In the short amount of time that I have lived, while being consciously awake, I have experienced many things and have witnessed many events. It is my opinion that my life’s experiences pale in comparison when compared in quantity with someone who is much older than me, however it is also my opinion that I have experienced and seen many more valuable things than most. One specific instance would have to be my visit to an art gallery in Los Angeles where I managed to gaze upon a particularly interesting painting by the artist Salvedor Dalai. It was called Crepuscular Old Man and it captured my imagination. It’s vivid colors and use of unique brush strokes were what so intriguing about the painting because they where something that I have never seen ever before.
That saturday started like most others with daybreak at 6:00 a.m. pacific standard time. My former academic decathlon team and I were promptly waiting outside the Lemoore High School office at around 6:10 a.m. The brilliant sun which began to creep over the horizon of homesteads surrounding the area was an awful reminder to us all of just how early it was outside. Combine that with the still bitter winter weather which chilled our skin to a beautiful forty-two degrees made this trip questionable for some to attend since most of the group would have rather stayed in bed. The vans arrived around 6:25 and by 6:30 a.m. we where off to see the gallery in Los Angeles. The trip was a long and boring one like most it was filled with the standard stare out the windows and look at on coming traffic from opposing lanes, with your
occasional attempts at conversation and the eventual drowning of one’s self in the headphones of a portable cd player or mp3 player in my case. We all had our own variety of music. Some of us had heavy metal, hard rock or punk music while others had folk music with such artists as Ani De Franco. Still others had their rap music with artists P.Diddy Dr. Dre and Eminem. Needless to say I wasn’t too particularly open minded to the rap portion of our team’s musical performance. Something I don’t get is how someone can make money by bragging about how much money they have already.
When the long arduous drive came to a halt I took a moment to look at my surrounding environment. The place in which we had parked was atop one of the many levels of a parking garage. The trek down to the ground level was a short elevator ride which included blinding white florescent lights and the almost silent humming of pullies and cables. We managed to complete a walk down an extremely uneven side walk which seem to curve to the right into on coming traffic. We all then came upon a pair of tremendous buildings gated by a large iron fence and supporting a few courtyards where people sat at caf? tables and talked. The grass was completely green with no signs of discoloration and the smell of it made it seem as though it was cut every morning before visitors had a chance to arrive. A dry wind blew as we approached the ticket booths and reminded us all that the sun’s rays had taken hold of the day.
The inside of the museum wasn’t at all what I had expected. There were many escaladers and elevators which took waves of people to lower or upper levels of the buildings. Each section of each building had its own era of art. The first to be explored by myself and two others was the Oriental exhibit which contained many scrolls and watercolor paintings. Many artifacts adorned the walls, mostly statues of Buddhist gods some where of clay constructions along with others made from bronze which on the surface where enameled with patina. The next section we explored was the modern art exhibit and it had many artists which did many particularly exotic and unusual types of construction pieces none of which could be explained without the likelihood of misunderstanding. Then as we where passing through the gallery one of us came across something special something that looked to be original and interesting. It was darkly colored and kind of rough in brush stroke. The figure of an old man holding a cane in his right hand and staring towards the ground captured my attention. My mind began to wander over the entire painting coursing through each intimate detail and pondering its meaning. The buildings behind the old man seemed Spanish in design and had seemed to have a delicate way of saying that they are still standing as a testament to their time. The terrain which the old man was crawling up seemed to be at a slope like a small hill or perhaps a bridge that remained invisible to the onlookers perspective. It also looked as though the old man had been walking away from the town perhaps he was too old to live in it anymore, or the people didn’t like him very much, or maybe he was going just for a stroll outside the city. A thousand and one thoughts had passed through me in those ten minutes as I stood there and pondered the mystery of this painting with alas no resolution to any of my questions. I couldn’t stare at the painting much longer after that because it was time to leave and make our way back to the stretches of the valley.
I still have no answers to the painting of that old man. His stare at the ground before him doesn’t make complete sense to me, but I do get the feeling somehow that he is pondering at the ground just as I am pondering about him. I still wonder the reasons in which this old man came to leave his town. Where did he plan on going? Why does he feel he must leave? Is he going on vacation or is he on some important business. In the simplest terms I came to the conclusion that the reasons for his leaving now make no difference. An old man leaving a town has his reasons regardless of what maybe that thing is. The fact that he’s leaving, Do not try and complicate the situation with reason or else the meaning is lost.