art walk

I get off the bus just north of Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle. It will be a long walk to my office in Chinatown. But it's a nice morning. And it's early enough that the only people out are early bird tourists from Idaho and homeless people who just got evicted from the overnight shelters. So it will be a nice walk.

I pass a federal building on First Avenue. There is a new piece of abstract art there. I love abstract outdoor art. I stop on the sidewalk and face it, several feet away. I stare at it. It is about seven feet high, maybe eight feet long. It is brown-green metal, and made of strangely shaped pieces clumped together and overlapping. I close my eyes and try to picture it.
I re-open my eyes and see many details I didn't remember. I do this over and over for a few minutes, trying to capture the piece in its entirety in my mind. This is an art-viewing technique that I picked up a few years ago. The intention is to learn to not just "look" but to also "see", to connect emotionally with the art by discovering what emotions arise in you from experiencing it. One strangely shaped piece of brass on the far left looks like a fish tail. But the rest of the piece does not look like the body of a fish at all. I am confused, and slightly annoyed. I have no frikkin' clue what this art is supposed to be, or what it's supposed to mean.

Then I realize that's fine. Confusion and annoyance are the emotions this piece arises in me. Okay. I'm cool with that. I don't understand it, and I'm not going to. Not right now at least. A few things in my life are like that right now. It's not ugly. It just is. I like it.

I turn and walk to work. See you next time piece-of-crap-vaguely-fish-like art piece.

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