I'm a lover, not a writer.

In order to create, there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?
Igor Stravinsky

The summer is now officially, officially over. Last Thursday was the final day of the Retrospective exhibition and I cleared the space out on Friday. A couple of melancholy days to be sure, but all good things must come to an end. The process wore me out, so I’ll drop a personal observation now and get back at it next week. 

It only took 24 hours (including time for a shark) to break down the exhibition. A space that took months of deliberate, diligent and thoughtful work to create was gone in less than a day. It did not escape my notice that there was symmetry between this and the way that the Design Studio met its demise. Over the course of more than two decades the Studio evolved and grew, and was nurtured and cared for by a robust cadre of community partners. The decades of partnership and cooperation embodied in the studio were also undone in 24 hours. Creating something and building order from chaos is difficult and requires love. Destroying something and becoming an agent of entropy is easy and can be done with ambivalence.

One of my earliest childhood memories came during a car ride in the rain. As I recall, I was sitting in the front seat- likely without a seatbelt (and certainly without the Kevlar car seat with crash-resistant roll bar, like the kids these days). During a journey I became fixated on the rhythm of the windshield wipers. As the wipers swept up, the right wiper would leave a vertical rivulet of water on the windscreen. As the wipers swept back down, the left wiper swept away the line that the other had just created. In my young mind, I considered the thin line of water to be art that one of the wipers had created. It upset me that the other wiper would come along to destroy it. As silly as it seems it caused me some sadness to see that one of the wipers was constantly trying to create while the other wiper constantly destroyed. I suppose that was an early observation that in nature we find things that create and things that destroy.

Fortunately, it appears that Chattanooga has developed a reservoir of creators. We have architects, chefs, graphic designers, artists, writers, filmmakers, geeks and craftsmen all getting down for the 423. There are still haterz (in the parlance of our times), but they seem to have been relegated to the sidelines for the time being. Let us learn our lesson, support each other, and build creative enterprises in ways that will withstand the whims of those with a taste for destruction. Until next week, my friends, keep spreading the love.

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