Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Dreamed Up Project

When a whippet braced itself against me with all sixteen toes last night I half woke up, to find that I had been dreaming, a rare event. I dreamed someone called me and asked me to do some research for them. The caller wanted me find information for a catalogue raisonne of the works of Joan Eardley, a Scottish painter I have long admired. They then hung up without leaving a number or email address.

In the morning I knew I had yet another retirement project to add to the house, the vegetable garden, the flower garden, the unfinished novel, the cycling holidays, the lure coursing and the online bookstore that will help support all this leisure activity. (For all I know it has been done already, but if not, it seems like a good idea.) (And no matter that if I ever finally make it that far I will probably be too decrepit to rise from my Bath chair.)

Knowing I will never own a painting or even a sketch by Eardley has been a little tougher to get used to than, for example, knowing I'll never have a ski lodge in Vail, but you know what, I'm there, totally fine with it now. Instead, I thought, to the two small publications about her that are already on my shelf I will add a book I somehow failed to pick up when it came out in the late 1980s. I checked online. The cheapest copy of Joan Eardley R.S.A. is now about $200, the exact amount that is my upper limit for the purchase of a piece of artwork. (I have been known to cheat.) So now not only can I not afford a work by an artist I admire, I can barely even afford a rotten BOOK about an artist I admire. This put a momentary crimp in my retirement plans, but then I remembered Inter Library Loan, and things began to look up again.

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Anglo-Brooklyn by Joy Holland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.