Warm Pre-Summer Nights (and Other Things)

Last night I finally finished my Artomatic installation for this year. I’ve been around 95% of the way done for a week and a half; my wall was painted, my lights were installed, my photographs were hung, my business card holder and guest book holder were both attached to the wall. Happily, the last piece of the puzzle showed up yesterday—yellow vinyl lettering for my name—so I placed it last night (along with labels for the photographs themselves) and it went up with no problems.

I wasn’t smart enough to bring my camera with me, but I did snap a quick photo with my cell phone, enough to give an idea of the finished product. (I suppose I should’ve turned on the lights and taken off the yellow registration card on the left-hand side, but oh well.)

Artomatic Setup

Afterwards, I took the metro back over to L’Enfant Plaza (there was a Nationals Game next door to Artomatic so getting parking there just wasn’t going to happen) and I just kept marvelling at what a beautiful night it was. I can’t remember the last time I’ve walked around DC at night where it wasn’t a busy city street; just a stroll through the monuments, or around the Mall, that sort of thing. It’s so beautiful and peaceful then, and you really feel like you have the whole place to yourself. I need to make time to do just that over the summer.

But more importantly, walking back down the street, looking at the Capitol up ahead, I remember thinking how great it was to still find myself in a real “work in progress” stage of my life. My photography is still in its early stages but it’s been really uplifting to feel like I’m learning. I’m still finding new things I enjoy to do, or rediscovering old forgotten ones. Over the past few days I’ve gotten some really nice e-mails regarding reviews I’ve written. It’s like, yeah, it’s starting to fall into place.

In unrelated news, I had my first allergy serum shot this morning. So far there has been no mutation into some sort of supervillain. Very disappointing. But it did give me time to read 80-odd pages in John Kessel’s The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories, and I’m enjoying the anthology so far. I’ll almost certainly finish it and several other books on my trip up to Indiana, PA this weekend for a family reunion. This reunion closes out two months of craziness when it has come to my weekends. I have almost nothing on the calendar for June and I’m making a concerted effort to keep it that way. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll be really nice to see a lot of the extended family this weekend, but I’m going to be happy once it’s over and I’m home and getting to focus on little things, or doing nothing at all.

Isn’t that what warm pre-summer nights are for, after all?

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