Rain. Wind so strong my umbrella tries to become a kite. The honeysuckle has faded, but the snapdragons are blooming, orange and yellow and crimson.
At the fair, the roof holds back the rain, but skylights in the plaza let in the gray, a watercolor wash that dims everything.
Everyone is smiling. The people, at least–not the cat masks at one booth, though. They’re sad. No, they’re wistful. They want someone to buy them, to take them home.
So do the giant cappuccino mugs with aliens on them, at another booth. The same artist has vases so delicate they shiver under their own weight–how could they support a flower? Everyone has more than one style, though. And some people only ever learn to show the world one.
My favorite piece is a framed display of pressed flowers–Queen Anne’s Lace–over antique sheet music. I usually like my art bolder, but this captures the ephemeral nature of beauty with more elegance than anything else I’ve seen at an amateur fair. On the other hand, while both flowers and music can be preserved, live is better.
And yes, there’s music here. Two guitar players at one end of the plaza, plucking notes as fast as raindrops. At the other end, there’s a jazz ensemble with a women in a floppy green beret singing en français. The bass is bigger than she is.
It takes me a while to find a free bench where I can sit to jot this down. Most of them hold the artists, who pop up and down as patrons come to their booths. I never stay too long at any one of them–I’m not here to buy.
I’m here to look.