Monday, October 12, 2015

Among the Rubble

I walked to the the Country Club College Museum yesterday afternoon.  It is a small but beautiful space.  There was a photo exhibit by Jess T. Dugan on sexual identity that left me cold, but the selections from the permanent collection, as always, knocked me out.  One room was dedicated to fashion portraits from the 16th and 17th centuries, beautiful, dark, rich things largely on a smaller scale by mostly unknown artists.  The colors there--temperas and oils on wood panels and canvas--were of the darkest reads and blues and golds.  How did they produce such colors?  Artists kept their paint formulas secret by and large as they had to grind the pigments and mix them with oils or egg yolk themselves.  I thought about the time, the lives they lived with no electricity, no climate control, no real technology, houses full of rats and lice and bedbugs, no flushing toilets or running water, no real medicine in a world full of disease.  And there they were, building ornate cathedrals and painting the most detailed, delicate paintings imaginable.  Why can no one paint like that any more?  I thought of the people living in the Appalachian Mountains, their conditions much, much better than people in the 16th century, and the visual arts that they are able to produce.

You know what I mean.

I am still among the rubble, though Ili has been an inspiration as we go through the piles of things and discard what is not needed.  Not much is needed according to her, and she is often correct.  Little pieces of my broken life are relegated to the garbage can, old, chipped coffee mugs and plastic wear, manuals and table runners and place mats that are only stored and never used.  O.K. O.K., I say. . . and away they go.

And I will never miss them, I am sure.

Hot and humid days remain as summer refuses to release its hold.  But the shadows are longer now and sometimes it is not quite so hot.  Without t.v., I am learning to read again.  And other things, as well.

Now, though, I am away to the practical world.  More workers are on their way to button up the house.  It will take a lot of buttoning.

No comments:

Post a Comment