Maira Kalman, with her words and paintings, animates the snapshot moments that speak of how our lives exist in stand-alone compartments that may or may not seep from yesterday and into tomorrow. One of my failings or gifts is looking for and, mostly, finding a Bigger Picture, a context within which there is meaning and portent in anything from (I exaggerate) a toothpick to bending the space/time continuum. At the same time, I have come to know that some experiences are simply gems, cut unlike any other and residing in solitary perfection on the pedestal of a day, an hour. They have no history, no expectation, they just are and our only work is to love and savor them as that.
Ms. Kalman walks and tells us why. My response to this is bittersweet, as walking for me is a challenge mostly beyond my capability, at least for today. Getting about inside my home and for necessary increments here on our apartment grounds is hard work, done because it is what there is. In my dreams I am always mobile, agile, ageless. I move from here to there with ease and I dance and climb lighthouse stairs, stand in lines and in conversation at parties. I miss walking, which was transportation for many periods of my life. I miss seeing what one sees when afoot, I miss the freedom of pace, the discoveries of which Kalman speaks. How do we find that mind-clearing motion when walking is not one of the choices? When not present to absorb and interpret, first-hand, the neighborhood and the directions in which it expands, how do we release the mind to travel as a passenger, an observer, and not the museum tour guide deconstructing - or enhancing - each object viewed? There must be a way. I want to find it.