The Great Wall. Gator Style.


March 4, 2013

By Joey Bland

Tibetan monks are known to create paintings made of sand called mandalas. Once the paintings are finished, the sand is blown away to mirror the impermanence of all things on Earth. Consider me one with everything, then, because this week I contributed to a similar artistic endeavor by painting on the 34th Street wall in Gainesville.

The Great Wall. Gator Style.

Time stood still while we put our hearts up on that wall. “Let’s Go Gators,” we wrote. And: “Chomp. Chomp.” These were the watchwords we hoped to leave to future generations. These were the echoes we hoped to send down the long corridors of time.

But I am told nothing lasts on The Wall. Often, they say, what goes up on the wall in the morning is painted over by dinnertime. A lovesick student may write, “Jennifer, will you marry me?” And by the time he drives her down 34th Street to present her the popped question, it may already be buried under someone’s thoughts on the recent weather, the recent election, or someone else’s Chomp Chomp pride. She never sees it. She never says yes… or no. We are forever held in hope of that unanswered question. Wow, the cosmic implications of this wall are blowing my mind.

So I like to think our message is still up there. Our improvised, freehand likeness of Albert the Alligator­­ (which is pretty darn good, I’m proud to say… Who knew? Yellow and blue DO make green.) is still looking out over those Gainesvillians on their ways to work and class. But, alas, I’m sure it is deep under layers of paint and sweat and tears. So goes the world. Our words pass away; Gator pride never does.

Chomp Chomp,
Joey Bland

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