A State of Mind

Each segment is better than the last, so when I begin composing this, I lose my focus.  That’s how generally wonderful it is to watch Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Art Beat on a lazy Sunday evening as the sun sets over the ocean.  Our neighbor drops by as the piece about Chris Cole, bike mechanic turned mechanical sculptor, begins, and I urge her to stay, to have some soup, to celebrate how amazing we humans can be.

I also think about how many other states there are, how many other brilliant artists create beauty in a multitude of ways and places.  Here is proof, and Oregon is only one of 50; that gives me hope!  Public Broadcasting gives me hope!  The fact that this country has been divided into regions, into states, seldom registers—except when I read yet another article about clashes between state and federal jurisdiction, or something about gerrymandering.

I know that since moving here, I’ve joked with friends from New Jersey, my former home, about how geographically large the land parcels are the farther west one travels, as if humans became tired of splitting things up, or negotiating boundaries.

So I love Chris Cole’s work, moving parts, rivets and welding, his scrounging through junk yards for those missing pieces that will be transformed by his vision.  Ben Saunders at the University of Oregon is legitimizing the academic study of comics and says when he retires he only hopes that its efficacy will be so entrenched that no one will question it.  The final segment features “Cardistry,” these young men who are members of an international group of avid card magicians, who oppose that label, saying there’s nothing magic about it; it’s practice, coupled with the joy of joining a like-minded community, and sharing creation.

Sandwiched in-between, third in this night’s line-up, is Ashley Mercereau, a young  woman who has returned to her native community of Cannon Beach.  “Why wouldn’t I want to be here?”   She admits that her work as an artist was a sideline until friends clamored for her designs.  Now she proudly does it all: creates jewelry, photographs her creations, markets them on Etsy, and has garnered clients from around the world.  For her, that connection—someone in Canada, or China, or France is wearing her art —gratifies and satisfies.

Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day,” while honoring nature, says, “…doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?/ Tell me what is it you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?”  Thank you, OPB, for celebrating that landscape of natural wildness within.



4 thoughts on “A State of Mind”

    1. Sometimes the visual matters though, and that was certainly the case with last night’s broadcast.

  1. This was an interesting slice. I always enjoy reading about something that other people find fascinating. I can feel your excitement and interest in your writing.

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