Sunday, October 29, 2017

Grieving Woman

Different times and cultures deal with grief in varying ways. The Victorians embraced it, with sentimental paintings, drawn-out death scenes in plays and complicated rules about proper mourning dress. Our present culture is uncomfortable with much of this. It's okay to mourn with decorum but then you are expected to either snap out of it or at least keep it to yourself. Perhaps there is something to be learned from the old ways. This young woman has thrown herself across the coffin of her loved one. There she mourns, in Milan's Monumental Cemetery. She will continue to do so as long as her bronze body can hold up.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Lower Garden, La Foce, Italy

The flowers are fading and going to seed. Many people tend to think of the greenery in a garden as nothing but a backdrop for the flowers. As the weather turns colder, it's easier to see whether or not a garden has "good bones." Trees, shrubs, pathways and walls define where a garden begins and ends. Classic geometric hedges and topiaries were never my favorites, but they have grown on me. These living, growing sculptures in many shades of green, set off by stones and lichen, offer a more subtle type of beauty.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cake Lust

Last weekend, we attended a lovely, low-key wedding. The wedding cake was decorated with a whimsical collection of brides and grooms. The youngest flower girl studied the pairs of just-marrieds posed on the cake, but the scent of the icing began to get to her. She picked up a plastic fork and twirled it in her little hands. She leaned over as far as she could. The fork slowly edged across the tablecloth. Finally, she could resist no longer. The tines of the fork scooped a bit of icing from the edge of the cake, just as her mother realized what was happening. It reminded me of the famous Marshmallow Test, given to young children to assess their level of self control. I'd say she did pretty well. Our flower girl soon had her own piece of cake. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Vines On a Wall

Parking lots can be such dreary places. One of the colleges downtown has a small lot next to a what could be a completely boring little service building---except that it was built from two different tones of concrete bricks. My compliments go to whoever decided to add a jazzy pattern to the building. Vines have taken hold in the foot-wide strip of earth that marks the border between the lot and the building. They creep up the bricks, adding color and interrupting all the straight lines and angles. That natural, rambling asymmetry makes this a surprisingly delightful view.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Rainbow Peppers

Why shop at the supermarket when you can go to the farmers market? We can discover new varieties of apples, taste the pickles and marvel at the just-picked crop of sweet peppers. A Vegetable Color Wheel would have no blue, although purple would be easily represented by cauliflower. Tumbled together in a bin, I see peppers in orange, red-orange, browny-red, sunny yellow and a host of greens. An artist could work in peppers and create quite a detailed work of art, perhaps a mosaic. What a delicious thought...