the ‘long hall’

the ‘long hall’
Originally uploaded by jayfherron


The trek to ‘the gallery’ at the J.Wayne Reitz Union is not at all an easy one for me. The building is huge-I’m not even sure how many floors,I think four;but it is also connected with the parking garage and the campus hotel.
The gallery is on the second floor-the corridor in the photograph is a part of that floor-there are four such and the same length.
It is easier to say it is like running for shelter from a hard rain-like running across the grocery parking lot to avoid getting wet. That is what it is like for me to get into the building and into the gallery. It is like a sanctuary there-almost like going to a funeral home to pay respect to a lost friend…peaceful.
The compression of the doors closing behind me begins the rain storm…begins the phobia of some crazy deja vu’ and makes me anxious.

I haven’t been faithful to the exhibit this season-in the sense that I’ve only visited once since it has opened,that was Sunday.
It is not by choice-gasoline and my distance into the city has limited my travel. I actually am sad that I haven’t been able to make the trip-it was a therapy for me to go there each day…last year on Tuesday I went from seeing Charlotte to cross the highway and walk across campus to the gallery.
My plan is to try for today-I have enough gas to make it in and back.

My usual steps are to park on the street behind the VA hospital and walk through Shands. I go the 11th floor there to use the restroom (it is almost as if it is my private restroom) and then back down and through the hospital I go.
Shands is connected to the VA by a tunnel. It is a rather long tunnel-very brightly lit and very often used by indoor speed walkers,it is measured for how many miles you walk by how many times you go back and forth.
The tunnel reminds me of the tunnel at the Pan American Union in Washington DC. The tunnel there connects the Union to its administration building-two blocks away.
As you walk through the tunnel at the VA the scene is almost too bright from the lights and the white walls and floor tiles…so bright it is dull.
I often think about the mural in the tunnel in Washington-some 200 yards long,painted by Carlos Paez Vilaro (titled “The Root of Peace”). The tunnel itself is very dismal-low narrow and grey except for the mural. Bare bulbs light the way-not the bright lights like at the VA. It always amazed me how the artist had to spend such a long time in that tunnel…my research is poor-how it took is unknown to me,but in my own speed of painting…it must have taken months and months.

(actually-the tunnel was painted in 1959-1960 and was repainted in 1975 by the artist.It is the worlds longest mural-it took 900 pounds of paint and 300 brushes-the brushes were contributed by the Inca Paint Company in Uruguay,the home of the artist)

Just rambles of notta from the head today…empty, just like this long hall.

3 Responses to “the ‘long hall’”

  1. Austin Says:

    So when you make this trip to the exhibit what is your plan to reward yourself for going? There’s anxiety about it but what’s in it for you to actually accomplish this anxious task? It’s clear that your heart is there and that the flashbacks are there but what will you reward yourself with for following through with your heart and telling the flashbacks to go to hell?


  2. jayherron Says:

    Austin-although I have not figured out the self reward…I have kept my heart open for the ‘rewards’.
    There were several-one had such an impact that I am ever thankful for how they come!
    The Reitz Union (as I have said) is huge-there are myriad options for entertainment-dance theatre and plays-movies….there was even a wedding going on down one of those long halls.
    Outside to the east is a large pond which is surrounded half moon like by an ampitheatre.
    After the reception (an old freind of mine was there) we exited the building on the east side…the ampitheatre was filled with people-all holding candles.
    It made us stop to look at what was going on.
    It was the Chinese population of Gainesville and the University,they were having a memorial for the victims of the earthquake.
    It was very moving-we sat down and a young Chinese man ran from all the way across this crowd to bring my freind and I a candle.
    One interesting part of this was the wind. It was seriously windy-but the candles stay lit.
    The real interesting part of this was to sit among this crowd and see all of the various faces of these people-and the speakers all spoke in their native language,in Chinese.
    It made me think Austin.
    How hard it must be to be seperated by distance and tragidy from those in a land a long way away. How interesting it was to sit in this crowd-to hear the sounds of mourning from a distant place-and to feel the mood.
    It was a powerful reward-leaving the art exhibit….being as afraid as I am-and to end the evening in the midst of these people.
    That is the reward-and I am thankful for the value of it.

  3. Austin Says:

    Oh WOW! That is awesome and I’d say the sharing is a reward and a gift.
    Smiles to you and yours,

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