Based on the crowds I’d seen in downtown bend early in the day yesterday, I figured the First Friday Art Walk in Bend would be booming. It wasn’t exactly a bust but it was close. The space for my 12, large photos on the patio next to North Soles was fantastic. The light from the setting sun spun gold and lighted magic into each of my prints that all faced west at one angle or another. The patio led into a side entrance to the store where my “Faces Of Africa” collection looked fantastic in the plush shoe shop. The owner decided she liked it so much we are now planning to leave it up until the end of August. We were ready for business at 5 PM, on time for a change, but there were very few people art walking. Even at 7, the normal peak time for these community events, there were only small groups of folks around. Turns out that half the shops didn’t even stay open. A few galleries participated but North Sole Footwear was one of the very few non art businesses to participate; usually there are dozens. Still it made my very visible display all the more attractive to those who were downtown so we had close to 100 people come through. Normally, though, it would have been 500. I guess everyone stayed home to BBQ and wait for the fireworks. I sold one full sized print–the ever popular, “Parked In The Yard”, and a dozen or so greeting cards.
The up side was that we got home and walked up the hill behind Loren’s house to a rocky outcrop with a great view of Pilot Butte just in time for the fireworks display. There were a lot more people from the neighborhood with the same idea as so there were probably close to 100 others scattered along the rocky rim but it was kind of neat; a real community sort of deal. There were families with kids, coolers, dogs, and grand parents. We ended up crowded in with a bunch of college kids. It was dark and they couldn’t tell how old we were, they just assumed since Bob had a beer in his hand and was shirtless with thongs on that we must be youthful so they didn’t hesitate to pass a joint our way. We joined the party and though we never really saw anyone’s faces or learned anything about them we bonded through good cheer and the generous sharing of a wonderful herb that makes everyone seem like close friends. When lips touch paper or pipe that has been handed around a circle of likeminded, happy, laughing kids– us included–an instant closeness blossoms.
Today, however, I bet those twenty-somethings got up and went about their day like normal. Though we were in bed before midnight, having hooted and hollered at the fancy fireworks show that was quite a distance from our vantage point, we had to sleep until after 8 to feel like we could function at all. I think the intensity of the past three days of work and getting ready for my show–I had four new photos to display, along with the regulars–really took its toll. We both crashed down today, a couple of hours of partying didn’t help, and we had to take a nap right after breakfast. Even after that we felt like Zombies. We did manage to drag ourselves out of the house for a couple of short walks (the wildfire smoke finally dissipated some today), and we went to the movies. We saw “Wanted” starring one of my favorite actors, James McAvoy, along with one of the most beautiful women in the world (inside and out), Angelina Jolie. Even with Morgan Freeman adding his considerable talent the film didn’t captivate me all that much. Sure it was a spiffy, high tech, high thrills picture with good acting but there were a few too many chase and gun fight scenes and it just seemed a bit forced and hallow. The one redeeming factor, and this really brought the whole film together for me, was the very last line, uttered with perfection by McAvoy. Basically, “Wanted” tells the tale of an apathetic, apologetic, nobody’s transformation from a hate-my-job accounts manager into an unparalleled super hero enforcer of justice. In the last scene McAvoy has just outsmarted Freeman in a surprise twist of the movie. He looks straight at the camera and says, “I finally took control of my life. What the fuck did you do today?”