Sunday, April 05, 2015

Crossing The Bridge

We crossed the Great Morass of Equivocation via the Longfellow Bridge and arrived at Olson with a few minutes to spare before the start of the annual Festival of Opinion. This particular festival's theme being Form One. We passed along Eliot Street through neighborhoods where housing had replaced casinos, trendy boutiques and coffee bars, and the corporate headquarters of Donut, Donut, Donut. ( The board of directors realized their days in a gluten free society were numbered so they opted to relocate.)

Olson began as an experiment in community following the Great Debacle. People gravitated to the concept Live is a Verb. Expression ran rampant. Quaint cottages and rows of brownstones line streets. An entire block of frame buildings that had once housed factory laborers was demolished to make room for a hotel but a public outcry halted the hotel's development and the building, now complete, houses a library.

We spent an afternoon exploring the grounds at the homestead of the social critic, Will Perry. His famous words are inscribed on a plaque bolted to the stone wall surrounding the tulip garden: It's easy to be critical of a culture in which more people know of the Kardashians than know of James Joyce or Virginia Woolf. (Excerpted from Travels With My Aunt.)

Thursday, April 02, 2015

West Middle Derby (WMD)

Talking Heads, ed touchette, 1984, oil and charcoal/ 140lb. Fabriano CP, 22" x 30"
West Middle Derby rests peacefully beneath Mount Orwell in the Pearly Valley. Middle Derby to the east, South Middle Derby and North Middle Derby appropriately named. The Road to Derby Pier parallels the Palendor Escarpment to the west. Middle Derby became a repository of chic fashion and popular music during the 1980s. The township supports several museums dedicated to the preservation of pop art, lawn gnomes, and larger than life, stainless steel balloon animal sculptures.

West Middle Derby became an arts community when musicians, writers, painters, sculptors, actors, et.al. were remanded here whenever their work incited thought. The village became a refuge; work was uncensored and expressive.

We entered WMD in the dead of  a moonless night, having skirted the Middle Derby Dells where critics lurk, intending to waylay travelers headed for WMD. Our guide, a former Factory apprentice knew the secrets of influence and promotion so we passed through without incident. During our visit our excitement blossomed; our brains functioned; our health improved to the degree that we thought we might have stumbled onto a stoup from which poured youth and vitality.

Nonetheless, all things end so we left WMD promising to return in the near future. Leaving WMD, we passed through a series of magnetic loops. The consequent resonance destroyed any thoughts generated by what we had seen and heard. As well any traces of photos and videos recorded on our smart phones disappeared. Thank goodness I had a pencil and notebook to record some of our visit.

We noted a series of signs along the highway, remnants of a shaving cream promotion from the mid 20th Century. They'd been refurbished and read: Les artistes — sont interdits — de sortie. One of the older novelists had employed a gifted graphic designer to convert the last sign in the series to read Burmese Shave.  (Excerpted from Travels With My Aunt.)

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Circular Logic

We arrived at Best Wheaton only two days after leaving St. Ellens. Normal transit time is 72 hours but we hurried to take advantage of the newing of the seasons, a time during which colorful changes occur. With the onset of warmth, villagers burn detritus and recyclable papers as well as the balance of fossil fuel stocks—offerings of thanks to loftier beings. People in the valley have long subscribed to the belief that surviving the ravages of colder times is directly related to spirited worship of myriad deities. 

The image above, captured on a smart phone, reflects a vivid horizon that endured for three days— dawn to dusk. Similar displays have been known to last for months. Residents consider these as worthy as those prompted by solar flares. Committees are now seeking public relations and marketing expertise to assist with their efforts to generate additional income with which to purchase next season's fuel supply. (Excerpted from Travels With My Aunt)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Enjoy the quiet times.


During the solstice we visited el Conundra, a region beset with a variety of puzzling happenings.  Most residents explain these dilemma, citing a coincidence of planetary alignments or the regenerative powers of cellular matter impacted by electromagnetic currents. Other groups use complex mathematical calculations to promote their efforts to comprehend. Some carry balls of twine and construct random webs of string to guide others toward the ultimate conclusion.

Nonetheless a few stalwarts hold firmly to the belief that an extraordinary form guides daily activities. These folks worship trees, rocks, any and all forms of matter, animate or inert, that appear to have erupted from the surface. Each year at the solstice they gather at the learning tree and demand a short encounter with peace and quiet. Most, but for the most severe cases of mental incapcitativity, abide. It is a quiet time. Enjoy. (Excerpted from Travels With My Aunt.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cairn of Melangé

Cairn, acrylic/ canvas, ed touchette, 2011, 20" x 24"
Just off Rt U2, in what now is known as the Common, we saw the Cairn of Melangé. The culture of a region is buried here.

Some years ago, leaders in the dominion demanded compliance and adherence to sameness to ease the stresses of governing a heterogeneous population. Commonality was encouraged; dissent was ignored. Consequently, all became usual and nothing of value remained. Surprise was cancelled. Save the granite boulders and outcroppings on which the region had been built, all disappeared. Scientists studying the remains have determined that lichen on the boulders of the cairn hold promise but its development into anything resembling the miscellany once thriving here remains eons in the future.

We rarely purchase souvenirs but at The Cairn of Melangé, the District's Governors have established potpourri shops as an homage to the once cultural hotbed. My aunt bought a pound of a rose petal, lavender mix.
(Excerpted from Travels With My Aunt)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rampant Afflictions

Beach People, 1984, ed touchette, monotype with etching ink and conté crayon

We headed for the beach at Nuevo Nuevo Novel to spend some time reviewing our trip so far. To no avail, I might add. The sands there attract folks from all genre. Most suffer from attention deficit so they constantly, interminably strive to outdo others with their mannerisms and dress. Although pop music instruction is the most popular, posturing and posing classes attract a fair share of the population. It is impossible for shop owners to keep sunglasses stocked. As you can see from this photo my aunt took as we sped along Rt 14591, posers rule in Nuevo Nuevo Novel.  (Excerpted from Travels with My Aunt)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kinesis


At Saint-Grégoire des montagnes: We approached a travelers hut with circumspection, understanding, having read a recent issue of The Honest Tourist, that previous venturers had met tragedy in similar conditions. We peered carefully across a valley to ascertain the presence of possibly dangerous animals, vegetables or alternative forces. Realizing none of our premonitions of disaster, we lay back our heads and indulged a previously undiscovered cellular want of calm.

Several hours later, bloated with chroma, we beheld the majesty of the mountainside sanctuary and involuntarily broke into song. Much later, energized as only a kinesiologist might determine (my aunt literally dancing for several miles) we continued on—where-to being of little or no concern given the sense of well being proffered by the sanctuary. (Excerpted from Travels With My Aunt)