Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The wall goes up, life goes on

January 16, 2008

Yesterday we heard the news that JC’s brother had died in the night. David had been ill, and he died peacefully surrounded by his beloved. Today, JC flew back to Canada, five days early, to be at the family gathering celebrating the life of his brother. To share those powerful moments when the window between life and death is open -- the grief moments, profound, when we are at our most vulnerable.

Here’s JC, next to Gord, surrounded by the crew the night before.

Life is indifferent, it just keeps right on going.

This morning, I was up early enough to see sun on the horizon and white on the rooftops. A brilliantly sunny day. So many things. The wall goes up. A meeting at l. Writing, editing, sorting out schedules. Press. Emails. George Rioux, Consul General of Canada in Chicago, visits the Fulton today. Here they both are in that cold, grey place; Gord gets so excited about the paintings whenever he has the chance to show them to someone new.

Our Intelligentsia meeting this morning is full of ‘real’ things, physical things, to do with the plates, the glycol, the power to the site in the park, the truss, compressor, wires, bolts, refrigeration. The weight of it is sometimes daunting: it’s best not to think about it all at once.

In progress, so much bigger than I had imagined.

Ari, who is already Sultan of Wrap at The Fulton, is now going to outreach to the interns crew. He’s had personnel experience with Public Dreams in Vancouver. Here he is, making sure the pallets which hold the paintings are catalogued, wrapped and arranged for easy accessibility. This is a big job.

Yesterday I dropped off some of Gord’s sketches for scanning at The Chicago Tribune. The marble walls in the entry corridors (The Hall of Inscriptions) at the Tribune are etched with sayings about freedom of speech.

Famous people, Patrick Henry, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, playwright Arthur Miller and former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Their lofty inspirational quotes reminding every successive generation of writers to consider how important an independent press, is.

The newsroom reminded me of my days as feature editor of the Los Angeles Loyolan, my first summer job out of college as a writer at The Los Angeles Times, and KCBS NewsRadio in San Francisco. The atmosphere - of writing, deadlines, the imminent knowledge that what you put together will be published or broadcast and become part of the culture -- made me think maybe I shouldn't have been distracted by theatre.

But there's a lure to theatre, and I do not regret our accomplishments there. At 5:30 we were hosted at a reception for The Shaw Festival’s production of St. Joan, which was well received in the press. Here's Gord, with a bit of energy, relaxed with Valentine, Georges Rioux and his wife, Sharon Gray -- in what feels like a world away from Paintings Below Zero.

No comments: