The Beauty Around Us

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A Brief Walk in Slippery Rock

Several weeks ago we drove to Lutz’s Leather in Beaver Falls, PA, to pick up a motorcycle tank bib, which Bob had ordered custom made. En route to Lutz’s Leather we stopped in Slippery Rock to stretch our legs. There is a picturesque walkway leading from the lot in which we parked to South Main Street. The walkway that contains a water sculpture, a mural and painting-poems.

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James Myford’s “Partnerships” Water Sculpture
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The mural is over twenty-eight feet long and eight feet high.
It tells the story of how Slippery Rock got its name.

Here are three close-up photographs of the mural.
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The next photograph is a pro-democracy painting-poem that was created by Chinese artist and poet Huang Xiang. This painting-poem is entitled “Dry Bones”. I’ve provided an English translation of the poem below the painting.

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DRY BONES
translated by Andrew G. Emerson

After millions of years,
Millions of years in the layered earth
Maybe someone will
Dig up my
Bones

At that time
He may imagine
A far-distant geological age
A history remote and indistinct

Are these the decayed bones of his own first ancestor
Or the fossil of an ancient biologic skeleton

At that time,
Could he imagine that
This very pile of dry bones
In the world once made their sound
Loved
Hated
Mourned
Cried out
Agitated

He may imagine
That this pile of dry bones
Once had a face contorted with bitterness
Once had eyes that cursed in silence
Once silently endured with bloodless lips tight-closed
Once wrote poems as eternal as the moon and stars
These are the bones of a poet
These are the bones of one who while hoping, lost hope, gave up hope
These are bones that furiously fought
These are the bones of one who walked this world, struggled, was tempered
These are the bones of a skeleton shattered and all put together again
these scattered dry bones of a man
These are the dry bones of jaws that ground together from hatred
These are the dry bones that resisted, loudly clanking
These are the dry bones that have seen the heavenly lightning strike,
have listened, head-cocked, to the growing clamor of all the earth’s creatures
These are the dry bones of a Man
After millions of years,
Millions of years in the layered earth
A future anthropologist
Geologist
Or archeologist
When digging up my dead bones
Will, please, under this same burning sun
Raise up these remains of water and air, and
Seek out the Man.

The walkway ends at South Main Street. Directly across the street from the walkway is the North Country Brewing Company.

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Two years ago, almost to the day, we ate here and Bob sampled some of North Country’s brew. The brewery has a rustic look to it — lots and lots of wood on the front of the building and inside on the walls, on the ceiling, on the seats and tables. Accessories throughout the dining and bar area were made of wood. There was even a wood carving over the sink in the woman’s room! Outside, there is a covered pavilion complete with picnic tables and a huge stone fireplace. I remember the food being good and the service excellent. Bob was pleased with his brew samples too.

Our leg stretching stop at an end, we got back into the car and drove to Lutz’s Leather. Several weeks later I still have pleasant memories of our walk in Slippery Rock from the parking lot to South Main Street.

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