Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Room with a View

"She began to talk. Her thoughts darted like sparrows. I couldn't follow everything she said."
- from "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Sara Houghteling
I've been whisked joyfully out of reality for a small bit of time.
...That's not strictly true, but sometimes it feels like it.
Friends of mine have decided to jet across the Atlantic for a tour of the British Isles, and have left me in joyful possession of their mountain-top-bungalow house-keys, the temporary surrogate mother of two silly cats (Stormy and Lola, aka. Grouchy and Sneezy). Together, we aspire to be productive. And also to take catnaps in the sunshine whenever needed.
I enjoy evening views of Boulder Valley, which fades into dusk before lighting up like an earthly Milky Way, sparkling in the nighttime hours. Christine left me with a delicious book to devour during my first week here: Pictures at an Exhibition.
For the Musically Inclined, perhaps the name rings a bell, calling to mind the haunting music of Mussorgsky. Here's a bit of Promenade and Il Vecchio Castello:

The book briefly mentions Mussorgsky and the actual paintings that inspired this composition, but spends more time summoning visions of Manets and Picassos and Wartime Parisians. The irony was that I wrote down favorite quotes in a litte art sketchbook that had accompanied me to many museums. Even as I read about Degas' Little Dancer's provocative stance and innocent face, I wrote quotes in a notebook that held sketches of the very same statue. Books are adventures, aren't they?
"It had ceased to rain, though dampness was in the air, and the plaza and its stones and statues were washed and darkened. The sound of the fountain was joyous. The piles of leaves blown against the trees glistened. The sky cleared, as if a hand had brushed the clouds aside and left only stripes of pink against the blue."
As for me, it's time to be more accountably productive...
"I was a work on paper: weightless, sketchy, all impulse..."

photos: Dear Friend, Dear Sparrow from vi.sualiz.us, Sunset photo and lazy cat by Gloriosity Media: Boulder 2010, Pictures at an Exhibition cover - novel by Sara Houghteling, Olaf Hajek image from Google Images, Acqua 4 by Roberto from Flickr, Sketching Hand (mine!) by Eric Ian of ClarityMedia.

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