Hockney and Cavafy in the British Museum

It is Friday. The British Museum is open late. Right now, it’s full of schoolchildren. They slouch all over the galleries in their jeans and backpacks. Some are French. One French schoolgirl calls an elevator by pressing one sneakered foot against the down button. Remind self never to touch a button in the British Museum. Ever. Another sits on the floor of a gallery, just staring in a kind of daze. Two of her friends come sit next to her. They don’t ask her if anything’s wrong.

The Hockney sketches are in a room right next to the British Watercolors, 1850-1950. Self walked all through the watercolor exhibit yesterday. It was so amazing.

She went back today for the Hockneys.

She loves Cavafy. So does Hockney.

Hockney’s sketches of men are simple pencil, or pen and ink. They are so evocative. Two men lie naked in bed together. There’s one simply entitled “Peter, 1966.”

How beautifully he captures the form of these men in repose! Some of the schoolboys in the gallery were giggly, though not to the point of disrespectfulness.

There’s also a sketch of a shopkeeper standing at the door to his business. Beneath that sketch is a Cavafy poem, “In the Dull Village”:

In the dull village where he works —
as a clerk in a shop;
very young — and where he waits
for two or three months to go by
another two or three months till business slows down,
to go then to the town and throw himself immediately
into its life and entertainment,
In the dull village where he waits —
he went to bed love-sick tonight,
his whole youth afire with fleshly passion,
beautiful youth beautiful in intensity.
And pleasure came to him in sleep; he sees
and has the body he desires in his sleep.

— C. P. Cavafy

Further background on the exhibit is here.

It runs through this Sunday, May 14.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Reflecting: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 10 May 2017

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is REFLECTING.

As Nanci Thanki puts it, find “reflections and changes in perspective . . .  from water and glass to metallic surfaces . . . “

Here’s how self interpreted that theme today:

  • Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green is a place where self does deep reflecting. She was there Monday evening:
DSCN1745

St. Stephen’s Green, 8 May 2017

  • The light reflecting off self’s lens: she loves this shot. Even though it’s not a “good” shot, it really reflects a sense of “the moment”:
DSCN1764

More St. Stephen’s Green!

  • Moody night shot of San Francisco. There’s a pedestrian reflected in the glass of the cab window (Self’s best night shots are taken from the back of a cab, lol). The cab was just passing In Situ, the restaurant on MOMA’s ground floor:
SFMOMAnightshot

San Francisco: 3rd Street by Night

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Another From Rinker Buck

Somewhere a few pages ago, Rinker Buck mentions that he is part Irish.

The Sentence of the Day is from The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey (Was reading this in Cork and the irony was rich: She was reading about of all things mules while listening to mostly cello music in a fabulous Irish city).

A rumination on the memory of Buck’s Dear Departed Dad:

Buck’s Dad: You’re not quitting. You just keep going . . .

Buck, years later: The idea that I could be doing quite a lot by not doing anything at all, just by not quitting, was quite beyond me at the time, but I did feel that night that I had the pioneer spirit.

Very wise, Mr. Buck.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Danger!: WARNINGS

Self must admit, this past week’s Photo Challenge — DANGER! — has been tricky. She’s decided to keep her interpretations straightforward and focus on signage or warning symbols.

  • Detail of a nautical map in the Time Traveller’s Bookshop, Skibbereen, West Cork: This is one of the most intricate maps self has ever seen. But of course, it had to be. Lives depended on the correct soundings.
DSCN1644

Detail of Nautical Map Showing, Self Thinks, West Cork

  • A Sketch by Bernadette Burns, Artist from Sherkin Island, off Skibbereen, West Cork: It’s a study for a work-in-progress.
DSCN1335

Bernadette said she did this “for fun”!

  • London City Airport attached this to self’s suitcase, when she was on the way to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, in March. Self’s suitcases are always heavy: they’re filled with books. One Irish cabbie dubbed self “a book addict.”
DSCN1016

London City Airport attached this warning label to one of her suitcases, last March.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

“Getting Kicked in the Teeth”: Elizabeth Warren

Warren is on the Left? So sayeth The Guardian in a feature on Elizabeth Warren (2 May 2017)

  • For many on the US left, Elizabeth Warren embodies best of Sanders and Clinton.
  • With Sanders still a leading vice and centrist politics around the world in retreat, it might be tempting for Democrats to turn left.

Stop doing that, Guardian! Stop labeling our politicians.

  • Warren: I think left/right is less and less an accurate description of the political landscape.
  • Warren: GDP, unemployment, no longer reflect the lived experiences of most Americans. And the lived experiences of most Americans is that they are being left behind in this economy.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Kristin Dimitrova

Self has read this collection before: it’s in the Blue Room of Café Pardiso.

An Old Mesopotamian Legend About Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, Who Wanted to Become Immortal

— by Kristin Dimitrova

Wanted to;
could not.

— from Dimitrova’s collection A Visit to the Clockmaker (Southward Editions, 2005), translated from the Bulgarian by Gregory O’Donoghue

Danger!: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 3 May 2017

Signage, Cork:

DSCN1591

How will Brexit impact Ireland? No one knows for sure.

What’s next for America?

DSCN1114

Reading The Guardian, March 2017

As luck would have it, self began reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon:

DSCN1109

Self’s reading of THE DECLINE AND FALL gave self all sorts of premonitions.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Rinker Buck

“I cannot enjoy my life unless I am overactive, or find a challenge that makes me ebullient.”

— Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey

Self bought five books on this trip: five big, fat books. What was she thinking?

When she arrived in Cork, two days ago, she found that the platform exit was down a long cement ramp.

Of course, it was easy to roll two suitcases down a ramp.

What self completely failed to appreciate was that, if there is a downhill, there must be an uphill.

She decided to tackle this uphill ramp by finding the right attitude. That is, by sucking it up. About a quarter of the way, she stopped dead and had a most inconvenient thought: I will need a crane.

Then, an older woman in a black pantsuit turned and said, “Come on, give me the bags.” Self was all like, No! These are my bags! These are my punishment!

But the woman decided to pretend self was not protesting, and reached for the bigger of her suitcases.

All the way up the ramp self apologized. At the top, she reached for her big suitcase, absolutely dying with shame. The woman said, matter-of-factly, “I knew you’d never make it up that ramp.”

Meanwhile, it occurs to self that she cannot handle both these bags by herself when she needs to be off and on trains. Constantly.

But, since self has no choice, she decides that an attitude of cheerful denial is the best policy. After all, it’s always worked for her before.

The reason she knows it’s worked for her before is: she has never let go of the notion that suitcases, no matter how heavy, are no big deal. There is terrible disconnect here, but the importance of this notion, this notion of self-punishment followed by absolute self-reliance, is obviously something vital to self’s personality. Why, she has no idea. As vital notions go, this one’s pretty bruising.

Last year, she remembers being helped onto a London bus by the driver himself (No San Francisco MUNI driver would ever relinquish the steering wheel of a bus to help a batty woman. Self’s just saying) He reached down and grabbed her suitcase. After, he said: “I tell you, it must be really nice to leave home knowing you’ve brought all your books with you.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Wanderlust: Cork

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is WANDERLUST.

  • Have you traveled anywhere exciting lately? This week, let’s see where you’ve been.

— David W., The Daily Post

Right now, self is in the beautiful city of Cork. Since it was such a gorgeous day, self went for a walk and wound up exploring the grounds of the UCC (University College, Cork):

DSCN1618

Crossing the River Lee

DSCN1617

The Glucksman Gallery, in University College – Cork

DSCN1605

Lower Grounds of UCC, Just Outside the Glucksman

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

George Washington: First POTUS

This spring, self began reading a series of histories, starting with Francis Parkman’s Montcalm and Wolfe: The Decline and Fall of the French Empire in North America.

She really enjoyed that book, which gave reader’s glimpses of the very young George Washington (21 years old) in his first combat experience. Throughout the book, there were other glimpses. Finally, by the end of the book, self could not believe how much this young man had grown and flourished. Even though he wasn’t the main subject of the book, and was still only in his 20s by the time the events the book narrated were over, he showed himself to be a natural leader.

Now, months later, self has just begun reading The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, by Rinker Buck. On p. 30, she reads Buck’s opinion of Parkman: “a notoriously snobbish Boston Brahmin.” Okaaaay. He also says George Washington “worked the same day job as Donald Trump” — he was a “land developer . . .  described as the richest of his generation.” (p. 32)

But, one interesting fact about Washington was that he was so practical, he saw right away the usefulness of mules as farm and/or pack animals, and he immediately began to breed them, and he even “advertised in the Pennsylvania and Virginia newspapers . . . the services of his jacks, who made long breeding tours throughout the . . .  colonies and the new frontier states every year . . . The early descendants of the Mount Vernon stock — tall, drafty, and weighing between a thousand and 1,200 pounds . . . ” (which is 10 x what self weighs, and she can’t imagine having to deal with anything that weighs 10 x as much as her — it would be so devastating an encounter, probably as bad as an encounter with a grizzly) were initially called American Mammoth mules . . .

So there’s our first President for you — a natural leader, a practical man, one who propagated the west with American mammoth mules, and self would never have known if she hadn’t read Rinker Buck.

That is why reading is so important, etc etc

Wonder what SCROTUS reads? Sorry, but self cannot help comparing # 1 and # 45 and feeling that there is a yawning gulf . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries Newer entries »

Sauce Box

Running my sauce box about my humorous human encounters and probably some other stuff. Enjoy!

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

fashionnotfear.wordpress.com/

Fear holds you back, fashion takes you places!

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

"Stories makes us more alive, more human. . . . "---Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

FashionPoetry by Val

Sometimes, I write down my thought (and other random stuff) and I share them

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog

Jean Lee's World

Finder of Fantasy & Adventure in Her Own Backyard