Walking along 23rd to the Chelsea Gallery Ghetto, I saw a helicopter, stationary, hovering straight ahead, over…it could have been shooting something downtown. A wreck on the West Side Highway? Another helicopter passed by, a totally unremarkable occurrence, except that it wasn’t now. I walked on, forcing doomsday thoughts out of my head, resisting/refusing to become the kind of media consumer/junkie it’s so banally easy to scorn. Anyway, when I got to the gallery, Andrea was on the sidewalk in front, looking up approvingly. The helicopter had been hired for the opening, to do just what it did to me. The show inside has some easily overlooked but similar elements. It rocks, classic Julia-style.
Speaking earlier in the week about collaborating with his mother, Robert said that she just loved the attention. With this in mind, I felt an odd sense of wanting to be polite and look at her, for her sake. I felt it even more in the moments when no one in the crowded opening was looking her way; ignoring her is rude and mean, so I’ll look, make eye contact, so she doesn’t feel bad. Of course, looking made me feel wrong and dirty and antsy/uncomfortable. These contradictory feelings continued all night.
It’s that time of year, I guess. In Slate, Robert Pinsky has a “Guided Anthology” of poetry. The three works he highlights are all worthwhile examples, but Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s “Souvenir of the Ancient World” resonated beyond just the title. I had re-read the entries from exactly a year ago, which seemed to resonate.