Summer Where The Sidewalk Ends

And there I sit under a sunflower light

I sell our art at Pike Place Market all year long. For six months of the year I set my business up outside of the north arcade building. So far at the end that I usually have one foot on the sidewalk and the other on the red cobblestones of Pike Place.  I have a yellow sunflower umbrella. I sit. Watch. Interact with visitors. This year’s winning question – “where is the wall of gum?”. The Gum Wall?  You are at the north end of the market, I say.  Continue on through the market until you see Rachel the Pig. Look for the sign that says “Market Theater” and walk down the stairs. It’s gross. You’ll love it. Giggles from the visitors.

I also interact with the greater market family. People who walk back and forth through the market each day to pass the time. The homeless, the semi-homeless, the out of work, the seniors, the people who love being a part of the life and breath of the market or simply have nothing else better to do.  The market gives them a sense of community.

Isaac comes down on the bus from Everett once a week and sometimes brings me almonds.  He assures me that he also brings me good luck for sales.  An aged Hindu man passes by as he laps the market and attempts to teach me Hindi.  So far Namaste, How are you, I’m fine – are as far as we’ve gotten in 5 years.  One of the motorcycle regulars works at Etta’s and spends Tuesdays volunteering at the Food Bank in the market.  Nice girl.  Always takes the time to chat.  My business is set up right in front of the only two motorcycle parking spaces in the market so I’ve learned some “Harley” etiquette over the years.  Most of the riders now give me a heads up before starting their engines.

And then there is Momma Sue. 10 years ago Sue picked up the wooden chair I had forgotten as I packed up for the day.  Homeless at the time, she lugged that chair around with her for days until she caught up with me to give it back.  She has never asked me for anything. We have shared time and conversation with each other over the years.  She moved into an apartment of her own and I asked her what she really wanted to help make it feel like home. A toaster. I got her a red one to match the color she always wears.

There’s the woman who sits on the bench and asks everyone “Can I borrow two dollars for a drink?”. Security – please make her stop. I must say that her dollar amount is spot on but does she really plan on paying it back?

The busker who in the summer rarely wears a shirt or shoes. Long flowing hair to his waist, waves as he breezes by with a guitar over his shoulder.

And then the people in the park across the way. Never ending entertainment for me.

Don’t mess with a native woman.

And when I tire of people watching I kidnap poetry
and make it my own. My apologies to Shel Silverstein. It just fit.

Summer Where the Sidewalk Ends
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins.
And there the sun is warm and bright
And there I dream of what only children might
And there I sit under a sunflower light
To cool in the misty wind.

Let us leave the place where streets are black
And the huddled mass of ordinary bends.
Past the park where the native flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is carefree and slow
And watch where the red cobblestones go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

We shall walk with a walk that is carefree and slow
And watch where the red cobblestones go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Poem adapted from Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends”

Post by Kat Allen – Symbols in Art
Handcrafted art tiles reflecting World Religion and Culture

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