Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grimm Tales, Posh Grounds

What a chill, pleasant Sunday.

Before coffee this morning I ran through my newly received yoga video -- the same one that I had been repeatedly renewing from the library -- with the extremely calm narrative guidance of Marc Lewis, who tends to offer too many choices when the work out is at its most trying:

"Now. If this is good now, keep it right here. If you'd like make it...a bit more challenging, extend to the tips of your feet."

I stay where I am and continue trembling.

"If you'd like to...take it down a little...Bring your right knee to the floor."

I refrain from bending my right knee. One could say the trembling is closer to shuddering. I try to clear my head, which doesn't clear. Readers, you know I'm cluttery.

"Now," he opines, almost as if he were proffering a small gift -- if only his voice carried that much emotion -- and he throws in another gravity defying variation in movement. I attempt it before collapsing onto the floor, like some fool who has played past his Twister ability. I snort derisively and glower at the carpet.

This is pretty much how it goes. I usually boycott minutes 56-58, before he returns to sensibility and some delicious stretches.  Ultimately, I feel good about it. Ideally, I'll alternate this with running and work an actual yoga class back into the mix. I'm surprised to say that I miss the group chants at the end of prior classes, and the OMs. Marc Lewis at the end invites the viewer to OM three times to finalize the practice. Somehow doing this in a group is especially satisfying; sitting alone in your living room? Not so much. One even feels a bit nutty. I wondered if the Jehovah's Witness who banged on the door also heard my OMing. But what matter? Takes a nut to know one, or so they say.

(Cashew Nut. Macadamia Nut. Pine nut.)

In any case, a good start. I padded into the kitchen, set the water to boil for coffee and turned on a burner for a few strips of bacon, tossed some cherries into a bowl. I finished reading The Monsters of Templeton outside, settled on a few recipes for the day (broccoli and potatoes with curry leaves, amchoor powder; rice noodles with cauliflower; sweet potato salad with tamarind). The sky feels heavy and I'm hoping there will be a summer rain when I start cooking later, with front and back door open to feel the breeze...

Yesterday Stone Bridge and I drove out to the Edsel and Eleanor Ford house to submit my woodblock triptych to the Grimmly Inspired exhibit.

This was the coloring I decided on:

The White Snake: A Nutritive Triptych: One

The White Snake: A Nutritive Triptych:Two

The White Snake: A Nutritive Triptych: Three

Story refresher in case you need it.

I haven't pulled enough to make editions of any one yet, but will add them to my Etsy shop after more studio time.

After encountering numerous slow-downs, ramp closings etc., we were starving by the time we inhaled the posh air of Grosse Pointe Shores. Since this exhibit had grown huge in my mind, I anticipated a long line of fidgeting artists, hefting artwork of various dimensions. I regretted my unusual lack of snacks. But no, when we arrived at the appointed place, we were greeted by a single juror and her assistant. A cool oil painting lay to one side on the padded display tables. A cool book artist -- a shoe-in for the exhibit if there ever was one, as she has a long-standing project of imagining Red Riding Hood at all ages of her life -- reported significantly more activity when she dropped off her submission(s?) on Friday.

Both women were very pleasant and called over to let the soon-to-be-closing restaurant know or our imminent arrival. Not bad! Lunch was delicious and while we were not intending to dawdle, we talked about the role of art in our respective families, growing up; and wound up missing the last house tour by 8 minutes.

"Well ladies! What did we have for lunch?" inquired the gift shop woman. We told her and asked about tour tickets. "Oh, noooo, "she murmured, "The last one just left. You certainly took your time for lunch! I guess they didn't close at 2:30." She beamed at us. We smiled back, thanked her. It's hard not to appreciate the myriad ways bitchiness can be conveyed. Impressive, isn't it?

It was fine. We were both content to wander the grounds, snapping photos of architectural details.
The ivy was lovin on the house.

We lacked the magic key.

Photographer/artist who takes much better photos on her iphone than I do on my camera.
As we turned this way and that, a sparky five year old raised his hand in greeting. "I want to be at MY house now."

Valid. "Oh, I bet you'll leave soon." He considered this.

"Why are we still heeerrrrrreee?" He jutted his chin at his parents. He did not whine, but elongated his words. They seemed unconcerned. They wandered around one corner of the building.

Complicated by summer dresses and purses.

At this point, the five year old run happily past us. He announced triumphantly: "I need to catch the bus! We're going to take the bus." 

"Oh good, where's your Mom and Dad?"

He halted. "They're in the other direction!"

"Well maybe you better wait for them." He paused, but was clearly dismayed at this interruption. Luckily they rounded the corner. We wandered on.

The spout figures (technical term) were disturbingly servile.
What IS he?
Also mysterious. But he looks like a mensch.

The formal gardens and carefully laid out vistas reminded me of Edith Wharton's  Mount
This was her summer home, in Lenox, MA. First job out of college: tour guide.

Just beyond the gate, where we were also parked.
The restored models faced the front gate, but were separated from us by two lanes of traffic. I had to wait for current cars to stop streaming past and, closer still, pedestrians to stop shuffling through. An older person wearing fuchsia pants proved to be quite the lens louse*.

"Do you like Model A's?" inquired a voice to my right.

Oh yes, I said. "They're mine," replied the woman. She and her husband have been restoring them for some 40 years. They drove them up from Hershey, Pennsylvania! The above pictured are models from 1929/30/31 and are Tudors and Fordors. Fuchsia pants was one of their party.

*Favorite term of my Dad who would rather not photograph people in front of his trains/trolleys/model cars. Also used by my sister, when she is foiled by straggling people, when she is in the zone. Many years ago when she was traveling, Kevin Kostner, then prominent for his Dances with Wolves film, managed to ruin several otherwise good shots. Lens louse.

So, it was a lovely day! We did wind up going into the "playhouse" -- an actual house, built at little girl scale, with diminutive everything. The adult tourists lumbered through in our ungainly fashion, bumping into ceilings* and rounding our shoulders to take up less space.
We were both tuckered by the end, well fed, well wandered and stimulated. A fine way to spend a Saturday!

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