Monday, January 7, 2008

Stump Art, SE Portland

Mama's not feeling very well at all, so we're off to the ER in a bit--Leland is on his way to help again, bless him. Anyway, I wanted you to have this background on this stump art because of some new photos to come.

This is from Sept. 4, 2006, when we still lived in SE Portland. I posted it on Mama and Me from PDX. At that time, I did not know how to use Flickr and get my photos the size that I wanted them to be. Still and all, I hope you enjoy this. Be sure to notice the nun figure and where it is in these photos. I'll be back with an update on Mama when I have news. Thanks for all of your continuing good wishes for her recovery.

One sunny day, riding the #10 Harold bus home from work a few weeks ago, a glimpse of something like I'd never seen before flitted across my mind. I wondered, in fact, if I'd really seen what I thought I saw--toys on a stump on the side of Ladd Avenue, beneath the canopy of tall trees? That was a Thursday.

On Saturday, I rode slowly along Ladd Avenue in the Buick, looking on the west side of the street for what I had decided to call stump art. There it was, near one of the round-abouts that keep people from gunning their motors in this and many of the lovely, old neighborhoods in this city. I parked and got out, camera in hand.

Pictured below is what I saw, but you don't believe it any more than I did, right?

Children's toys arranged artfully, humorously and carefully atop a tree stump, standing between a busy sidewalk and a busy street, in front of a greenish-grayish painted, two-story house. How come no one walks off with the toys, I marvelled?

Here's what I think.

In the part of Portland I've been exposed to, folks let other people be. I suspect it's that way all across the city, the metropolitan area even. They let them be who they want to be, without consequence, without judgment.

That's a blanket statement, I realize, but you come up here, sit out front of a cafe or wait at a bus stop, and see if you don't pretty soon agree.

I believe this extends into letting artistic or creative expressions exist for the enjoyment of all, no matter how large or small, whether it's on a stump or a person's skin or hair or clothing.

It's really quite refreshing and encouraging to me. It's power-giving, too, in the sense that if you're left alone to be and therefore appreciated for whatever you've decided to be, then there's no holding you back.


WendyB said...

Oh dear...good luck at the hospital.

Rambling Round said...

Toys on a stump! Could be the next big thing!
Hope your Mama recovers soon.

Jim said...

I hope you mother gets well quickly.

The stump art looks like someone likes to have fun and doesnt take things so seriously.

dot said...

I hope they fix Mama up right this time. Let us know how it goes.
The pictures are really cute. What a rare find!
There is a two lane road I travel occasionally and someone has built what looks to be a Barbie Beach. I saw that on a sign and all the Barbie dolls are there beside the road but there is no place to pull over and just enough traffic that I can't get a good look.

Olivier said...

J'espere que ta maman va mieux.
Tes photos font penser a un petit film d'animation
I hope your mother is doing better.
Your photos suggesting a small animated film

AVCR8TEUR said...

I've never seen stump art before. Thanks for enlightening us.

Please keep us informed on how Mama is doing.

Gwen said...

I hope your mother gets well soon, Lynette.

Marie said...

Dear Lynette, I'll be thinking of your mama. I hope she recovers as soon as possible.

kunal bhatia said...

heres wishing your mum the fastest recovery possible. and ya, your correct, i'd be really taken back to see toys on a tree stump.
any idea why they were there? and for how long they are going to be there?
Mindless Mumbai