Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

R & R = zzzzzzz?

Is too much serenity possible?

Myrtle Beach was my fourth major trip in the past month and half, it was the only one that wasn’t about work, running a marathon, or family obligations. It was all about relaxation. And we went about it with gusto: pleasure reading (novel concept!), watching the sunrise/set, floating in the ocean, building sandcastles, watching basketball, eating yummy seafood, going for walks/runs/swims—it was all very peaceful. Very far away from New York and my many projects there.

Though I was never homesick, after a few days of serious chilling, I started to feel uncomfortably lethargic, as if Lilliputians were slowly binding me to the ground in a supine position. Don’t get me wrong: sleeping on the beach is one of life’s finest pleasures but after so much time enjoying and consuming (which I had also done on my other trips), I was ready to be back in the studio making something positive. There’s something about the beach that stifles creativity—as if life is so nice as it is, art is not really necessary.

By the time we got home, I felt something like a sugar-crash or a hangover. Too much sweetness can be bad.

About an hour after deplaning at Laguardia and catching up on all the latest playground gossip (much of it discouraging), Sebastian and I were waiting for pizza at Simple (cafe across the street from our apartment). We had the dubious privilege of witnessing a gang battle—complete with bottle-throwing, sticks, crashing cars and cops with guns—literally a few feet in front of us. Sebastian asked if the police would put the bad guys in jail and I had to tell them that I could not discern any good guys in the melee.

Did I just write that I needed more grit?

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