My mom and Mark were in D.C. and got to go to the recently reopened Renwick Gallery. The Renwick is part of the Smithsonian galaxy of museums and it was closed the whole time I was in DC. Also closed the whole time I was in D.C.: the frozen yogurt place across from the zoo!
The above sculpture is made from thread. That’s right. All that color is cotton thread strung and twisted with laser precision from the floor to the ceiling in a room in Washington, D.C. The rainbow is there right now, even as I lay back in my bed in a small town in Iowa with a little bit of a headache that I hope isn’t a sign of something worse. Being an adult means continually thinking, consciously or subconsciously, of worst-case scenarios.
It’s dark in the Renwick right now; the museum has been closed for hours. Maybe there’s some light coming through the windows; headlights and streetlights are probably giving light off. In a city, it never gets completely dark. The office buildings above the gallery surely have a few people still in them, working and eating Thai takeout and turning lights on. And that means that some of the threads that make up Plexus A1 are illuminated, however dimly, in that room, right now.
When Mom was telling me about the D.C. trip, my chest felt tight.
How strange: I lived there. I know where the Renwick is. I want to see the thread. If I could get a flight, I could be there by 2am. I know what train stop to take from the airport. I know how the streets work. I could casually ask my mom before I snuck out what floor the thread sculpture was on and when I got to the gallery, I could climb up and peer into the windows. I’d see what I could see of the rainbow in the dark.
After a long time — I’d be there a long time — I’d climb down and there would be only one thing to do. I’d have to get back to the airport. Because I don’t have a home there, even though I’m pretty sure I used to.