Members of the two national political parties of the United States – the Republicans and the Democrats – had congregated on the Gallia County Farm. The politicos had assembled to respond to the recent national conventions of the two parties. So many people had arrived, inadequate space was available for all to stay in the Farmhouse.
While I was in the Farmhouse, pondering the situation, someone asked me if I had any ideas about where we could find room for everybody. I was unsure, and at first I didn't want to be bothered with the question. But someone had to be responsible for finding space for everybody. And I had the distinct feeling that God, if I would trust in God, would lead me to a solution to this problem.
Among the people who had come to the Farm was a large group of Hari Krishnas. Although I hadn't yet seen the Krishnas, it occurred to me I should seek them out and speak with their leaders about the problem we were having finding space for everyone; maybe they would have some ideas.
Stepping out the back door of the Farmhouse, I looked down to the bottom of the hill where the old weathered gray hay-barn was still standing. The bottom part of the barn had no walls – just columns holding up the upper portion of the barn. Some hay was piled on the floor of the barn; some people were also inside.
I walked down to the barn and circled behind it. A German Shepherd dog (which I recognized as Po, the pet of one of my friends) accompanied me. From behind the barn, Po and I took a path which led back into the nearby woods. After walking a ways – on the right side of the path, still within sight of the barn – I discovered two small houses. I had previously believed the houses were nestled back here in the woods, but I had never seen them.
When a woman and child walked out of one house and headed toward me, I was concerned I might frighten them. I quickly told them that they shouldn't be afraid of the dog, that it was as tame as a puppy; even though it looked ferocious, it wouldn't hurt anybody. When they hesitated, I thought they were going to turn around and go back inside the house. But when they stood their ground, I inquired, "Which of the two houses is yours?"
After they pointed to the house farthest from us, we turned and walked together toward it. At first the house didn't look bad, but once we were closer, I realized the abode was little more than a small one-room shack which had recently been painted a garish yellowish color. Junk was cluttered all around, and one of the walls even seemed missing.
The woman and I entered the house. In the house's only room sat a man in a chair. Some other people, including a young boy and his strikingly pretty little sister, were also gathered inside. The little girl (probably 10-12 years old) had long red-tinted hair.
Still with the feeling that God was leading me, that God had brought me to this house, I informed the family I was trying to find someplace where all the people back at the Farmhouse – including a group of Hari Krishnas – could stay. When I asked the family if they knew of any place, they said they didn't.
The boy, however, interjected that he had a large tent. I was immediately interested. He explained that the shack (which we were now in) wasn't the home where this family actually lived. This humble dwelling was merely a place which the family would sometimes visit to escape their actual home on the other side of the hill – the place where the large tent was located. The way the boy described the tent, it sounded as big as a house.
When I asked the boy if he would rent the tent to me, he said he would. He even agreed I could disassemble the tent and move it wherever I wanted. I might do that; but I was still uncertain where I would set up the tent. When I asked the boy when I could pick up the tent, he said about 6 that evening. That would be too late; I would rather pick up the tent much earlier.
The boy said if I came out about 2 o'clock, he would be able to help me. That would be fine. But then I began thinking I might just leave the tent standing where it was and let the Hari Krishnas use it there. It might be healthy for them to have to walk back through the forest to reach the tent.
I was quite happy with the way things were working out. And I was thankful to God. It seemed that indeed God had shepherded me to this little hovel where I could find a solution to my problem.
The boy mentioned he had many other items at his home which he would like to sell. He owned an old Apple computer which he didn't use – a 220 model. Although I had never heard of such a computer, I was interested. Apparently the boy had simply stored the computer in his closet and had never used it. I asked him if he wanted to sell it and he replied, "Sure."
When I asked how much he wanted, his sister said fifteen dollars. But the boy said he actually wanted around two hundred dollars. As we continued discussing the computer, I began to have the impression the computer might be outmoded. I still wanted to see it, but I doubted I would want to buy the computer. I would probably prefer to buy a computer which I had seen earlier in the day at a computer store which I had visited.
I finally spoke with the little girl, who related to me a story which became so vivid in my mind, it seemed as if I were actually watching the story instead of hearing it. The little girl said she had an older sister who had very long hair. One day, when the little girl had returned home, she had found the older sister cutting her own hair with a pair of scissors. The little girl had been quite disturbed to discover the older sister had already cut off half her hair, which she had been holding in her hand.
Just as the little girl concluded her story, the older sister entered the house. Disbelievingly I stared at her, hardly able to confirm my eyes: the older sister was Louise.
Having departed the little shack together, Louise and I had started ambling around. I needed to return to the Farmhouse as soon as possible, but I became distracted when we passed by the Dallas Museum of Art. Standing in front of the museum was the awesome metal sculpture by Rodin, titled the Inferno. Several people were admiring the work. I was awed by the miniature version of "The Thinker" which the sculptor had integrated into the sculpture. On top of the work stood three delicate statues of the Muses.
Deciding I would like to enter the museum with Louise, I stood in a short line and quickly bought the tickets. I returned to Louise with the tickets, which resembled long pieces of red bubble gum enclosed in a wafer-like sandwich. Since the tickets even smelled like bubble gum, when I handed one to Louise, I cautioned, "Don't eat it."
After delivering our tickets to the ticket-taker, we walked in. Presently I was so overcome by what I witnessed, I didn't even want to speak. I knew that everything I saw was a symbol for something else and that all the art would affect me in a symbolic way.
Walking along, I raised my hands to my head to help me concentrate. Focusing my attention, I passed many objects of art sitting on my left. First I noticed a citharaconstructed from inlaid wood. The patterns of the wood formed several designs, one of which reminded me of the image of a clown. Seeing the clown, I felt a bit like a clown myself.
We passed dozens of sculptures of animals, many of which – like lions and panthers – were derived from the cat family. Seeing the lions and panthers made me feel strong and powerful.
I thought it would be difficult to express the way the art was affecting me, how I would see the art and then experience a corresponding feeling, and I debated whether I should try to explain to Louise what I was experiencing.
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