Day Seventy/Image Seventy

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

When I first moved to Atlanta, there were hot air balloons in Piedmont Park. I think they were races. Up close a person would run very fast, then jump into the basket. Off in the distance, drifting through the sky. Little polka dots. I always wondered if people in separate balloons would yell back and forth to one another.

Also, at that time, there was rafting down the Chattahoochee River. Leaving one car at the end point and driving back with another car to the departure point. Then jump into the raft. By water this time, lazily down the river.

We used to take lunch with us on those raft rides. There were thick trees on the banks of the river. In the middle of the city. Anytime anyone would visit me from out of town, I would take them on this excursion. Once, I took a now well-known Ad Agency copywriter (he named the HandyCam) with visiting friends from Maine and we went on one of these trips.

This well-known copywriter was neurotic. As we drifted under the freeway, way up above us, cars whizzing overhead, he said, “What if that truck driver up there has a panic attack, turns slightly and winds up in the river?”

It disturbed the moment. The most primal form of creativity is fear and this guy was certainly creative.

I don’t have first-hand experience with riding in a hot air balloon. I like to think of it as quiet. I hope it would be like snorkeling, where I enter a peaceful world. And not once during my air experience is there some trucker having a panic attack, tearing into my thoughts.