Yesterday, while Aki walked a Juneau Trail with a dog buddy, I strolled through the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Treating the main hallways as rain forest trails, I turned off them often to explore one of the rat-warren gallery’s rooms, like the one with the Turners or the hard to spot one with the Vermeer painting of the fop with a fuzzy red beret. The paintings’ drama and rich colors reminded me of Outer Point on the high contrast days of spring or a dying winter afternoon along Eagle River.
Remembering it from an earlier visit, I made an expedition into the basement where they keep the Degas ballerina sculptures and some plasters by Rodin. Even these reminded me of the rain forest with its complex shapes and falling leaves yielding to a strong wind.
This afternoon, an hour after our return flight to Juneau landed, the little dog and I are alone on the Lower Fish Creek Trail. Instead of watchful guards we have an eagle that keeps us honest with its screams. I remember a walk I took a few days before when Aki’s other human and I crossed New York’s Central Park to reach the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Like it does over our glacial moraine, the sun broke through clouds to enrich the yellows and oranges leaves of trees along the trail. We passed a women turned away from the beauty to concentrate on her cell phone conversation while two men waited patiently for their leashed dog to evacuate its bowels.