Sunday, August 26, 2012

Elegance, Bounty, Bread and Dead Birds






We recently went to the exhibit at the National Gallery of Art Entitled Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst. Oh how I adore 16th-17th Century Dutch still lives. Especially the ones with deep, dark backgrounds and shimmering fruits, oysters, bread and flowers in the foreground. I like the disorderly ones the best of all, with peeled fruit, scattered crumbs, glasses of wine knocked over, and blood running down the mouths of birds and rabbits.

The Larder by Antonio Maria Vassallo, 1650
Still life with Figs and Bread by Luis Meléndez, Spanish, 1760
Breakfast Items by Pierer Claesz, 1646

and some lovely modern renditions, photographs by Justine Reyes:
Still Life with Banana, Purse and Change, 2009
Still Life with Pomegranate and Birds, 2009


Thursday, August 9, 2012

the yahoo years

I have lived two lives. One, an occasionally joyus although sometimes inexplicably melancholy, living, breathing, face to face life. And the other, a life of silent expressions that confess, console, question, quit, explain, swear and repent. My other life is my yahoo email.

I have had my yahoo email address for 15 years. Its getting to the point that the address gives me an air of unprofessionalism, immaturity and overall un-tech-savvyness. None of which are ok for me to have. I am going to be 34 this year. I might be a professor one day. I live in New York. I just got an iPhone. I desperately need to move on. These days the '@yahoo.com' makes even the most dignified names, tacky:
jacquelinebouvierkennedyonassis@yahoo.com or gustaveflaubert@yahoo.com.

I have a gmail account and a school address. I never use them. Every day, several obsessive times a day, for 15 years I have signed in and signed out. I check. I check again. I write messages with tears streaming down my face. I write messages in love and in haste. I re-read. I feel powerful and honest. I pour over words and how they sound against one another. I press send. I regret. I wait. I regret. I check.

I don’t like to talk on the phone. So many of my professional contacts and dearest friends are only reached via this email address. If I had to call them, I would be absolutely nowhere. I explain myself far better when I don’t have to speak. I know this can be accomplished on any email server. And this glorious digital age is laden with opportunities to sit at a computer and spill your uncensored guts to an abstract someone (i.e. this blog).

But my whole life is there, on yahoo. Its a dense and unpoetic chronicle. I keep every message. I say too much.

MANGER from Médoc

There is a new blog on my blogroll: MANGER by Mimi Thorisson who chronicles her magnificent life of food, kids, dogs and friends in Médoc, France.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012