Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Of Museums and Office Moves

Last week, we were told we would be in our current offices for several months.  On Monday, we were told we needed to be in our new offices by Friday or early next week.  Yesterday, we were told that the movers are coming Thursday.

As people heard the news, they said to me, "What are you going to do?"

To which I replied, "Pack."  People have looked at me skeptically.  I could almost see them measuring how many books remain on the shelf.

But I am my father's daughter.  I can pack up a bookcase in minutes.  My family never got far from its military beginnings.  We can be packed up and ready to go in very short order.

In fact, I was so convinced of my abilities to get packed that I continued with my original plan to go to the Rubell Family Collection, the wonderful field trip that my colleague arranged for her students.  On a day when I have more time, I'll likely post more pictures, but here's my favorite piece from yesterday:

You can't really tell, but it's a huge tube made of sheet after sheet of crumpled rice paper folded over hanging bamboo rods.

Here are some close ups.  This is the wall, taken from the outside:

and from underneath, looking up:

I entered the tube and felt an immediate peace.  I got a whiff of paper, like sniffing an old book that's in good condition.  I loved being surrounded by the cream color, by the paper.

The focus of the current exhibition is Chinese artists living now.  I learned a lot; needless to say, I'm not very familiar with contemporary Asian art, and very few people know much about contemporary Chinese art beyond some obvious names.

And then I returned back to the office, where I packed and packed and packed.  And it's mostly done.

Today I'll move all the files that are going with me to the file cabinet that's going with me.  I'll wipe down the furniture that's leaving.  I'll pry a sticker off my desk because it reminds me of a former friend and boss.  Hidden in a corner, the sticker proclaims that in the event of the rapture, this desk will be unmanned.  It reminds me that when I first started working here, there were more born-again folks.  They're mostly gone now.

When I look back on yesterday, will I remember the calm of the museum?  I hope so.  The day was bookended by people who are feeling all sorts of negative emotions about the changes that are barreling our way.

One of my colleagues asked me what time I'd be in today.  I replied, "The normal time, in the afternoon."  At her arched eyebrow, I said, "My reading pal still deserves our hour together."

Yes, the moving tasks will wait.  Last week, my first grade reading pal had showed the most improvement in one week that I've seen.  I want to build on that today.

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