Ready for the Wilderness

Missing the days at the old wilderness store

. . . Heidegger’s determination to retreat from his suburban house, hike off the grid, and complete thoughts to the accompaniment of the sound of a spring and changes in the direction of the clouds.

Adam Sharr, Heidegger’s Hut

Spring break is not even a week past, but I didn’t really have a spring break; the Dogwood Art & Music Festival in addition to our one-year celebration reception at the Gallery at Redlands chewed up the entire Spring Break. Now, I am ready to retreat to the wilderness. We leave for Palestine in the morning and will stay till Saturday night before returning to our suburban home. Sometimes the Palestine weekend is a wilderness experience, but that is only if no one enters the gallery all weekend, and of course, that is not good for business. So, it’s a Catch-22.

Sandi and I did discuss the possibilities of some kind of vacation/retreat in the weeks ahead, and we could both use the quiet. This blog has started late at night because college work devoured my entire day, and the evening was given to visiting an art reception featuring our friend and gallery artist Stacy Campbell. It was sweet seeing so many friends I hadn’t seen since I retired from teaching five years ago. But still, I’m ready for some space and silence.

In the quiet of tonight

My adult life has been a sustained balance between the city and the country, and lately I’ve missed the country. Re-reading Heidegger’s Hut recalled this jewel:

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 ideas and real, the other revealed by an encounter with an uncorrupted ideal at the rural retreat.

I have known that dialectic between urban and rural, town and country. My schooling always occurred in the city, but my doctoral dissertation was written in the country, at night by the dim light of a kerosene lamp. My art has happened frequently in my suburban studio and downtown gallery, but also has occurred in the rural abandoned store, in plein air locations, and even on an island in the Laguna Madre. I love libraries, public and private, but I also love my own backpack of books in a remote location in the country. Right now, I miss the rural retreat, and hope it won’t be much longer before I can get out there

Thanks for reading.

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