Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We Just Drove . . .

Saturday was one of my favorite days in Houston. I love living here most every day but on Bayou City Arts Festival Saturday, I feel like I do after a long afternoon in a bookstore -- like I've been to worship gathering where everyone accepts and no one blames.

I'm not so naive that I believe artists are without malice and envy. That's not it. I just love breathing in creativity, even when I don't like what I see, even when it hurts. Something mysterious is untethered within my soul as I walk from booth to booth and am reminded of greater forces at work than I can understand. Colors, textures, ideas and images wash over me and I'm clean again.

Definitely dealing with the metaphor here, given that we are talking Houston and even a breezy day like Saturday came with some high temps and the resulting sweat. Still, I thrilled at each encounter.

Yes, I bought a piece. Yes, Roger bought a piece. Yes, Stan did as well. We don't pay to get into the event since we serve as volunteers and offer relief to the artists in the form of booth sitting while they grab food or a spot in the Porta Potty line. . While our charity -- Bering Omega -- gets a portion of the gate for supplying volunteers, the festival also never fails to gain from our participation. Much of my home is decorated with festival buys.

But as much as I love this event, and I'm hoping you can tell that I do, what we did afterwards was even better.

We just drove.

Roger and I were hungry but we couldn't decide where to go. So we put the top down and started driving, agreeing that when we saw what we knew we wanted we'd speak out. We took the side streets through the city and around the wards. We ate supper in the Heights outside. We kept driving. I would sometimes make the choice of which road to take and sometimes just ask, "Left or right?" One or the other of my two favorite men would respond and we'd see if that street was going to include teens in the park declaring, "I'm feelin' ya" as we drove the VW in its red splendor or old men sitting on the bumper of cars seemingly permanently parked in yards. We saw crowds gathering for soccer games and football games and what was probably a drug deal. We smelled the richness of outdoor cooks prepping for the evening grease fix the drunks stumbling out of cantinas would need. We watched old women fold up closer to the card table to see the game in the darkness. We marveled at the sun setting behind the clouds and reflecting off the most beautiful skyline in America.

Well, the most beautiful on this Saturday, the Saturday we just drove.


Finding the Happy said...

Beautiful...thank you for the virtual drive around my home town and yes, it is one of the most beautiful skylines in the USA...any day.

Laura said...

Karen - I'm a little late to the party - but I'm glad to see you're blogging again. Thanks for the images in words.