Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Day's Journey

At the corner library, with 29 minutes left til logout. So, to quote Jane Austen, "which of my important nothings should I tell you about first?" I walked all over today, from Carroll Gardens, across the Brooklyn Bridge, threading my way uptown, through Chinatown, Soho, and the Village to the Pierpont Morgan Museum on 36th St. There was an exhibit of Jane Austen manuscripts there. I would have enjoyed it better but the curators saw fit to play a loud video of currently fashionable novelists extolling over Austen. I simply couldn't concentrate to try to read Austen's miniscule script, which I would have loved to do. At one point I heard one of the voiceovers, a female, say wow, wow, oh wow (or some such breathless gushing) that I thought, I have to check this out, I wonder if it's Susan Orlean. No, it wasn't, but at that point I would have enjoyed seeing her gamine face wryly tell of her idiosyncratic bibliophilic filing system. "I keep Jane Austen with my histories of the Napoleonic Wars, just to keep Carlos Fuentes happy, because he didn't think Austen was engaged enough with the politics of her day. And a copy of The Rules of course. Boy, I sure wish I'd written Emma."

From Jane I headed for Janeism, continuing my Panoramic Day's Journey Round the Metropolis, an Amusing and Instructive Game of puddlejumping, giving clueless tourists directions (and a pat on a shoulder to one who just looked like he needed courage!), and lunching on carrot sticks & cheddar on the fly. I went to the Rubin Museum of Tibetan? Himalayan? Spiritual? - not sure - art. There I saw pages of Carl Jung's Red Book, which he had written and illustrated (it's like an illuminated manuscript) with images of his own personal cosmology. It led me to wonder if I have one, or what it might be. His images didn't resonate so much with me, but then again that was just an hour ago. These things have a way of needing to sink in.

There was also an exhibit of Janeist art, including lovely images like elaborate, colorful board games of pilgrimages to holy places, holy cities I guess. They were very reminiscent of the image I saw at the Austen exhibit (Panoramic Day's Journey), a board-game like map that spiraled from the center like a Chutes & Ladders, with each square depicting an early 19th century must-see spot in London.

Parallel universes or no, it's amazing how quickly I've slid into the Brooklyn mode as though I never left. The librarian greets me as though I was here just the other day, when it's been months (he's unusually friendly and pleasant - maybe especially for a librarian). I enjoyed the brisk urban walk.

At the Rubin I was finally able to monetize blogging! People in front of me said they were artists so the clerk gave them a discount. Emboldened, I said that I was an unemployed poetic blogger. She considered me. Well I guess you're an artist then!, and cheerfully gave me a discount. Just ask!

Must sign off now - warning messages on.

Love, love, love.

P.S. Plus I saw Alan Alda while riding the glass elevator down at the Pierpont.
Not exactly "Witnessed on Warren"...

No comments:

Post a Comment