Posts Tagged ‘Rodin’

Inbound to Richmond District

May 4, 2015

You got to love NextBus.

I don’t often ride the MUNI trains or the bus, but when I do, this is the best app ever.


I can sit in my house, noodle around, and when I have about three minutes, maybe four, if I’m feeling anxious, walk out the door, walk to the end of the block, and voila!

Bus arriving.

So nice.

Remember when you just sat and waited?


It would say bus every ten to fifteen minutes in the schedule, but it was 49 minutes later and you’ve seen 18 buses headed the other direction and yet, here you are, alone, cold, shivering in the fog, waiting for the fucking bus to come.

Not waiting for Godot.

No never.

Waiting for the 22.

Or the infamous 24.

Or the 33.

Oh how I have waited for the buses.

Today, I just scrolled my finger on my phone, popped open the app and saw when the next one was coming and even better.

The app also has the time that the bus behind it is coming.


Therefore allowing me time to do what ever I need to do at the house before leaving the house.

I got up early and got my errands, chores, and laundry on.

I still got a good night’s sleep, just a touch over eight hours, and I took a friend’s suggestion and silenced my phone last night.

I will forget and be pinged awake at all hours of the night, texts from my sister in Florida, which is three, no, four hours ahead, at 6:30 a.m.; messages from friends, Twitter alerts, Facebook messages, all manner of social media pings and beeps and boops.

Plus, of course the occasional text and what have you.

It’s nice on one hand to be in the mix.

But sometimes I don’t want to know who has like my Instagram feed.

I want to sleep.

It is with that in mind that I also do not look at my phone, I am not always successful, or respond to messages until after I have done my morning routine.

I can’t flip on my phone and lie in bed and scroll the internet universe.

I will be a grumpy toad before even having tossed aside the sheets.

I love my world, I love my friends, I love, love, love that I am in contact with so many of them through so many different places.

Case in point: having a conversation on the ride back from North Berkeley with my friend about not having a ticket, yet, to Burning Man, this conversation happened about oh, 24 hours ago, slightly less.  Fast forward to a few minutes ago when I saw a post on a private Facebook page for a group I belong to for a camp at Burning Man that I have dear friends camping at.  The post featured a link to another post saying, hey friends, I have two tickets, who wants them?

I see lots of people want them.


However, I look closer, oh!!

It’s my good friend from my first year at the burn when I camped with Camp Stella and he gave me my first playa name: Ophelia and has a photo of me hanging in his office from the dust storm I fell asleep in (I got covered in dust, head to toe, had my hands crossed over my chest and was wearing a tutu, face mask, bandana, and goggles, I looked dead).

I have to hook my friends up!

I message both, get a text from both, exchange phone numbers and they just got off the phone with each other and my friend who didn’t have a ticket.


Now he does!


It can happen like that.

Sometimes, though, I do need to slow down, take it easy, turn off the technology and rest.

It helps me get clear with the things I do need to do and a lot of that has to do with taking extremely good care of myself.

Laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, composting, taking out the trash, meeting with the ladies and doing the deal.

I had two ladies back to back from noon to 2p.m.

But before that.

I did all of those things above.

Plus my own writing and having a nice breakfast (hot oatmeal with diced pear and blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, raw cocoa, one organic hard-boiled egg, lots of coffee w/unsweetened vanilla almond milk) of my own.

Then later after my last lady bug had left.

I got to have lunch from what I had cooked earlier, dinner too, and I had time to do a field trip.


I opened my NextBus app and saw when the 18 was heading my way.

Richmond bound.

Legion of Honor.

That’s right.

I finally got myself in to see the Brooklyn Museum’s Costume Collection: High Style.

Oh my.

It was so good.

I got all sorts of art high.

House of Worth, Roger Worth evening dresses.

Edward Molyneux evening dresses.




Yves St. Laurent.

Charles James and the muslims for his ball gowns, breath-taking.

Steven Arpad, for Delman, Inc evening shoes.

Elsa Schiaparelli butterfly day dress and parasol.

I’ll take two please!

Oh fashion, how I do love you.

Plus, you know, the normal galleries with their Monet’s and Pissarro’s, the Rodin sculptures everywhere, the Renoir’s and Manet’s (I like the Impressionists a bit you could say), it was just scrumptious.

The museum was a bit busy, there was also a concert happening–an organ concert by David Hegarty–which I thought about staying for, but it was standing room only and it felt nicer to just wander through the galleries with the sound of the Skinner Organ drifting around me.

I’m ever so grateful for all the tech that this world has, I mean, I am writing a blog and posting it online and sending it out into the inter webs, but I am also a Mensch for the classic, time-worn, much beloved wander through a museum, sit on a bench and listen to an organ concert, admire art, slow and delicious, taking the bus and not riding my bike willy nilly though the park and over the hills.

I believe this is what’s called balance.


It’s a nice place to be in my life.

More please.

Practice Makes Perfect

September 10, 2014

And makes for fun.

“What will make this most enjoyable for your audience,” she asked me yesterday on the phone as I divulged I would be performing in a benefit this weekend.

“What can you do to have the most fun?” She added as I paused.

“I need to have the pieces memorized,” I replied.

I do not have the pieces memorized.

I have seven minutes to get up on a stage and do three pieces of poetry and then sit my ass back down and let other people have their go.

“It’s the most forgiving audience you will ever perform for,” my friend said, who is going to be ending the show.

Now, I feel confident that he knows what he’s saying and he also, I feel, has a leg up on me, as he plays classical Flamenco guitar.

I am just reciting some poems I wrote.

I feel a touch inadequate if the truth is to be told.

Which where else am I going to speak the truth, than here?

But, I said I would help and when it was suggested to me that I volunteer to perform, I said I would.

The participants are drawn randomly and I actually believed I would have a good shot at not getting picked.

There, I’ll show you, I’ll take your suggestion, but won’t have to do anything about it.

Win, win.


I got the e-mail while I was at Burning Man that my name had been, in fact, randomly selected, and I was slated to perform in the talent show.


I knew immediately that I had one piece I could do, I’ve performed it before, in slams and on stage with a dj accompanying me, and even in Paris at the Paris Open Mic at Le Chat Noir.

So, that’s one piece.

But the others, well, I know them well, but not memorized.

Between getting back from New York, resigning from one job, accepting another, and just getting my feet underneath me from the frenetic travel from one coast to another with a lot of dust thrown in the mix, I had pretty much not thought about the show.

Until today.


I have to start memorizing these pieces.

I mean, part of me thought, still thinks, that I could get up there and just read them, but that seems, somehow, to be failing the audience.

I don’t think it will be as much fun as if I just get up there and go at the work with it memorized.

Which means I have two longish pieces I need to commit to memory.

Fortunately I have tomorrow off.

I had today off as well, but I decided to do a little “staycation” action and I took myself to the Legion of Honor Museum over in the Outer Richmond.

I hadn’t been to that particular museum in years, I mean, like six or even seven.

My preference is typically for the DeYoung or the MOMA, but I have been to the DeYoung in recent memory and the MOMA is still closed for renovations.

While I was meditating today, the Legion of Honor popped into my brain.


I can do that.

I didn’t even have to go far.

Just half a block down to the 46th and Judah and I caught the 18 bus, which dead ends at the Legion of Honor.  Then a small ticket fee, $10, with a discount when I was asked if I had taken the bus and I replied I had, they knocked off $2 when I showed my transfer.

Not too bad.

$8 to see Rodin.

The Kiss.

The Thinker.

The Man with a Broken Nose.

To get up close and personal to smell the marble to walk around the sculptures.

The Legion of Honor has more Rodin sculptures than any other museum outside of the Rodin Museum in Paris.

Which I had the pleasure of going to when I was in Paris.

I wandered through the sculpture, although I am not the biggest fan of sculpture, it is a marvel to see the Rodin’s, one that captured my fancy for some time was a small collection of miniature studies of just right feet.

Unimaginable how much time and effort devoted to just studying that one body appendage.

The Mighty Hand also captured me for a time.

It’s just a hand, a large hand, anatomically correct, and the ferocity of it, the brute strength, the curl of the fingers reaching and holding and grasping, astounding.

I love me some art.

I am perpetually grateful for all the art I have gotten to see in my life time and the knowledge that I will continue to allow myself to see more.

And to make some myself.

Whether it is performing my small body of work, hopefully memorized by Saturday, or taking a few photographs here and there, or writing a blog piece, I get to be a part of the conversation.

In some small part.

And that connects me, a small thread, a link to others.

I am in the moment that the artist creates and witness to it.

When I see art I like, I get a body high.

And though it did not happen when I looked at the Rodin’s, the sculptures can captivate me, they do not, however, give me that big arty high, I did get it when I wandered into a wing I had accidentally skipped the first go through the museum.

I got it first from a painting from Gustave Courbet of a wave.

Then intense, and dreaming in front of a Degas, and then again a Monet.

Delicious art.

Feed my soul.

Fill me up.

I don’t know that what I do will fill another with that kind of awe a superanuated feeling, but I can try.

I don’t compare myself to these artists so much as acknowledge that art means an awful lot to me, that my life would be lacking without art.

Whether it is a street art mural that makes me stop or it’s the layout of Burning Man in a photograph taken high above the playa from the wing of a Cessna airplane.

I know it when I see it.

I feel it.

I become it.

I hope that I will translate just a tiny touch of that this weekend.

Until then.

More reciting.

More practice.

Not for perfection.

But for fun.

For you.

My audience.

May I in some small part be an artist.

Death by Museum

January 6, 2013


I seriously think I may have been trying to kill myself.

I did three museums today and almost, no, I did not, but almost, ended with the Louvre.

But I reigned it in.

When I swapped Metro lines and changed at Palais-Royale Musee Du Louvre, I just changed trains instead of going up into the museum.

Thank God.

I might have gone museum on some tourists.

From here on out I am going to leave the big gun museums to the tourists on free days.  It was a little too much.  I got overwhelmed more by the crowds at points than I did the art.

That being said, I got art fever.

Standing in front of  La Naissance de Venus, I must have flushed over and trembled audibly.

Yes, an audible tremble.

I felt as though I was being strummed, I radiated in front of the piece.  I could have stared at it for hours, except I had some one, a tourist, and hey, yes, I know, I am one too, even if I am trying to live here, I am a bit of a tourist, but yes, a tourist, explaining to his girlfriend the meaning of the work.


Can’t we just stand here, quietly, in awe.

Can’t you see I am in awe.

You have peed on my art moment.

I moved off.

The fever hit again in front of a small triptych of Seurat’s post Impressionist pointillism paintings.  Three different angles on a woman, so small, so glorious, my face is flushing from the remembrance of the colors, the shadow on the woman’s thigh, the purple crush of light against the chin and the way her foot, turned out just so, captured by rose petals of tiny pointed paint dabs.

I was stunned.

Then a Japanese boy pushed me, literally, shoved me out-of-the-way.

I am sure it was an accident, but it was the last straw for this lady.

I walked out of the hall and went back down the escalators.

I had already had a full as full can be day.

“Have you lost weight?”  A. asked me at dinner tonight, at a cafe in the St. Germain neighborhood.

I smiled, probably, I have walked a lot lately.

Plus, I stopped the cheese, dropped the dairy, and have not had pomme frites in quite some time, hell considering how much I walked today, it was probably noticeable.

I already know my legs are going to be sore in the morning when I get up.

I walked a pant size off today is what it felt like.

I eschewed riding my bike this morning to the Sunday morning commitment I have.  I knew I was going to go to the museums.  I did not want to hassle with the bike, taking off the seat, securing it, and locking it in one place for too long.  Plus, it was misty wet and I did not feel like slipping on the cobblestones.

When I left the spot at 1:15pm.  I had intended to walk down Rue Commerce to the outdoor market that runs along the Metro line.  I planned on grabbing some fruit, apples, maybe a piece of cheese, or a sausage.  I do not know if it was the crowd, my feet, or what, but nothing caught my eye, nothing called.

I left the market and decided to walk along the Trocadero and go to Musee Branly, which is right after the wrack and ruin and the fractious crowds of the Eiffel Tower.

The best thing about the museum was the gardens, I walked in, the art was not my style, and I went back out to the gardens.  The rose arbor, despite being long past its season, still had a few roses clinging to it.


The rose hips were full and scattered across the metal beams and I stared up at the sky.  Off to my right the Eiffel Tower, across the way the Seine, and I knew, I was going to walk more.  I stretched my arms up and shouldered the bag.  Rose Arbor

Off towards the 7th and Invalides.

I had no desire to go to the Army museum, rather I wanted what was on the other side of it.

Musee du Rodin.

Invalides, from the Rodin Gardens

What I found the most amazing, aside from the white marbles in the main exhibition hall, was the profligacy of his work.

I had no idea how many pieces.  The sculptures kept coming and coming and coming.

Every where I turned, more.

The models blew my mind.  Looking at a small model of Cupid and Pysche with the screws and pins in a perfect miniature of the larger sculpture was astounding.

The white marbles also were astonishing.

I wanted to pet them.

They called to be touched.

They looked silken and stuffed with shattered prisms of light.

I saw a little boy duck under a rope and pet one.

I wanted to do the exact same thing, just trail my hand along the smooth rapturous flank of a sculpture, feel it sing to my hand.

I went through the front museum, the back exhibition hall, then the gardens.  It was a vast collection.  And I know that there are so many more pieces my mind boggled thinking about how much time he must have spent.


As I was rounding out my spin through the gardens a bus, double-decker, unloaded.

I fled.

I turned down a street actually looking for a market.

I was hungry and knew I could not tackle much else without a snack.

I had an apple in my bag and started with that.

Paris, to me will always taste like apple.

It will feel like sore legs and aching feet.

I turned here, turned there, but it is Sunday and I did not find what I wanted.

I did, however, stumble upon another beautiful church on my way to Musee D’Orsay–Eglise Saint Clotilde.

Saint Clotilde


The best thing about the church was the scramble of boys playing soccer in front of the doors.

It must, in fact, be quite the place to play.

I noticed a little something incongrouus on the church facade.

Soccer ball!




Apparently the saints like to get in a little football action as well.

I ducked past the game and headed out to a busy avenue.

I was not sure exactly where I was, but I was not so uncomfortable.  I was not exactly lost, I knew which way the Seine was and I knew which arrondissement I was in.  Despite not having my exact where about pinned, I felt that I would find my way.

I did.

The sign pointing the way to Musee D’Orsay didn’t hurt either.

I queued up, ate the second apple in my bag and let it sink in that I was getting to go again to the Musee D’Orsay.

I have gotten, in one life time, to go to the Louvre twice, the Centre de Pompidou twice, and now the D’Orsay twice.

I am truly a lucky girl.

I once had a boyfriend who wanted to go to every museum in the world.

He still lives in Wisconsin and I don’t believe he ever got out of the Mid-West.

But that aspiration rubbed off on me, just a little.

I went in.

I paused on the stairs as they opened up into the courtyard full of sculptures and I just took a breath.  Partially to let my legs rest, partially to breathe in the air, rarefied with art.



I felt the fever begin.

I shivered.

I shook.

I trembled.

I felt hot and cold.

It was not just the ache of my tired legs, but it was my heart being siphoned off into the air and sucked into the art.

I felt bombastic with art.


So when I made the decision to make the train line transfer instead of walk up into the Louvre, I think I may have saved the city from having to scrub my shattered self off the Delacroix.

I am still fevered as I write this.

Statue of Liberty Model

Flushed with the enormity of what I saw.

I feel like my eyes have been seared with art.

I went back to the Birth of Venus one last time before I exited the museum.

Then I sat down.

I just sat and let the art air fall upon my aching shoulders and vibrating heart.

I have been given so much.

So much love.

Clock Musee D'OrsayI am not wasting any more time feeling that I am doing anything wrong, that I made a mistake, or that I am wrong in being here.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

In Paris.


Slow, Slow

December 11, 2012

Quick, quick.

Shh, slow down, love, you go too fast.

Quick, quick, duck down the Metro stairs and board the train, hustle off to class, you’ve missed two days, go, go, vite!

No, shh, slow, slow, slow.

Gently go forward.

I had to quiet the internal thought process a few times today.

The first was wrestling with getting out of bed and into my morning habit and routine.  The second was the weighing of the two choices, stay or go.

I decided go.

Nose is still congested, I am still sneezy, again so weird, I keep thinking I am having allergies, but I am not allergic to the weather, I am allergic to trees blooming in Spring (oh, sad thought!  Spring may bring me a true allergy season, I had not thought of that, Christ, that is Spring, it’s December, who the hell knows where I am going to be.  Fingers crossed here, I have an idea it may be lovely here in Spring), head still cloudy, I am still sick.

Not sick enough, however, to stay another day indoors.

Another day of laying in bed.


Just could not do it.

I contemplated, then I got a phone call from a darling and I knew I had to get out, get to class and go meet her after for coffee at the Tabac and Cafe de L’Universitie.

Had to.

So, get out, get going, and get it the fuck on.


Slow down.

I took my time this morning, I took my time this afternoon.

I did not horse whip myself to do all sorts of things.  I did not work on my book.  I admit it, that was the thing I let go.  My head is not clear enough to do it nor pay enough positive attention to the details–I am editing the grammar and sentence structure as well as the story–and a head cold is not a place to edit from.


I could do it sleepy, sick, cold weather or warm.


It is a conversation.  I am having a talk with a good friend.  I am telling of my day.


I went here:

Dusk in the garden

Dusk-Jardin des Tuileries

Is it not stunning?

After class, a very relaxed class for me, I was not trying too hard and I had not completed the homework.

I got along just fine, I normally do, I just let the class happen without much participation.

I found out for certain that my last day of class is Friday.

Unless Euros fall from the sky.

Time is fast approaching for this lady to find work.

I have one week left.

I have one week of cramming in all the Paris I can before I must cram in all the ways I can network and get out there, find work.

I have one week left.  I hope this cold has kicked it by then.  Of course, if it stays the course I could continue down this leisurely path of self-care.  I would take another walk like I did today and see more lovely things.

Oh like this:

The Kiss

The Kiss

I could handle seeing more things of that nature.  Of course, I spent a moment, wistfully taking in the view.

What a view.



Ahead of me, Rodin’s kiss, a towering Christmas tree lit with giant red globes of light and silver stars.

A droit, to my right, the great Ferris Wheel rotating in the dusk.

Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel






I wanted some one to take my hand and tuck it in his pocket, it is cold out there kids, and walk with me arm and arm along the Quai D’Orsay.

Perhaps to meander over Pont Alexandre and take in the view from there.

Grand Palais

Grand Palais

Across the way we would look out to the Grand Palais and le Petit Palais, which is not so petit.

Or maybe a stroll along the bridge, following the lamps being lit as the light falls away.

Lamp posts

Lamp posts





That’s just silliness though.

I can walk myself quite well, and I get to share my pictures here.

So, instead of being wistful, I got glad.

Grateful that I was out walking along the Seine at sunset.

Happy to be healthy enough to take in the sights, the outdoor sites and not the view from my bed, of which there is none–unless you count the stairs going up to Barnaby’s room.

Alive to look.

Look here!



Or here!



There is so much to see.

Besides, who wants to kiss me when I have a head cold?

Better to be alone at this moment.

There is a time for kissing.

There is always a time for kissing.

And won’t it be better when I can walk with the person, show them my sights, the things that make me happy?  Where I went when I was first discovering Paris.

Getting to be here and establish myself and my identity, my writing routine and what I do in between.

There is time and more time.

Nothing worth having happens over night.  There is work to be done, slow work, right now, no need to go quick, quiet work, no need to holler.  Simple work, no need to make it complicated.

I am not saying I want to have another head cold any time soon, but it does soften me up a bit, immobilizing me to the ever-present now and that is a good thing.

Although, I am so glad I did go out today and stretch the legs and get my blood flowing and my lungs taking in fresh air, I will endeavor to remember to not push myself too hard in these next few days.

I want to be completely healthy and full of life for next Tuesday.

I will be coming up on a small milestone, you could say.

Celebrating soon, in an arrondissement near you.

My 40th birthday in Paris.

The Kiss

Rodin’s The Kiss








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