Every now and then an opportunity presents itself.
Recently, one of my favorite “living” photographers, Michael Kenna, opened an exhibit at Paul Paletti Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. Kenna rarely shows in the United States, so I decided go. It seemed possible. Two and a half days, down and back.
3 a.m. comes early at our house, but the 5 a.m. bus out of Portland departs on time and DELTA leaves Logan for Indianapolis at 9 a.m. Then a drive to Louisville. I-65 in Indiana is a wreck and a very busy truck route. That was confirmed when an accident stopped traffic for 10 miles: two lanes of bumper to bumper 18 wheelers. Northbound traffic was totally shut down. I was headed south.
Louisville's city interstate system is being rebuilt. My GPS didn't know that, and went out of its mind. No “recalculating” message — it just shut down. I had not updated the maps, so we were lost!
For two hours I drove in circles. I-64, I-264, Nashville, St. Louis, Lexington, Cincinnati. There were signs for everything but my motel, which, when found, stank.
I guess you get what you pay for. The “shall remain nameless” Taj Ma Small could only have been closer to the interstate if it were a toll booth. Forget sleep.
The next day, eyes bleeding, it was time to meet the artist. But I had time to kill. First stop, Churchill Downs without people and no horses. Lots of rain and great history. Then, the Louisville Slugger Museum and wooden bat factory. I relived my baseball years. I got a free “mini slugger,” but TSA took it at the airport. Odd.
Kenna's photographs were breathtaking. His book, from 30 years of black and white photography in the northern islands of Japan, was inspirational. I think I scared him. Must have been my eyes.
I'm glad I went, but it’s nicer here in Maine.