Tuesday

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Moulin de la Galette, Picasso (1900)

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From the temporary exhibit, Tales of Our Time

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“To my mind the somber greens go well with the ocher tones; there is something sad in it which is healthy, and that is why it does not bore me . . . a desolate country of somber mountains, among which are some dark goatherds’ huts where sunflowers are blooming.”

– Van Gogh, on his painting Mountains at Saint-Rémy (above)

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I took these photos at the Guggenheim last Tuesday. I go to the Guggenheim once a year ~ and always in March. It is my favorite museum in the city and one of my favorite places to go to think and reflect. They have such an incredible collection of Kandinsky’s as well as Impressionist art.

and I wrote this for class that night when I got home ~

Of The Spring Your Father Left and I Could Only Think of the Cedar Fire

Here, the lake is more water-flag than water, and all the white ants have dug tunnels to the center of the earth and melted. In Romania, the girls wear Mărțișor strings on their wrists for the first days of spring. White for the sundrop flowers and red for the color of the earth. When your father leaves again, we carry a case of his elderflower beer to the fire escape and sip it in the dark. Neither of us say a word. I want to tell you about the Cedar Fire and what it was like to sit in the driveway of the house I grew up in, crumbling gravel between my hands, watching my father hose down the roof and my mother pack the sedan with birth certificates.

The strangest part was not watching the houses burn it was waking up the next morning and feeling lighter. It has been thirteen years and five months now and so none of this matters anymore or it does, but not to you. It is easier to go on ignoring your father anyway. I wait for you to tell me about him. You never do and so April comes, top-heavy and wet like the banyan trees. We press together in uncut hay meadows and at horrible rock shows and behind the Fall River Manufacturing Plant. I want to know where you got your glass hunting horn and your Japanese sunfish lamp. Don’t touch those, you say. Your cat is so white and so shy that I cannot help but love it. Your car is so red and so fast that I cannot help but hate it. We are both in the backseat. Hold your hair back, you say. I do, and understand, as though for the first time, that intimacy is not a decision we make. I often forget we hardly know each other.

~ Natalie

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36 responses

  1. I feel transported by your words. Like I was somewhere I have been before, and yet somewhere that I have never been, but long to go to.

    My great-grandfather once had a piece hanging in the Guggenheim. I like to fantasize that it is stuffed in some corner of storage one day to be returned to my family. 🙂

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  2. I enjoyed your post! Kandinsky is one of my favorites! Hard to believe I haven’t yet visited the Guggenheim museum yet. It’s on my ‘to do’ list for this summer. Again, great post, thanks for sharing.

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  3. The tour of the Guggenheim is fine, but your writing is another thing. You don’t tell, you reveal, and it goes beyond just seeing something through your eyes. It’s the act of placing great importance and focus on what would never occur to me, something that would otherwise be beneath my notice.

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      • You wrote something a while back that stayed with me, but I can no longer find it on your blog. It was your impressions from living in France and one such observation was that the street light came on at a certain time in one season and at a different time in another. I wanted to quote it because it was such an instinctive approach to writing.

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