Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad! We had the most wonderful time with you this weekend! Enjoy!
I first came across the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum while roaming about Boston back in the early 90’s with some [of my favorite] friends. I don’t remember how we ended up there, or who’s idea it was to go in… but from the moment I caught a glimpse of the magical botanical courtyard, I knew I must tell others about it… and I knew I must someday return here. Specifically (and secretly), I hoped I would return with someone I love. You know…maybe with a husband or something.
Fast forward 20 years to last weekend…just having met what they call middle age… and I was finally making it back for a visit. I was bringing someone I love too, which was cool. (-: My husband doesn’t much think about art and such things, but he made the two hour trip to Boston with me for my recent birthday. Once in the city, we found free rock-star parking only one block away (and not in a tow zone!). After taking a quick photo or two (or three…) out front, we found ourselves walking past the giant iron gates, through the “whimsical meets Gothic” doors and into a dimly lit corridor. We were greeted by a friendly guard, and the grand four story courtyard… and showered by the most delicate light. It was just as breathtaking as the first time i saw it. It was better than i even remembered it to be. I knew I was having a moment…I was pretty sure that we were having a moment.
[Although my husband would say his moment came later when we were having beer and bacon burgers]
We made our way through shadowy corridors and up marble staircases (butt workout…bonus!), around each corner greeted by a different viewing room, all with walls of vibrant colors, vintage leathers and fabrics, and all with brilliantly framed views of the courtyard. Each room was filled to the brim with art and treasures from all around the world. There were brief, but foot-stomping-temper-tantrum-make-me-so-stinking-mad reminders of the mysteriously stolen Rembrandts and Degas drawings (amongst works by other masters that some loser walked off with). Every nook and cranny, every tile in the wall, every window, every piece of furniture – it all had a story to tell. This was Isabella’s collection. Her collection that she decided she wanted to share with all of us. How lucky i felt to be standing there, again, on my birthday, with Isabella, and my husband.
For twenty years, whenever someone asks me to close my eyes and envision myself in one of the most beautiful places i have ever been, I am immediately transported to this place. Photography is not permitted inside (bummer), but you can see some sneak peaks if you do a Google search, or go to the official website. Even so, I hope I have inspired someone to travel there someday, or to stop in if just passing through.
Thank You, Isabella!
photo of courtyard : source www.gardnermuseum.org
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
I had this piece of wood. I knew i wanted to paint a picture on it. it took me about two years to figure out just what i wanted to paint on it…
It was the best part of the morning, when the sun starts beaming warmth into my studio. It was a Saturday, my favorite day. I grabbed the piece of wood, sanded it for a while, and made a decision. There i was, with all my best shades of purple, red, orange, and blue, ready to paint some random abstract sketch i found in one of my art journals…
And then i saw her out of the corner of my eye, right in the swirls of wood. she was twirling around and around, her hair flowing, wearing the prettiest skirt. i honestly couldn’t believe what i was seeing. i looked away for a minute, but when i looked again she was still there. i left the room to get some water, came back, and there she still was, kind of sad, twirling and twirling. at that moment, i knew the abstract “whatever” could wait. I quickly traced her silhouette with my graphite, before she could vanish. then i just started painting. When she emerged, I was her. She was me… the dancer inside me. She was so lovely and happy to be dancing, and a much better dancer than i ever was. But there was some sadness in her eyes. i named her Daisy.
i have danced on and off my whole life. Ballet, tap, jazz, modern… In my late twenties i thought i was done for good. I stopped altogether, and it went on that way for a few years, but i always felt the void. In my 30’s i discovered belly dance, and thought i would be doing it until i was 80. For many reasons in 2009, i stopped belly dancing and life went on with all its usual ups and downs… just no dancing. I was surely never going to dance again. i was tired, my bones were creaky, i couldn’t even do a grand plie without groaning.
It seems Daisy came into my life just in time. She reminded me how good it feels to dance…and that i was not yet finished dancing. I realized that i don’t need to go to classes, or perform with a troupe, in order to continue to be a dancer. i could dance right there at home, in my little orange studio, and i could do it my way. Each plie, at my own pace. Every hip shimmy, as gentle or as intense as i chose. I could do ballet, belly dance, even yoga and aerobics, whatever the music made me feel like doing. it would heal my body. it would heal my spirit. and i might even wear a bikini again!
Well, I didn’t wear any bikinis this summer, almost two years later, but to this day I dance and do yoga with Daisy. My body is finally starting to feel stronger and the movement finally feels good again. I intend to be dancing with her until i am 80, or more. Daisy has been hanging on the wall there now since the first day i found her, another unfinished painting, another project procrastinated. Someday I will take her down off the wall, and give her the attention she needs and deserves. But it doesn’t really matter when, or if, i finish her. What matters is that she was there, just when i needed her. And now she is free. Still a little sad sometimes, but free.
p.s. before the comment is posted… i am of course aware that my Daisy is not even in the same universe as Michelangelo’s angels. I just liked the quote. (-:
Have you ever seen an “angel in the marble”? Did it effect your life in some way?
Here we are, in last days of the Connecticut summer… trying to soak up the last warm rays of sun before the dreaded frost arrives. I first thought i would stay home today to do laundry, bills, etc… But I could not let this day be spent on chores. I mean, did you see it outside today?
If you live around here, you know these types of perfect, sunny, not too humid, not to cold days are pretty rare. I just had to grab my camera and my husband, and go out for some exercise and vitamin D. Maybe we can go find that castle…
The day’s not over yet. Please get out there today!
Forty Four Septembers
Forty four Septembers gone by,
and they are still walking side by side.
Through darkness and light, he’s held her so tight
Never doubting their love, him so brown, her so white.
They had a sweet daughter, (who yes, became me).
The two of them now, were forever all three.
They gave her the world, the stars and the trees.
They taught her to be a good human being.
They gave her the wings to make her own way.
For which she knows she could never repay.
Now she is grown with a love of her own.
Their family of three has certainly grown.
Since the nest has been empty, they have made their way too.
With life’s ups and its downs, always making it through.
They still love to hold hands on cold starry nights.
Always appreciating the good in their life.
It has never been easy, each has been hard to please,
But at the end of the day, she is his squeeze.
Forty Four Septembers gone by.
Where ever they go, they will walk side by side.
Happy 44th Anniversary to my sweet mom and dad. I love you and miss you. Hope you are having a wonderful day together. This blog’s for you!
photo source: nasa.gov Astronomy Picture of the day 9/16/11
photo source: http://www.brooklynflea.com/
I recently went to a great flea market in CT. It wasn’t anywhere near my house, but it was in CT and i appreciate that. The Elephant’s Trunk was my first big flea market in such a long time, and oh my… it was delightful! My husband had other words to describe it, but he enjoyed the fried dough. He was a pretty good sport considering there were probably 800 other things he’d rather be doing, including getting his teeth cleaned. We strolled up and down the isles overflowing with treasures… i saw a dozen things i thought i just had to have. But I passed on most everything and only spent a dollar, and then we shared the dough and a root beer. I thought it was a good time. And it got my creative juices going.
Anyway, fleas are my newest mini-obsession. Even though I’ve never been there, the Brooklyn Flea is my new favorite. I love the story about the people who created it. I will be going there soon I’ve decided. Husband will not be invited on that trip. I will spend all day there with my camera, my backpack, and some Twizzlers. I will spend much more than a dollar. No one will stop me. No one will rush me.
Really fantastic fleas are the sort of experiences i really crave and miss living out in the burbs of CT. But I can always read blogs about fleas! And I will go to the Brooklyn Flea. It won’t be long… I can feel it!
Anyone want to join me? Mel? Karen? Careesah? Amie? You know you want to! I will share my Twizzlers.
i have always known i was an artsy city girl, yet I grew up in the suburbs, and I’ve somehow ended up in the suburbs. While I wait for my exciting new life in Charlotte or Denver, I do not want to miss, or dismiss, the beauty, fun and excitement occurring right in my own back yard.
Just before the school year starts, we are home to the Wolcott Country Fair – just a quick walk and we can feed the cutest little goats and enjoy all the sticky fried greasy doughy treats we could ask for. There is a freeky flock of grackles that lands in our yard once a year for about 5 or 10 minutes, and then swoosh.. they’re off. In the lower yard there is a vernal pool (aka very special swampy wetland) that has been destination spot to hundreds of (probably very horny) orange spotted salamanders that come there on the first warm rainy night of the spring to perpetuate their species. Once on a snowy morning before sunrise, I caught a mamma dear and her baby nibbling on the pine trees outside my studio. The families of northern cardinals and woodpeckers that visit our garden can entertain me (and Stewie and Olive) for hours. I’ve seen rainbows from my porch, pink and purple sunsets through the trees. We share our home with bunnies, owls, butterflies, tiny frogs. What could be more magical?
One day my husband brought me out on his atv for a bumpy, muddy ride into the woods behind our house. We rode for about 15 minutes then we stopped, ignition off. Shhh, so quiet, just the us, the woods,sunbeams… and stones. Piles and stacks of stones. Not in random, messy piles, but in lovely mystical gravity defying piles. Who put these here? How old are they? What do they mean? Well, we’re still not entirely sure, and we may never know. But for now, lets just look at them together, and enjoy this beautiful secret treasure in our own back yard.