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.