Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Golden light up in the aerie now and my mind is aswirl with a flickr show, one thought, image, followed by another unrelated, in rapid succession. So many sensations all at once, not simultaneous, sequential, but in no particular order. At the museum the other day, as I stepped around one of the galleries with my audioset, perusing portraits in the lightfilled space, feeling a bit renegade because though admission to the museum was free one still had to divulge one's zip code and also to fasten a colored tab somewhere on one's person, which I did, on my coat, until I decided I'd be too warm and so in the dimness of the long self-serve open coat check I hung my coat and the tab with it. So upstairs in the galleries I was tab-less, which seemed to make some guards nervous, as though I'd snuck in. One found one on the floor near where I stood and politely asked, ma'am is this your tab, and I said, no I'm sorry I left mine on my coat downstairs. And another woman stepped forward and said, that must be my tab I think I just dropped it. Perhaps I should have been more vigilant about keeping the tab on my person, it seems more dire when one has dropped $10 or $20 at, say, the Met, and must wear the badge to prove it.

Anyway, this wasn't where I was going really, I was just floating through the gallery, regarding portrait after portrait, occasionally listening to the audiotour, which I'd rented, actually, for the Dürer exhibit, because faced with an apocryphal, apocalyptic biblical scene, I don't know the Bible and visual references well enough to be able to fully (or on any level) engage in one of his prints, I needed someone - a curator's voice in my ear - to explain about what Saint John witnessed, and his martyrdom. And also to point out what I would surely have missed - such as, in another print, a naturalistic swan and its reflection, the tiniest pomegranate seed of a detail in the midst of a myriad panoply of extremely dense, complex, narrative detail, whole realms rendered in a highly layered, dramatically dimensional space. (And all this miraculously incised in fine scratches onto copper or wood, reverse image secularly pressed onto a flat sheet, bound once, perhaps, in a book, and set now behind glass within a modest-size frame hung - thousands of miles from Dürer's Nuremberg, whole oceans and five hundred years away - on a Massachusetts museum wall where I regarded it one Sunday afternoon.)

Still not where I was going. As I stepped through the galleries, without my coat, wearing a nice outfit - wellfitting jeans and a thin pink turtleneck beneath a thin gray cotton shawl-collared buttoned sweater, I met the eyes of a guy who was really looking at me. He stood in the middle of the room, there were various people milling about and I think he himself was with others, but there he was looking into my eyes. I noticed this and thought (perhaps) well it happens, sometimes people's eyes meet, and I turned away. But then in the next elegant portrait-hung salon there he was again regarding me intently, not as though he recognized me - I certainly didn't know him - but that he had noticed me in some way. (For a moment I had a sense that we were a pair of vivid portraits come to life, having stepped from our ornate frames into the center of the room.) I can't say that I had noticed him, I can hardly remember what he looks like now really, except for his deliberate sober gaze straight at me. I didn't smile back. Should I have? Perhaps. I am so frozen sometimes, in my exterior, however flirtatious I obviously can be on my blog, and very passionate in the right circumstances, in the not-quite-right circumstances I'm extremely circumspect. Which probably accounts for a lot of missed opportunities - I simply don't know how to signal back "available." Not that I am, anyway. I sometimes fantasize that something of the sort might happen, and - I am in the midst of Season 4 of Big Love right now - I feel as though I'm spoken for - in my own mind - two times over, neither of whom, though I'm married, is my husband. Sometimes I imagine actually saying that to someone who might come on to me.

I felt flattered that this guy seemed to be telegraphing that he found me attractive or interesting in some way. And then, in another gallery space, a young, good-looking uniformed guard seemed quite struck by me too (I swear!) and smiled and seemed to blush and even made a slight bow. It was he and I alone, as I recall, in this particular dimly lit gallery, he standing against a wall as I made my way around the paintings. I felt really flattered by his acknowledgment (which clearly and refreshingly had zero to do with whether I was wearing the museum tab or not) ... and I stumbled slightly because I suddenly felt self-conscious. I finished regarding the masterworks and exited into a different lightfilled space.

So my heart is a multi-chambered place, sort of like that museum. I fantasize to no end about what, less than a week from now, I'll be able to think of as "next month" in Brooklyn. And last night I had very vivid dreams about Darling 1.0, of whom I still think of very much, every day. I always just wanted to see you. Perhaps then I could have gotten over you, just like that. Is that a reason why you haven't ever wanted for us to meet? I really don't know.

In other pomegranate seeds (bless me Father for I have sinned) I've been regarding, in the book I'm reading, Bonnard's extraordinary series of paintings he did of Marthe - they're actually referred to as the "bathroom" or "bathtub" series, many nudes of her, not very erotic I don't think, of her at her bath. They're very ambiguous paintings; Bonnard himself is involved, not as a voyeur, but almost merging Bergman-Persona-like, into the ostensible subject.

By sheer coincidence, prompted by a recent posting on Salon about kinky sex in the Victorian age, I've been reading, chapter by chapter, the sexual diary of a Victorian gentleman. It's pretty entertaining, but after a while, pretty empty, he collects c**ts the way any collector might collect anything else. This "Walter" is completely obsessed and focused on pretty much solely that aspect of a woman's anatomy - and in true scientific fashion has examined so many that he actually systematically classifies them...

Anyway, it's just strange to consider the intimate Bonnard paintings; to sort of get off (hard not to with porn) on the Victorian gentleman's ceaseless proddings; and to be in love with two men; and to be cognizant, in a museumspace, of a complete stranger, and a few minutes later, of another, each regarding me intently.

And that's a snapshot of my frame of mind today, I think, pretty fairly.

I love you.


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