a walk to where I go

July 7, 2010

“Wanna walk to Squirrel Hill?” I asked my housemate on a day the weatherman had just informed me would be “oppressively hot.” It was a 2.5-mile trek across Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Each way.

She looked at me like I was crazy. “Well…” she mustered with a disapproving look on her face. She was sitting at her computer looking at pictures on Facebook. “Do you have anything else to do today?” I offered as the only reason I had for why this was a good idea. It worked.

So we set out on our trip. I was inspired by my 60-year-old coworker who lives in Squirrel Hill and walks to and from work every day in East Liberty. Most of the people I work with drive the four blocks down the road to get from our main offices to our food pantry, but this alternative mentality of walking several-mile distances daily seemed so appealing. Usually I bike everywhere, but something about the steady clarity of walking matched the slow-motion mood of the oppressively hot day.

The walk wasn’t great.

By what we decided was the halfway point, we were sweat-dusted and had drained our water bottles in us. We stopped at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts to browse the air conditioning. Our flip-flopped feet were blistering and aching. We stuffed leaves between skin and shoe to dull the pain.

We made it to Ten Thousand Villages, the destination we intended to reach, and back. Even with the difficulties—and likely because of them—walking along with us, it felt like an adventure. Much more than rolling in a car to a store could have. It reminded me of when I lived in Uganda and no one paid much attention to time because everyone walked most places and the journey was just as important as the destination.

The journey is just as important as the destination.


art all every day

April 26, 2009

Over-stimulated.art all night

That’s the best word I have to describe the way I felt when I walked into the enormous warehouse that was the setting for Art All Night, an art event in Lawrenceville which took place on gorgeous last night and led us to experience art in a perfectly new way.

This event was 24 hours of eclectic visual arts, musics, drinks, and peoples everywhere you looked in this giant warehouse. It was free for anyone to enter one piece of art, and it was completely uncensored. It was also free for everyone to attend.

This resulted in what felt like miles and miles of interesting artistic expressions in every frame of space. There was a large impressive painting of Edgar Allen Poe made from ripped-up pages of his writings hanging next to an elementary-schooled depiction of Darth Vader in crayon. These types of beautiful juxtapositions were everywhere. It screamed in our ears that what any one person creates is worth our attention. I believed it.

“Kayla,” my housemate exhaled in excitement as we left. “My tye-dye was in an art show.”

What she felt right then might have been the greatest triumph of the night—a person realizing her ability to acquire the role of artist in whatever creative outlet she calls hers.