Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It's been at least twelve years that I've been walking down one part of Harvard Ave. or another, between Allston and the Riverway, twice a day, four or five days a week.
I lived in Allston for about six of those years, and worked here at the Booksmith. I would pass the Beals St. intersection on the course of many of those trips, and I would look in appreciation over the hedge at the quiet (as possible) lawn under tall trees, designed to be a small leafy canopy of stillness, with a pair of picnic tables and a few sitting stones in the ground gathered respectfully around one standing stone. Perhaps six feet of this boulder is exposed above the earth.
Today on my way in for the night shift I was walking with my sketchbook out, revising my course of action on the painting that is waiting for me at home, and I come to an idea that requires me to sit still and keep the lines straight. So, holding that thought I come upon the hedge, and the lawn under the trees, and, in the back corner, the boulder. It amazes me that I have never sat against that boulder in all these years of passing by. And wouldn't that be the place to sit and pull this idea down to the paper.

The boulder, after I found the right stone to be my seat, and just when I leaned back in order to find out if this was, indeed, as it appeared, the perfect seat for my butt and, yes, the smoothest surface for my back, just sort of scootched back like it was a big jug empty of milk.

Sometimes when you find out that things are not what they seem you just laugh and laugh and laugh. On most days you won't find me heartily approving of plastic ferns, but this particular practical joke has been patiently waiting for my participation for more than a decade. I have to admit, that was a good one! You really got me! I bet you never thought, when you bought this giant plastic boulder, that you'd be stuck with it for twelve years. Now you can finally get rid of it. Right? I'm so sorry it took me this long to walk onto the set of your big production.

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