Communing with balloons

Took flowers for Dad's vase after lunch.  He'd been pretty sharp in the morning, just uncomfortable being folded wrong in his bed.  Dad doesn't weigh much these days, but still enough that I need an aide's help to scoot Dad up toward the pillow.  Then I can raise the head of the bed so Dad can sit up to drink coffee, always important!

After lunch I stopped back with the bouquet.  Dad was still sitting up, eyes wide and unblinking, mouth agape, and hands tracing the route of the suspended ceiling's grid.  He looked like a flight attendant pointing to the exits during the safety demo.  Oblivious to me, I arranged the flowers, chatted about lunch, took off his glasses and cleaned them.  He grabbed the glasses back and returned to communing with the ceiling.  Pair of L lines receding toward the horizon.

Spur of the moment, I headed to downtown Dallas for free admission First Saturday at the Nasher Sculpture Center.  I needed art.  I needed free.  I needed driving directions!  "You cain't get thar from hyere" should be the Mavs welcome to Heat fans.  Downtown is a massive detour due to construction on the Woodall Rodgers deck park that will change the freeway into a tunnel with a giant urban park above (take a virtual fly-through at the link).   For now you cain't fly through.  You cain't exit.  You cain't backtrack.  You cain't find the parking garage at the Dallas Museum of Art to save your life.  Not even from the three-point line.

While I was struggling to get off of Woodall Rodgers to circle back to the Arts District, I got a view of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, also under construction.  The bridge is the first of a proposed trio designed by Santiago Calatrava for the Trinity River Project.  It would be nice if the construction went as quickly as this time-lapse video.

While it looked like I might be stuck on the Interstate all the way north to Denton, I was able to exit at Victory Avenue.  This was as up-close as I've been to the site of tonight's game three of the NBA Finals.  It figures that I was lost at the time.

This is not a map of downtown Dallas with detours, but there's a resemblance to my completed Worm Knot textile project.

The good news is that my auto travails were completely worth it.  The Nasher Center has an outdoor exhibit, "Statuesque" with very fun works by Aaron Curry in blazing pink and lime green.

The bright colors contrast with the dark figures of  Thomas Houseago.  (Both these artists were born in 1972).  Hut, hut, hut!  The works resemble football centers from this angle.
And Curry's "Horned Head Trip" looks a bit like my new "CollageMama" Chinese chop:

What about the balloons?  What about the communing?  That's a whole different exhibit on the lower level of the Nasher Center.  "Whole different" doesn't begin to describe the experience of "Sightings:  Martin Creed".

Walk down the stairs, and the balloon-filled room grabs your vision.  But, wait, these are musical stairs.  Each step plays a tone.  You and everyone else is making the strange music filling the museum.

Wait in a long line with anticipation building for your turn inside the balloon room.  A few people lost their nerve, as I would have in my anxiety days.  When you get to the arrangement of cacti you are on deck.  No eyeglasses allowed in the balloons.  It would be easy to lose them.  You begin to anticipate the static effect on your hair before you even enter.  The atmosphere is that electric.

You are in!  You are pushing your way through balloons.  You push them up for a glimpse of the ceiling.  It takes surprising effort to move.  You push until you find a wall, then turn.  It's loud.  Kids are shrieking with joy.  You push through balloons to find a person pushing toward you and both shriek with surprise!  It is cool, and not as humid as expected.  There's plenty of air, of course in all the spaces between balloons.  You breathe and fill with joy.  All other thoughts are gone.  You are IN ORANGE BALLOONS.  What else could there be?

Your five minutes are ending.  You find the windows, and then the door.  People are taking photos of you through the windows, documenting reactions.  You are pleased to emerge without letting any balloons escape.  You feel a bond with everyone who has been inside.  You may never be quite the same.  You have been on a very odd detour!

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

How wonderful!! Was that a balloon belly button? A balloon nipple? (I just had my annual mammogram.) Wait! Was that a remote or a cellphone in the worm knot? Whoa!

Collagemama said...

It is scary enough that the worms have the remote control. Thank heaven they aren't making phone calls. The balloons were just the nipples, navels, omphalos, and Aten of the world!

Kim said...

I want to go through a balloon room like that! It looks like serious fun. Thanks for this posting. Go Mavs! (Go any team that beat the Lakers.)


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