I wrote this in my notebook back in August (8/19 to be exact), and then it got lost and not posted. I don’t know if it’s worth posting, but here it is.
I’m sitting in the quiet backwoods of the Met. Watching people browse through, and art students sketching. Since I’m a student, I can get in for free, and it’s kind of awesome that I can just come and hang out here for an hour or two while I’m in the neighborhood. After I graduate, maybe that would make membership worth it, if I graduate, if I stick around.
Also, I’m writing with a pencil for the first time in I don’t know how long, because I forgot writing implements and I figured a pencil would be cheaper than a pen (though at $3, apparently not. Holy crap, Met Gift Shop, what’s up with you?)
For some reason, today, I feel like a tourist. Maybe it’s hanging out with Shayla and doing semi-touristy things, maybe it’s just getting out of my neighborhood. For some reason, today, I really want to read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Which, now that I think about it, was probably one of the first books I read that took place in New York. All those stories I’ve read, people I know who’ve been been here, spent time here, and contribute to my storybook notion of the place. There are moments when NYC lives up to its poetic picture inside my head. When I think about all the lives and all the stories that are piled on top of each other here. But most of the time, I don’t think it does. Most of the time, grimy NY overshadows glittery NY. Cheap branding overshadows glamor. I’m glad I moved here, but today at least, I don’t want to live here. Not in the long term. Maybe go to the south next. Or the Pacific Northwest. Or back to Denver. Maybe try New Orleans again. This week, at least, I know myself and what I want. But we all know that won’t last long.
I wish I’d had the time and the energy to really devote myself to my Bible Lit class this summer. To reading more of the stories and discovering more of the people. Some of the people really are alive. Some of the people I wish I knew better. I’m sitting here looking at a painting of Delilah and Samson and wishing I knew both of them better. There’s so much more to their story than what shows up in Judges.
Looking at these old Renaissance paintings, of Samson and Tobit and Moses, it’s funny how they seem to think the Bible took place in Europe. The period dress and the peoples’ complexions are all wrong. But on the other hand, what other frame of reference did they have? There was no National Geographic, no Flickr, and not a whole lot of explorers writing memoirs about their travels. How would they know what Moses wore? Why wouldn’t they picture him looking a lot like themselves?
7:20pm and I hear thunder.
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