A few days after two steppin’ I made plans to meet up with Ryan to do a little bit of exploration around the city. Ryan (being a bit more seasoned in Austin as he had been there 8 years) politely offered to show me some of the highlights of the city. I stopped in to say hello to Jess at work and to meet up with my accomplice for the day. We biked on over to The Screaming Goat for some tasty tacos that we enjoyed outside in the deliciously warm sun rays. Earlier in the day he had asked me if I was into photography because he thought I might be interested in a free exhibit going on; to which I calmly I replied, “that could be cool…” No big deal. So after our lunch we biked over to the UT campus (which is big and beautiful by the way) for our day amongst some truly inspiring one of a kind pieces..
The exhibit we went to was Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection at The Harry Ransom Center. The first thing I saw upon arriving was the first photograph ever taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.. it was amazing. It was incomprehensible to imagine when the first photograph was taken let alone how it and I ended up in the same room in the middle of Austin, Texas. Also, that none of it would of happened had I not gone dancing a few nights before. Thoughts like that can surely blow your mind (in the best way possible)..
It was the first time I had been to an exhibit going piece by piece and looking at each work with someone, discussing what we saw or what we liked or sometimes just a simple, “wow” was all that needed to be said. I have to say that I saw a lot more than I would have had I been on my own. Ryan is a graphic designer and has an studied eye for detail. He was seeing things in the photograph that I wasn’t able to detect upon first glance. I was seeing things in new ways and by the end of it was noticing things on my own that I might not have noticed had he not been there. I think I get caught up in the feeling or energy of the image and get lost there a little bit so smaller details fade into the background. I am happy that I had someone to share such an experience with – one with a fresh outlook and a different pair of eyes.
Afterward we grabbed a local brew at Opal’s and sat out on the deck before the sun made it’s way down. I had such a pleasant and inspiring day I wasn’t sure if it could get any better.. until I met back up with Jess after her shift at Whole Foods. We were sitting outside recounting each of our days when all of a sudden a garbled announcement came up over the loud speaker. I couldn’t hear what had just happened but Jess quickly jumped up and said, “hold that thought.. I’ll be right back.” A little lost in the confusion I eagerly waited her return. She came skipping out the sliding doors with two pieces of golden paper in her hands. Two words. Michael Pollan.
Turns out someone couldn’t make the Evening with Michael Pollan at the UT campus and whoever was the first person to come to the front desk could have the tickets for free. Talk about the right place at the right time … We quickly jumped on our bikes and made our way to the Bass Concert Hall and made it there with 10 minutes to spare. Smiles all around. We entered the building arm in arm looking at each other looking around wondering how we ended up here. Mr. Pollan was there to talk about his newest book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual and discuss the latest in healthy living. The evening was grand indeed with a few pit stops on the way home worth mentioning: the Wheatonville Co-op, some tasty thai food dinner and hot drinks at the Spider house (an eclectic little spot serving up some mighty fine drinks and food with a twist).
After a day like this you truly realize that sometimes you don’t need to plan everything out – in fact most times it’s nice to ride by the seat of your pants because life has a funny way of leading you from one great thing to the next… so I’m not sure if it’s serendipity, an act of divine intervention or just the simple act of putting yourself out there that can lead to positive, magical things happening(especially when there are two happy and free Jess’ in the equation – even more magical things can occur). Either way I appreciate it all and hope that everyone’s days are highlighted with even just a moment of magic and being free.