mad in pursuit journal


Road Trip: Ithaca Artists' Market

Sunday we took a drive down to Ithaca to the annual Artists' Market — something I got a flyer for.

The Artists' Market was held at the small Farmers' Market at the south end of Cayuga Lake — Steamboat Landing . It was a happy confluence of fresh produce, yummy food stands, wine tasting booths, music, scenery and offbeat local art. Because of Cornell, Ithaca is probably the most cosmopolitan place in New York, outside of NYC, so we were snacking on Cambodian and Indian/Vegan food in the summer breeze, while I tasted and bought bottles of blueberry and raspberry wine.

Jim at Ithaca Art MarketLord knows we don't need more art, but we wound up buying two pieces — a little collage in a wildly decorative frame* and a colorful monotype** — both with fish themes. It's not like I'm doing any fishing, but fish always seem to represent some mysterious heart's desire to me, something always just out of reach.

We were both immediately drawn to the monotype, not only because of the fish, but also because of the quotation printed on it:

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. [Henry David Thoreau, Walden]

I can't speak for Jim, but the quote was a perfect fit for the kind of thoughtful, go-with-the-river's-flow kind of mood I've been in.

I've never read Walden — the story of Thoreau's experiment of being totally self-sufficient for 26 months in a little house he built on Walden Pond — but Thoreau's name keeps coming up, whether I'm reading about being "green" or about mysticism. Well, actually, I might have read an excerpt from Walden in high school, but it had no meaning to me whatsoever. "Transcendentalism" was simply a word to memorize for a test.

Maybe it's time to tackle Thoreau. I downloaded the audio version. Hmmm... hard listening... the kind of dense language you have to concentrate on to comprehend. Guess I'll have to take lots of longs walks to get it all.


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* by Candy Lucas, Auburn NY

** by Carol Schwartzott, Freeville NY