Sunday, November 11, 2007

fish times two

So, I am a northern/southern fish now, with head in one and tail in the other.
So clever, this duality. When the sun shines, it really is night.
When the leaves are bursting with unaccustomed rain, they are also yellowing simultaneously, falling from the trees, onto the heads of those who stand beneath them. How very kind of the weather her in the south: the heatwave took a few steps back, and ushered in eight days of rain, to keep me within the sheltering grey canopy of sky.

Such sights my eyes have witnessed. Even the world, in its state of flux, can remain fixed in some way: I can still stand in front of a Mark Rothko and feel distance falter, an embrace of something vast, the wide warm breeze of my past.

I can smile in recognition at renaissance paintings at the National Gallery. Perhaps now I read them in a different way, but all the times I have stood here occur simultaneously. I feel like a spy, taking pictures, since I am not allowed, but I do anyway.
Veronese. He liked blondes, so maybe that is why I like him. Possibly, it seems a reasonable enough excuse to like an artist.
Something which strikes me in the National Gallery is the range of people. Naturally, there are eight million tourists of all nationalities, but there are also business men in their lunchbreak, bankers walking about together discussing paintings. I spend much time looking at all the people, listening to them talk.

In the Victoria and Albert, lurking in various corners, there are other kindred madpersons, scribbling and painting. We smile in recognition. One mirror image of myself, painting a splendid little 13th century madonna in painted wood, just looked up from her work and into my eyes, saying "she has been in my head for this past eight months... I had to come and do something with her..." and of course, i knew what she meant, having just sought out Beatrice in glass, for the very same reason.

Very hard it is to attend to the small matter of grading assessments at the moment, a mountain of them, when I am so distracted by thoughts and visions of faraway places, and those who dwell there.


meggie said...

As usual Fifi, a lovely glimpse of you!

Anonymous said...

hi fifi, sounds like you had a wonderful time...isn't it a crime how quick it goes!!!

...and after all that globe-trotting, the inspiring things you have seen and learned, and the people you've met, - i can see why your mind would wonder away from the task at hand.

riseoutofme said...

The routine tasks of our existences can be very unaccommodating at times.

I went to a Jackson Polack retrospective at the Tate Gallery a couple of years ago and didn't want to leave. Ever.

Arcturus said...

For a minute I thought you were referring to the "National Gallery of Art" here in D.C. -- but then I remember that you are on the other side of the planet from me!

Very nice posting. It would be a fun experience to go to an art museum with you ... I'd get so much more out of it.