realUNreal Lawrence R.Rinder

April 17, 2013


I used to have a place where I’d go when I was a TEENAGER, down past the

south end of town, where the last development gave out to a broad swath of

PASTURE that sloped up steeply to the edge of the WOODS. We’d go there and

hike around, wonder at the huge trees and ancient cliffs, imagining indians

or stage coaches rushing by. If it was NIGHT we’d swim in the WARM black

lake or climb to the top of the BEACON on Spruce Mountain and dangle our

legs out into NOTHINGNESS. We’d drink, we’d laugh, we’d run screaming and

tripping down the hill. We did stranger things there than we could do


The Roman emperor Hadrian had a YOUNG lover named Antinous. Hadrian took him

everywhere. He had a special throne made for him, as if he were his Queen.

Hadrian really loved Antinous a lot and so when Antinous killed himself on

his eighteenth birthday, Hadrian ordered artists throughout the empire to

make works in his lover’s honor. At that time, the empire stretched from the

border of Scotland to the edge of India. Every artist in this vast land set

to work making an IMAGE of the boy who was thought to have been the most

beautiful young MAN in the world. Coins, weavings, paintings, sculptures,

drawings, mosaics, and countless other media were employed. But

Antinous was GONE.

Last summer I went around the world. I don’t even know how many countries I

visited. It was like a whirlwind. One day in SAIGON I went to an antiques

market. It was during the World Cup and the dealers were crowded around

little TELEVISIONS propped up on chairs. All up and down the street there

were stalls with hundreds, even thousands of ancient ceramics, porcelains,

and bronzes. I bought several and somehow managed to get them home without

any of them breaking. Over the next few months I gave all of them away

except one, a SMALL white bowl from the LI Dynasty. It’s more than one

thousand years old. Somehow that bowl is everything I need to remember from

a SUMMER in the world.

There are things, people, and places that we adore. Everything we need to

learn from life is contained in them. Sure, we need to figure out survival

skills by dealing with stuff we hate, but that’s different. The funny thing

about loving is that we rarely feel it inside, where it lives, but mostly

outside ourselves, in the world. And, actually, I think it’s a lot easier to

love other things than to love ourselves. Easier and more fun. Loving

yourself is healthy and intense but not very interactive. What do you adore?

Lawrence  R.Rinder


               Artist : Arvydas Maminishkis