“The lesson which life constantly enforces is ‘Look underfoot.’ You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Every place is the center of the world.”~ John Burroughs
Today, I am packing my car with 7 boxes filled with 33 of my iphoneographic images printed on metal and heading to the Cherry Branch Gallery in Cherry Valley.
First, I’ll be driving to Brewery Ommegang to pick up the beer for my opening reception.
How cool it that?
If I want Ommegang beer (and I do) I just hop in the car and drive through their fortress of a brewery and pick it up. Right down the road. Just like that.
When I moved to central New York, having bought my old farmhouse off of Facebook, sight unseen, I had no idea Ommegang was here.
Or Cherry Valley with its bohemian artist culture.
I had no idea Cooperstown was here with its strong baseball ethos.
I had no idea I was a mere 4 hours away from NYC (of course, I had hoped I would be a little closer), I had no idea how beautiful it is (I had hoped for that, too), I had no idea how many cool people lived up here, I had no idea one of my best friends would move up here, too…
I just knew there was a little white house in the middle of nowhere next to a man’s house who’d be my only friend for awhile- a man whom I barely knew from a poetry class in LA.
Who does that?
I also had no idea I was going to pick up my iphone and photograph my way into this place and back out into the world.
I started with the ground under my feet. Literally.
When I first arrived, I lived at the KOA campground. Because it was summer and because baseball is king out here all of the house and apt rentals had long been booked by the families of boys and girls in baseball uniforms.
Camping was the only option left. I hadn’t camped since I was a kid. Now this wasn’t roughing it but it was living in a camper trailer in a camp ground surrounded by cornfields and cow pastures.
There was a walking trail through those fields and the first thing was take my two boys (dogs) for a walk.
And the funniest thing happened.
In the back of those fields was another field, a long, low field of clover, just like the fields of clover that surrounded my childhood home.
And there I was.
In the middle of a vast sea of green under a purple and orange sky on a warm summer’s night.
The sky was a bowl above me, the clouds were glowing with the light.
I fell to my knees in wonder.
‘Look underfoot.’ You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think.’
I lay on my back in clover. The dogs ran free.
My eyes stung.
Was I really going to cry?
I whipped out my iphone and took a picture of the clouds and the clover and the dogs romping.
I fell swoonily in love with central New York.
(Sorry, LA. Heyyyyy. But you just didn’t do it for me. I tried. I gave you 25 years. I really did try.)
Ah, New York!
And, I wanted you to see what I see. I wanted you to fall in love with it too.
This Saturday, almost two years to the day that I found my farm on Facebook, I have an exhibit of iphone photos.
There will be Ommegang and a wall full of what I saw at ‘the center of the world’.
Cherry Valley, NY- Cherry Branch Gallery will be hosting an opening reception for central New York artist, Vicki Whicker.
Cherry Branch Gallery, 25 Main Street, Cherry Valley, NY 13320 / 607-264-9530
APRIL 6th, Saturday, 5-7pm: OPENING RECEPTION Live Jazz with Jeff Palmer, (pre-sales 12-4pm)