Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To find a way to turn the signal back to heaven sounding blue

A detour off the ramp because the front end was dragging on the ground, trying to find a parking lot to examine the damage in a neighborhood of abandoned buildings and skeezy strip clubs, and everyone's cars look better than mine in the hood so The Local Kids were scoffing and the men in cadillacs disdaining at my duct tape repair job (incidentally Family Dollar sells the duct tape in the automotive section so there!), but we turned around and got to the museum where the Finster exhibit was everything I hoped for and more, paintings on mirrors with truck enamel, cheetahs as guardians of paradise, visions of spaceships and the towers of Planet Heaven, whimsical hellfire and brimstone, an exuberant and consistent strange vision part Flannery O'Connor, part William Blake.

We decided to make a day of our time down south of Clevelandia, and detoured through lands of strip malls that haven't changed since the 1960s to Grace Cathedral, home to the local toupeed televangelist who's gotten a bit senile in recent years, and despite scriptural admonitions about gluttony and greed, has a buffet and gift shop full of cornball crystal jewelry, sentimental tchotchkes, and shrinkwrapped tissues for when the sermon gets emotional I'm guessing.

I only had the giant camera, and said gift shop, buffet, and wax museum were closed and despite theoretically worshiping the same God, we probably looked more like snarky jaded heathens than actual acolytes, and so we headed north to Kent, land of bibliotheque school and frat party rioters extraordinaire.

Much of downtown has been torn down and redeveloped and while I'm generally not a fan of destroying old buildings, there's actually stuff downtown besides Bars for Bros and aging punk townies. The best burrito place ever satisfied our hunger, we ambled through sundry stores and then down to the river where the sunlight filtered through the trees,  the honeysuckle smelled incredibly good and there were teens being angsty under the overpass spraypainted with graffiti.

 (as I didn't get the pictures off the memory card, this photo is courtesy of someone on flickr)

We drove up through Ravenna, hometown of a certain singer, marveled at the signage and the proliferation of non-vacant storefronts and this strange sculpture on the children's elementary school playground.

 Someone's not Thinking Of The Children.

Drove back through the darkness and the heat lightning, spent the next day errand-running and filling out the garden with okra plants and mini pumpkins and hanging out at my favorite record store talking about literature and outsider art and listening to the Rolling Stones before heading up to the lake on Sunday to hang out with the family and sit alone on the breakwall in the darkness with the swirling of the waves like a Winslow Homer painting, to contemplate and re-examine some already existing sad things that swirled to the surface in the past couple of days that have left me a little wrecked and questioning every interaction and motivation. It's not that it isn't good, it's just that this growing up thing is really hard and painful. 


  1. So, what you're saying is that that Cathedral thing had nothing to do with Jimmy? Oh, right, you're in that other swing state. He's down in FLA!

    There are still record stores?

  2. I think Sculpture Dog is thinking of the children.

    He just pooped out the head of the last one he ate, and now he's hungry again.

  3. Silly Duchess, growing up is for kids.

  4. Jim,
    It's like a time warp to the Reagan era with the decor in there. And at least the Wax Museum Jesus doesn't look Aryan. Props where they're due. And said record store sells great tuneage and is the perfect gathering place without that stereotypical pretension.

    That's true, but notice the ribs! Those kids must be too skinny.

    I take it this is what your Metal Dad reflective powers have taught you.