Art I Appreciate

Water Lilies, Claude Monet

Image by Glenn Thomas Franco Simmons via Flickr

Dot By Dot

Art to me, are paintings. That’s what I first thought of after reading your prompt. Impressionist paintings are my favorite, the teeny tiny dots of color up close, the broad view, as you stand back and gape in awe. The way colors play upon each other, melting strands of different colors together for the eye and the heart to enjoy.

P.S. I am still mad at the Museum of Modern Art for raising their prices to $25.00 for an entrance fee (see blog post on that.) There are many outstanding pieces of both Modern Art and Impressionist Art there…..if you can afford to go!

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*MoMA, Just Plain Wrong (*Museum of Modern Art, NYC)

MoMA - Design and the Elastic Mind

Image by pt via Flickr

The Museum of Modern Art was my refuge when I was a High School student. I went there during school breaks, hanging on to the subway straps on packed trains. When I was in college, my sister and I used to go because she was friends with the guard and he always shook his head from side to side, laughing hysterically and shooed us right inside.

When I heard that the MoMA had increased their rates from 20 dollars to 25 dollars per visit, I was shocked, then stunned and now disgusted. I’m sorry but that is way too much money for people to pay (with the exception of the rich and famous.) Just alienate more people from coming to visit this precious museum if you can. I thought that you might want to encourage students and all people to come visit this treasure of a place. I guess not.

Isn’t there a better way? A different solution? Did you really need to expand THAT much? I remember the first MoMa gift shop, sweetly nestled into the main building, cozy and humble. I bought posters there and post cards and a book about the paintings that lived in the museum. Now it’s a separate store?

I think you should have thought of all these things before increasing the price. If admission is twenty-five dollars imagine another twenty dollars to get into the city for some people, perhaps another ten for a cab. I’m not even talking lunch or a cup of coffee. Most museums have one FREE day per week where people can go without worrying about how they are going to pay their mortgages. I remember you used to have one NIGHT free. Please tell me that’s changed.

MoMa, I’m disappointed in you, for myself, and for all the other people who would love to go but just can’t afford the steep price. Shame on you.

The Sum Of Me

Henri Matisse, The Dance I, 1909, Museum of Mo...

Image via Wikipedia

I am part of an internet group of dear friends who also have Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disease. We generally talk about the effects of this leech, this parasitic illness and how it makes us feel and how it affects our lives. It is what brings us together; and we truly care about one another. Imagine, a group of people who you have never met yet you trust them, seek out their advice. These people really do know how your pain feels.

We could discuss things we used to do but cannot do now. For me, I would talk about gardening and how I used to have a big vegetable garden many years ago when bending down to my knees and getting up was no problem. I would reminisce about the bright green English peas that grew, the fiery red cherry tomatoes that bathed in the sunlight, two kinds of lettuce and thick, orange carrots. I could also talk about the three miles I used walk in under an hour with my work friends each day, outside, around a blue-green reservoir. Maybe I would confess I was a size eight for about two minutes and twenty years ago while I was struggling with infertility issues and the deep, emotional pain of that process. “If I couldn’t have children, I was going to be skinny” was my mantra as I made myself march outside.

The summer before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and my children were at camp, I would take the train to New York City and relish being surrounded by people from all over the world, hearing them speak, watching the beautiful, colorful outfits that so many people donned in shades of rose, green, yellow, blue, shades of white and grey. Perhaps I would see a Broadway show for half price, go to a museum, or back to the Village and try to recognize it after many years. Going in to the city was like having an international picnic without even leaving the gleaming Grand Central Station.  I didn’t worry back then about getting to the city and how much walking I would have to do and whether I had to take a cab because I was so tired and drained that I couldn’t put one burning, aching, painful foot in front of the other.

Many blogs I read are about chronic pain and diseases, and I wonder at their brilliance. It’s a dilemna for me because while I do write about my chronic illness or two, I write about everything else in my life.  Am I doing myself a disservice? It could be. I write about food, depression, fun, family, television, friends, travel, grief, cheesecake, chocolate etc.  It’s a mix and mash-up of a blog, like a patchwork quilt with different patterns and colors. Do I need to define myself more clearly?  I may have just answered my own question. I am all things, not just one.

I am a patient, a parent, a friend, wife, mother, teacher and student. I love many things: reading books with beautiful covers, writing, taking photographs of children or benches or boats. I love to watch red cardinals and yellow finches at my bird feeder and butterflies winking by me. I love to eat good food, I am sweet on sweets, I dislike alcohol; coffee, orange juice, chocolate milk or Diet Coke are my beverages of choice, I drink them all at different times.

I could choose to pick one subject to write about but, it would not be my true self, of that I am sure. I am all over the place with emotions and experiences, flying, sometimes crawling, like red, yellow, blue and black kites sailing in the gusty wind, all tangled together, or in peaceful harmony, sometimes independently flying free. I am a person, with many  facets. I am as many pieces of my puzzle as I want. It’s my puzzle, I need to make the pieces fit,  for me.

Move Over ESL, Cranky Is My New Language

A housecat named Princess who highly disliked ...

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It was one of THOSE days. You know the kind, when nothing goes right, annoying things happen and no matter what you try, it doesn’t help.  Made a decision, did you? Guess what, it was the wrong one. It was the day of Cranky. I spoke Cranky, I lived and ate and breathed Cranky. If I had a cat, her name would be Cranky.  I felt irritable with life’s problematic surprises and unexpected twists and I felt very out of control.

My children doused the only piece of furniture that I love, my green couch, with water guns. No, my children are not 4 and 6 years old, they are 16 and 18.  Need I say more? The couch, that I picked out, and the multi-colored  square rug beneath it have always made me happy. Why? Because it was the first thing that I bought with great strength of style and character; I was so sure about it and didn’t waver; to me, it was my own tiny corner of the Museum of Modern Art, at home.

Later that day we drove to a restaurant to celebrate my husband’s birthday. He got lost again and again. Nor did he have the directions with him, he didn’t NEED that, we had been there twice before, silly me!! When I suggested the GPS, he scoffed. He also made an illegal red turn with the (driving) teenagers in the back seat of the car. I was fuming. Dude, what the HELL were you thinking? You’re supposed to be the role model here. At that moment, fuming and cranky became first cousins.

Once seated in the restaurant our daughter, a vegetarian, asked for the chef’s special vegetable plate and we all knew she wouldn’t touch it. She played with her food and moved vegetables around that included: cooked kale and spinach, and fennel and she ate about two bites for 21 dollars. Before she ordered we suggested she order A SALAD  or pasta but she refused. She knew better and at practically 17 anything we suggest is useless. I even said she might want to tell the waitress the vegetables that she DID like but apparently my idea was stupid. Of course it was.

My husband and son shared a steak the size of a lobster pot, it was so large and bloody, it was hard to even take a glance at it.  I decided to have three appetizers: a buttery bibb lettuce salad with a light yogurt dressing  which was lovely, an appetizer of braised ribs ravioli, sweet and soft, the texture of the braised meat contrasting the delicate ravioli casing.  The red velvet cake I chose for dessert was extremely disappointing and tasteless. For those of you who know me, a dessert I don’t like is equal to a symphony of crankiness.

The heel of my left foot throbbed horribly with pain when I walked, the jabbing pain even woke me up in the middle of the night. Not being able to walk comfortably is crankiness personified. I have iced it, wrapped it, rubbed it and have tried at least ten different shoe and old, peeling orthotic combinations, nothing helps.  I’ve had this before and once it starts it takes a long, long time to go away. It’s a stubborn, stupid, painful, cranky, old ailment for cranky, old, me. It’s not enough that I don’t have energy? Now, I can’t even walk comfortably.

I’m tired as hell and just want to lie on the bed, since every bone and joint in my body is not just aching with pain but screaming with it. There are no medications to heal it, or relieve it, it’s something I have to live with every single day and night of my life. I am trying to stay awake and of course I fall asleep, the lights on, the computer on my stomach. I wake up two hours later, annoyed with myself.

The day and night have not gone well and I was glad it was almost over. I couldn’t sleep after my unexpected two hour nap so my night and day hours were confused. I glanced over at my dog who was sleeping happily at the foot of my bed and I watched her breathe and smile in her sleep.  I look at her with love and feel love. My dog is the anti-cranky.

My Favorite Museum

NYC - MoMA: Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'...

Image by wallyg via Flickr

NYC

 

My favorite museum, since I was a teenager, was the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. While other kids in High School would cut school if they had free time, and hang out with friends and smoke cigarettes, I would hop on the subway either by myself or with my friend Elizabeth and that’s where we would go. The museum was a wonderful place full of sensory overload, modern art, photography exhibits, even film. “MOMA” as it is called had a sculpture garden where, in the nice weather, you could read outside, eat ice cream and dream if you wanted to, your face being warmed by the sun. I knew a lot of the paintings by heart and where they were placed. It was always comforting to go there. I also used to go with my sister where she would inevitably charm the guard we had known for years and he would let us slip in for free, something I was too shy to do on my own. There are few places that I can go to and feel like I was “home” yet feel excited to reunite with my favorite paintings. In the small gift shop (before it was redone) I nestled with the postcards and books and always bought a few postcards as a reminder of the time I spent there. Even now, if I had a choice, I would head to MOMA, but I would practically have to take out a bank loan since the admission prices now are so high. I still plan to go again, hopefully this year, because in reality, happiness and art and feeling alive, is priceless.

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