Good enough

What a day! I know have forty-leven other days I’d like to catch you up on, with their respective photos collecting codewebs in the corners of my hard drive. . . but if I let the guilt of all that weigh me down too heavily, I’ll never post anything. So let’s start with today.

You may have seen this photo floating around on the web:

(via myidealhome)

It certainly seems to resonate with a lot of people – I traced it back and back and back through blog after blog of repostings, but could only find that it was originally an item listed on Etsy, where you can now find wall vinyl versions (rip-offs?) for sale, with a removal of “grace” (to secularize it?) in favor of “fun” and a reordering of the words.

Well, the original (?) hand-painted version resonated with me, too, and I decided to make one for myself. I added messy, partly perhaps because the vinyl versions were too polished and I felt I needed to reiterate that in our house, messy is part of real. It was hard not to go in and touch up the messy line, but I was reminded of what my mother is forever telling me, “Perfect is the enemy of good enough,” so I added that too.

I admit to a strange sense of embarrassment while making my own copy, perhaps because last night I discovered the shocking similarity between an “original poster by a local artist” I had purchased and the work of Jim Datz, a designer I hadn’t heard of. I ended up reading this article about the response when others had noticed. After a lot of heat, the artist ended up sending the profits straight to charity and removing her website. Perhaps an overvillification of the artist, who meant her work as homage? Then again, I know better than to sell my painting without doing a better job of tracking down the author. As a buyer, I still feel lucky to have a fantastic print of my city’s neighborhoods. But if my design had been so . . . “inspiring,” I might also want a piece of the pie. So I may pick up Jim Datz’s Manhattan  to justify accompany my St. Louis.

Following this I worked on a couple self-dictated paintings;  enjoyable abstract pieces because I wasn’t willing to commit to longer representational piece. (Yes, abstract rather than non-representational; they were reworkings of under paintings for abandoned paintings [for all those savvy with the art terms].)

I met my sister downtown for lunch, and we spent several hours in our favorite bike’n’ bean, Revolution, looking at road bikes and chatting with the mechanics, who are fantastically friendly. We shared an I-must-not-have-eaten-in-days-this-is-so-good dinner at our parents’ house before an epic berry-picking adventure in the backyard. It is unbelievable providence that we do nothing to our wild raspberry patch, and yet it increases yearly, overflowing the jungle section of backyard we foolishly fenced in for former dogs.

We picked several pounds, and I decided to pair mine with some mint-chocolate chip ice cream found in the freezer, pictured on one of the paintings from earlier in the afternoon.

Next on the list of ways to spend a week of Indiana summer was a dying light bike ride, climbing Arlington Road past the limestone quarries.

I will never be a cyclist, only cycling enthusiast. This is partly because of my tendency toward bike evangelism: I would much rather coerce a potential bike-lover out on a ride with me than do a hard training route. Along with my sister, I drug my friend A along, begging for relief on the long climbs. In the section where he was ready to turn back and I was making all sorts of promises to keep him going, we agreed to a short 8 mile trip to a Siam House, where we stopped for Thai Iced Teas, Limeade, and Chicken Pad Thai.

My sister works at a restaurant now, like so many other brilliant and creative college graduates I know. To her credit, she applies herself wholeheartedly to the endeavor, not treating it as just a “for now” income. She boxed up the best of the raspberries she’d picked to offer to the chef as a possible special. Parfaits, anyone?

(They’re acutally home-picked, I promise!)

Then she borrowed my computer to print a handbook she’s written for her position for future cooks. She said she had to learn a lot on the go that might fit helpfully in a pocket notebook. Her enthusiasm made me want to join the effort, so I dabbled around to make a nice cover for the small booklets she was crafting.

Am I getting up at 5:30 tomorrow to finally do a bike workout? Yes. Should I be up at 2am posting this? Perhaps not. But it feels awfully lovely to tell you about my marvelous day. Right now that’s more than good enough.

SJ

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