I have this friend. I’ve known her most of my time in Arkansas. I was her friend when her daughter, whom we’ll call May, was born. One of the amazing parts about being in Arkansas as long as I have been is that I’ve been able to watch May grow up into a remarkable little girl.
She is kind, smart and funny, and today, she sort of rocked my world.
It was a stunning fall day, and I was determined to NOT feel lame as all of my friends on the social webs posted their adorable pumpkin patch photos, or attended the Head of the Charles in Boston, or generally led their amazing food/family/fun-filled lives. So Sadie and I met May and her mum on the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for a little outdoor artful exploration.
We started in a field at an exhibition called “Makin’ Hay”.
Lousy photography aside …how awesome is that? Amid a spirited discussion between her mom and myself about the sculpture having/not having nipples, May marched to the back of the sculpture to gleefully proclaim “I see the booty!” She kept an eye on my happy dog who romped in the field, occasionally calling her back when she strayed too far, just as I would. “Do you like my shirt?” she asked, pulling open her leather Harley-Davidson jacket to reveal a pink and glittery butterfly with SWEET written above it.
On we walked, enjoying the remarkable art that can be found on a slow stroll through the grounds, including Roxy Paine’s Yield, one of my favorites (again with the bad photo, but you get the point):
Amid a lull in the art-finding, after investigating a large metal sculpture and determining it “felt weird”, May grabbed the leash and ran off with Sadie. A few moments later – “Look! I found more art!” We came over to investigate the stump of a tree, ringed with branches, swirly patterns naturally carved into the wood. “This is art,” May told us, and we didn’t disagree.
We climbed a hill, and I stopped to use the restroom, and when I emerged, May invited me to see “more art” – a brick bridge built into the bike trail. She tired a few moments later, and we told her we’d see more art in a few minutes. “But I want to see more art now!”
Down the hill, we stopped to visit Stella the bronze pig, whom May proclaimed “Doesn’t feel like art.” As we glanced up at a huge Vaquero statue, we asked her “Is that art?” She wasn’t sure.
As we walked up the hill (“I want to see more art!”) she knelt on the path with a triumphant “Look! More art!” as she pointed out the patterns of metal embedded in the dirt path to ensure traction for the walkers.
I mean, seriously, people. I wished the staff of Crystal Bridges could have been with us to watch this little girl find art around (or under) every. single. corner.
We should all be so lucky in the way we see the world, don’t you think?