It took awhile for me to understand what a realist painter Georgia O’Keeffe was, and why she would get so annoyed when people would call her work symbolic or stylized or abstract. At the moment I’m on a plane from Atlanta to DC, and the scattered small clouds reach across the sky just like in those huge late paintings of hers that I know from the Art Institute.
Just a week ago I was flying back from Boston. Yesterday I drove to Birmingham from Biloxi. (At least I’m moving a little further along the alphabet by going to DC.) This is the intensely busy stretch that I’ve been watching come closer on the calendar. But the traveling itself doesn’t bother me. I like being on the planes, I like checking out the different hotels. I don’t like not having enough downtime and solitude. So I’m glad for today. I’ll get to Topaz by 4:00, and have no plans for the evening other than to wander out and find a nice meal at a familiar restaurant.
I realized some time ago that I have undoubtedly spent more time walking the streets of DC than I have of any other city since the town I grew up in. Over twenty years now of coming at least once a year, sometimes more (I think the longest I’ve ever been away was once stretch of nineteen months). And always I find time to walk the streets, to pop into the museums. I always feel at home.