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, September 23, 2009

Outside Help

Whether you are superstitious or not, if you find a four-leaf clover, you take it. So when I was running in Central Park yesterday, which happened to be the Autumnal Equinox, and found a half-buried horseshoe, I had to pick it up. I’m not sure if it will bring me good luck or not but I’ll take any help I can get. I’ll hang it securely over the doorway of my new house and hope it catches some blessings.

I am already mightily blessed, and not in wealth or talismans. You see, I have powerful friends--not the you'll-never-work-in-this-town-again or break-your-kneecaps-if-you-mess-with-me types. I have that kind of friend too but now I'm speaking of two radiant and wholly benovolent souls in John Adaster and Anki King, who have been hosting me this autumn in New York. More than providing me with shelter, they have been great sources of emotional strength.

They have made me feel very welcome in their midst. How often can anyone say that they feel truly and positively welcome in their environment? Moreover, this is not simply a "make yourself at home," situation. Anki and John actively project an aura of goodwill that invigorates.

I knew it would be pretty great to spend time with them, but I had no idea that they would be such food for the soul. Even though they are extremely serious-minded people, there is a nimbus of joy in their home which is positively invigorating, like the oxygen-rich air you find next to a waterfall. It is a waterfall that has its source in a very deep pool of kindness.

They have many interests and are fascinating conversationalists and we have stayed up late talking about art and a million other things. They're dedicated workers and accomplished artists; one cannot help being inspired by their example. They motivate me to be a better artist and a more graceful host when the opportunity arises.

Being away from home and family is emotionally taxing, and anyone associated with the marathon knows what a crazy atmosphere it can be. Despite it all I have felt calm and steady throughout, ready to thrive, largely through the graces of my angelic hosts.

Thank you.

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