Borrowing some magnificent minds

by cathrynbauer

For, don’t you mark? we’re made so that we love
First when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see;
And so they are better, painted — better to us,
Which is the same thing. Art was given for that;
God uses us to help each other so,
Lending our minds out. ”  From Fra Lippo Lippi by Robert Browning

I wonder how Picasso would have painted this, or Matisse, or whether they would even have chosen a garden like ours as a subject.  Ted and I played hooky yesterday and went into San Francisco to see The Steins Collect, a fantastic exhibition from turn-of-the-century Paris.  So glad I got to see this.  The Siblings Stein certainly had a sharp eye for a bargain.  Imagine having a house with the walls literally filled by works of Cezanne, Picasso, Laurencin, and Matisse!  Boggles the mind.  I am so impressed with the penetrating vision of these artists.  They saw and saw deep into their subjects, and they tried to paint everything: muscles, joints, personal affect, their own reactions to what they saw.  The exhibition really began for me with a Matisse standing nude.  He used long, reddish strokes to depict the leg muscles, gave an impression of each of the joints.  I thought a lot about this painting during this morning’s Nia class.  This group of artists was very much of this world.  I saw a beautiful, Impressionist Cezanne I have always loved, the one of the nude in the forest, just the upper torso.  What a different experience it is to see the original rather than a print.  She seemed much more of a forest creature, painted with the same strokes as the surrounding trees, just with the colors distinguishing her, than in prints.

The other interesting event of this past week was that I got myself to Mass Transit, the Sunday-morning Ecstatic Dance event at Sweet’s Ballroom in downtown Oakland.  Greatly enjoyed it and have a new respect for the art of being a DJ.  It was extremely high-energy, yet there did seem to be plenty of accommodation for individual needs, e.g., mats, semiprivate spaces.  I actually found the whole event to be very well-thought-out.  I am sure that I will go again.  It was so fun to let go and just be in my body among all these others doing the same.

Ted’s prospects are suddenly good, but there may be a big change in our future.  We’ll see what happens.  I need to be in court the next couple of weeks, but then I need to get my depo career going again.  I definitely feel called in that direction.

Onward, ever onward.