Thursday, December 29, 2016

Art, Sanity and the Bronx

Joyce Kilmer Park 

   This may surprise many of you, but after being rotated all over the Bronx, I've discovered many unusual and beautiful places. Parking is almost always a tremendous problem so I'm usually parked a mile or two from wherever I've been placed. The exercise clears my head in the mornings and afternoons. I can walk very quickly and cover a good distance. Last month, we had some brutally cold days that I wasn't dressed for. (As an ATR, I'm forced by practicality to travel lightly - there's no place to safely leave my belongings and I have to lug them everywhere.) I found myself parked on the Grand Concourse, the great vista of my youth. (Modeled after the Champs de Elysees, it was incredibly beautiful when I was young. It took a nosedive in the 1970s, but I'm happy to say it's returning to its former glory.) The wind was fierce and when I could no longer feel my nose or feet, I found myself in front of The Bronx Museum of the Arts. Free admission everyday, so I went right in. I wandered around and found myself in a stark room, lined with chairs, on which directly opposite me a film was playing on a white wall. There was no soundtrack, only natural sounds accompanying a film of the world outside the artists' window. The Cuban artist, Quesqueya Henriquez, lives in Santo Domingo and I became mesmerized.  As I was warming up, I actually felt I was there in the Dominican Republic. It was very meditative, and all I could do to break away and drive home. I returned twice during the week. The film is on a loop that lasts about 45 minutes. I usually viewed about ten minutes each visit. I must say it's the best contemporary art film I have ever experienced. The walk and the meditative aspects of the art refreshed me greatly. It had me thinking about the benefits of exercise, meditation and art for students and teachers. I believe it could benefit us all. Try to make the best of whatever circumstances you find yourself in. There can be beauty and peace wherever you go. Happy Holidays.

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Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.