There’s doing, and there’s being, and the former is ridiculously easy until you realize there isn’t anything you can “do” any longer. You can walk all the walks and spend hours a day on your feet with a heavy backpack and marvel at the fact that your clothes feel looser and your waist tighter, but that’s not being, that’s functioning. Deep down, I really understand, however, that walking is an art, and it’s beautiful and it brings happiness in the suddenly summer-hot sunshine where it’s 90 degrees in a city that you were told is cold. I’m slowly finding the artistry in putting one foot in front of the other, of letting your feet scrape the ground like brushstrokes and of capturing the images of the scenes that are moving slowly, mindfully by is something that I never saw at the MoMA, but then when I went there the last time they’d moved my favorite Picasso painting too.
I’m glad my last memory of that place was before it was renovated, before they added the new wing and upped the entrance fee. I always got around that by using my student ID and then I lost my wallet – ID included – and now only look 22 according to people that feel the need to tell me so.
Warmer Pittsburgh weather means more sunshine, which means Jackson Pollock-esque spattered shadows from leaves, trees and flowers across my arms and shoulders, blocking the light, if only for a moment. Light and dark, fluid and heavy; my legs feel more tired and swollen, which might explain those altered scale numbers, but then again, those numbers mean control, which has gone out the window and, in its wake, left a fire in my heart. Everyone who knows me, however, knows that I carry a water bottle everywhere. And as I’m walking through the fire too, within and without, and not just from the sunshine – and global warming – I’m adding ice, too, and a little bit of lime to the mix because it’s cooling and because one of my friends suggested that it would help.
And despite all of this, I know, one day, when I make it to a local museum, I’ll see that Picasso there again, without the entrance fee and haughty words. It will be bright and lovely and just how I remembered it, but not how I remembered it, because everything has changed.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”