Thursday, September 19, 2019

Curate Your Neighborhood: Eulogy to a Rat

Noticing things in the neighborhood
Look around, pay attention, notice things - all the time, everywhere. One of my high school teachers believed so fervently in this maxim that she had all of her students carry little notebooks that she dubbed “Observation Towers,” and made us jot down at least one new thing we noticed in our surroundings every day. She also regularly sprung pop quizzes when we entered her classroom, asking us to identify the latest addition to the crammed, layered posters, pictures and quotes on the classroom walls. Thank you, Miss O’Conner, for a lifetime of acute noticing - all of the time, everywhere.

So...I noticed this dead rat right next to a bus stop I use frequently. It is on a small lawn atop a retaining wall at about chest height. As days passed the rat began to rot and delicate spider webs began to slowly enshrouds the corpse. Initially repulsed, I began to enjoy checking on the progress of the rat’s decay. It occurred to me that, thanks to Miss O’Conner, I might be the only one to be enjoying this dust-to-dust play.

I decided to make this part of my Curate Your Neighborhood series, but felt I needed a curatorial strategy that would help viewers to get over the initial, “...ugh, gross!” reaction to a rat corpse, and enable them to open their perception to the fascination and potential beauty in this eloquent spectacle of the cycle of life. The solution? Poetry! I composed this signage while waiting for the #29 bus.

And... the Hanover and Lakeshore 29 bus stop mini-museum is now open for business.

1 comment:

Related Posts with Thumbnails