begin a day this way, I honestly feel I have an advantage against all the forms of negatvitity that show up along the day’s journey.

Since Martin Heidegger was part of what I taught yesterday, I’m reading some of his work, and some secondary material as well. What caught my attention a few moments ago was this from Adam Sharr in Heidegger’s Hut:

The thinking of the Frankfurt school on the one hand and of Heidegger’s school on the other continue to define two forms of modern truth: the one discovered, through work in the metropolitan library and urban loft, by the dialectic of ideal and real, the other revealed by an encounter with an uncorrupted ideal at the rural retreat.

From my reading about Heidegger, I’ve been intrigued by his preference to spend time alone in a cabin built for him in 1922, situated in the Black Forest near the town of Todtnauberg, today a forty-minute drive from Freiburg, where he was teaching in the university. Heidegger did not like the university or urban environment, and escaped as often as he could to this cabin. It was there that he wrote for over five decades his most famous published works, including Being and Time.

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Heidegger’s Hut

Naturally I am smitten by this detail, because it describes my own preferences as well. The city of Arlington holds zero interest for me, though I appreciate owning a home in a nice neighborhood. In my closing years of teaching high school, I was given the key to an old store nearly three hours out of Arlington, in east Texas. The owners of this property trusted me with the key, that I would not tell people where the property was, and I would use it only to get out of the city to pursue my own scholarly or creative interests. I did some of my best painting there, and feel that I wrote some of my finest lectures there as well. But I also spent hours just sitting and pondering.

Sitting outside the old store
Painting inside the old store

For a number of years now I have divided my time between Arlington and Palestine, and now more recently between Texas Wesleyan University and The Gallery at Redlands. I appreciate both worlds, but prefer the quieter world here in The Redlands Hotel. Hopefully the work I am able to do here in solitude at the end of the week will translate well into the work I am called to do when I enter the university halls in the beginning of the week.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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