We Ourselves Flash And Yearn

“Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn”
John Berryman, The Dream Songs

Hall Arts Plaza, Dallas, Texas

I have never completely recovered from the time when I realized that the cotton in the aspirin bottle was not necessary and you did not have to replace it after you extracted your tablet – a belief that, as a child, I structured my entire world around.

The Inmates Made Jokes About the Chair

“The inmates made jokes about the chair, the way people always make jokes about things that frighten them but can’t be gotten away from.”
Stephen King, The Green Mile

Nic Noblique, Chair No. 3, Anita Harris Phelps Park, Dallas, Texas

There is a mathematical formula (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before) to calculate the number of bicycles you should own.

N = the number of bikes you have

X = the number of bikes you should own

X = N +1

I’m at three right now. One supposed advantage of having three bikes is that if one breaks, you have others that you can ride. This does not work, because of some divine sense of humor, all three will break at the same time.

Last weekend I wanted to ride the train and my bike down to the Design District West of Downtown Dallas for a birthday party for some of my kin at a combination Cidery and Video Game Extravaganza. The tire blew out on my folder the day before and the front wheel on my “road” bike needed truing.

No problem, I’d ride my Commuter/Cargo bike (a converted mountain bike with front and rear racks and fenders) – it weighs a ton, but is comfortable and works well as long as I’m not in a hurry. I took it out and started riding to the train station. I noticed that I was having a bit of trouble pedaling and stopped to take a look. The shift cable housing for the rear derailleur had come apart to pieces and the chain was stuck in high gear.

For a minute I thought about quitting, but really wanted to go for the ride. I have a toolkit that I carry and with a few minutes of work, I had the chain on a more manageable middle gear. I couldn’t shift, but I could move. The route to the Design District was mostly downhill… the only steep uphills I would have would be on the way back. I’d worry about that later.

The commuter tracks in downtown are being replaced, so I was spit out by the train at the east end of the central city. I used Google Maps to find a route through uptown to the American Airlines Center and on under Interstate 35 to the Design District. That’s were I found the nice little unexpected pocket park with the three Nic Noblique sculpture. It was a welcome peaceful spot to rest in the middle of the crazy city.

The trip back was mostly uneventful – without my low gears I did have to walk the bike in two spots – but I have no pride, so that was OK.

When I caught the train (the Blue Line this time) back to Richardson via Garland two women with five kids, including an infant in a stroller, tumbled on and took some seats in front of me. The kids were really hyped up and the women yelled at them constantly. At the Mockingbird station, one of the women suddenly shouted, “This is our stop!”

They herded the kids to the door where the four of them ran out the egress. The two women were maneuvering the stroller around when the door suddenly shut and the train started off. They were still aboard the train and the kids were on the platform. The two women panicked.

“Call the driver, push the red button,” another woman on the train said.

“We need to go back!” they said.

The voice in the metal grill was riddled with static, “This is a train lady, it doesn’t go back.”

I figured I needed to help. “Get off at the next stop, White Rock, and then take the next train back. You’ll be there in twenty minutes. Does your oldest kid have a phone?”

“My battery is dead.”

“Use mine, call him.”

She told the kids to wait on the platform. Then I called the emergency number and asked the police to watch the kids.

“What train do I take back? We’re not from here!” – she was still on the edge of panic.

“Don’t worry,” I said, “There’s only one train on this line – it goes back there.” When we pulled into White Rock another woman made sure they crossed the tracks to catch the train going back the other way. I looked up at the display and one would be there in ten minutes – so I’m sure it was fine.

It was only four miles from the Garland Jupiter station to my house – a lot of spring parties were going on in the yards on that route, I rode through clouds of bar-b-que smoke the whole way. It was nice.

Wounded In Some Way By Falling In Love

“All over the world there must be people like us, Anna had said then, wounded in some way by falling in love – seemingly the most natural of acts.”
Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero

Nic Noblique, Wounded, Anita Harris Phelps Park, Dallas, Texas

The second of three Nic Noblique sculptures in a little pocket park amidst the construction of luxury high-rise apartment towers in Uptown, Dallas.

Your Dead End Dreams Don’t Make You Smile

Hey, street boy, want some style?
Your dead end dreams don’t make you smile.
I’ll give you something to live for.
Have you and grab you until you’re sore.
Hello, daddy. Hello, mom.
I’m your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!
—-The Runaways, Cherry Bomb

Nic Noblique, Cherry Bomb, Anita Harris Phelps Park, Dallas, Texas

Nic Noblique Studios

On the Right Path

“It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think yours is the only path.”
Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Paths, 2014, by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir, Hall Sculpture Collection, Arts District, Dallas, Texas

 

Yeah, I know I’ve used a very similar photo before (and not very long ago) – but I’m working on a new processing process with new (all open source) software and thought I’d give it another go.

You Wake From Dreams Of Doom

“You wake from dreams of doom and–for a moment–you know: beyond all the noise and the gestures, the only real thing, love’s calm unwavering flame in the half-light of an early dawn.”
Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings

 

Paths (detail), by Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir, Arts District, Dallas, Texas

Birth II

“The greatest artist does not have any concept
Which a single piece of marble does not itself contain
Within its excess, though only
A hand that obeys the intellect can discover it.”
Michelangelo Buonarroti, I Sonetti Di Michelangelo: The 78 Sonnets of Michelangelo with Verse Translation

Birth II, by Arthur Williams, Dallas, Texas

Twice over the last decades (2013, and 2019) I have stopped at the Lover’s Lane Red Line DART station to photograph the sculpture there. It’s really cool looking, and hard to find – I imagine it was once more obvious, but the construction of the DART station and the expansion of Central Expressway cut it off. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a plaque or other sign and had no idea who the sculpture was done by or what its name was. It seems to have been neglected over the years, it is getting a bit ragged looking.

Finally, I dug out a book I bought used a long time ago and have found very useful: A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture In Texas by Carol Morris Little. The sculptures are listed by the name of their sculptors (which I did not know) so it took a bit of page-turning, but I found it.

From the book:

Arthur Williams
American, born 1942

Birth II 1983

Abstract, 7′ x 15′ x7′ 8″ ; welded and pressed steel

Location: 6688 North Central Expressway
Funding: Sullivan Corporation

Comments: Sculpture by Arthur Williams appears in public and private collections throughout the United States. In addition to large steel and cast-bronze sculptures, Williams carves alabaster, marble, and wood. This work and his monumental installation in Galveston are from his Birth series.

It’s cool to finally know something about this sculpture – will have to look for its twin the next time I’m in Galveston.

Birth II, Arthur Williams, Dallas, Texas