Saturday, December 16, 2023

Teaching an Old Cat New Tricks


                                                    From Michael Snow's film Little Walk, 1964

I will turn seventy in a matter of weeks. It's quite a number when you think about it. Seventy is inching its way toward one hundred. Yes, one hundred.

Call me crazy, but I'm kind of proud of the fact that I've made it this far. Plus, I'm still relatively intact. Okay, I have experienced some wear and tear along the way, some scars, and there are a couple of replacement parts in my left ankle from a unexpected meeting with an onery cobblestone back in 2010.

But, I'm here!

And, I'm still learning new things. In fact, last spring I walked into The School: A Jack Shainman Gallery right here in my little home town of Kinderhook and asked if I could become a docent. The manager said, yes, of course you can be a docent! Never mind that you're almost fifty years older than all the other docents. Never mind that you've never been to art school. Never mind that you just took up art-making in the last few years. The job is yours, Sweet Pea!

Okay, it's wasn't quite that easy. And nobody called me Sweet Pea.  

Here's what really happened:

First, I stopped by the gallery because I saw a huge banner of Michael Snow's Walking Woman. I remember her popping up all over New York City in the 1960's. I was only ten when I first saw her, but after that, she kept visiting me in dreams. When I slipped into the gallery, the show was still being mounted and so I asked the manager if I could take a quick self-guided tour. She said I could. And then after my tour, which left me wanting more--more time with the art, more time in the gallery, more time with younger people who cared deeply about art--I blurted out, I would love to be a docent here!

And so began my new career as a Docent. 

Today is the last day of the Michael Snow show. However, I will be back. And in the meantime, here's what I  learned:

        Just ask and you shall receive.

        It's never too late to teach an old cat new tricks.

        And finally, dear readers, rest assured that our future is in good hands--the twenty and thirty-somethings of the next generation are smart, creative, generous and good-hearted.

Creative Friends, no matter what age you might be, it's time to learn a few new tricks. Is there something that sets your heart thumping? Pay attention. And if you feel truly compelled, go ahead and just blurt out your heart’s desire. You never know what might happen if you just ask.



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