Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Full circle (or, why I cut class in high school)

The weather in Manhattan was GORGEOUS today!

Today, was a "full circle" kind of day. We played hooky. All three of us. I took Nadine to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an "art day", and cancelled Aaron's morning therapy, so that we could just enjoy the beautiful weather and the grand re-opening of the Uris Children's Center.

And this day was for my own enjoyment, too...

I went to high school in the 80's on the edge of Museum Mile, and when I got really bored in class, I would take off early and go to the museums and study my favorite pieces.

I have always loved the way this section of the museum feels. And the wishing pond, where I gave my daughter coins to toss in, after making her wishes.

And we went to the roof garden to see the current Stella exhibit.

I remember one particular day, after an intense exchange with my "World History" teacher, I complained that to study Western European history as "World" history excluded the history of about half of our class. Being a PhD smarty-pants-ish teacher, she took offense. I wish I had the words to really express myself in a way she could have understood. I know my point is valid, but I really couldn't be heard, in the way I chose to express it. I think that's why I gravitated towards artwork that acknowledged the diversity of the American Experience.

I always loved to just stare at intricate textural work, too, and Faith Ringgold's art has always been just magical to me, while "speaking" to my heart.

Ringgold's work excites me, and it speaks to my inner child, who is still very much alive... I have read her books to my own daughter, and hung a calendar of her art in my daughter's room.

A few years ago, I attended a quilt exhibit at the American Bible Society, and a family friend (who curated the exhibit) introduced me to Faith Ringgold. I nearly fainted! Meeting her was so exciting... and not for the reasons you think --- no lightening bolts shot out from her fingertips... she just greeted me like a REAL woman would - a person, a human being! It inspired me to continue to really create what resonates in my soul... because somewhere, maybe I can be what she has been to me... to someone else.

So today, at the Uris Children's Center opening.... who was there???? Yes, you guessed it! And she agreed to pose for a photograph with my daughter!

I wish I could have really had a moment to express why I was so excited to see her, but I should have rehearsed/prrepared something... because I could only muster that we have a friend in common, and would she mind posing with my daughter... Oh well.

And today... she did look pretty magical.

It was the absolute highlight of my day!

So I am nearly finished with my quilted interpretation of my sister's painting. Mine will likely never hang in a museum. My own family and possibly future generations will be able to actually use it. And, today, I think of my grandmother's sewing fingers. Maybe we can't communicate with words, but our fingers dance to the same rhythm. As for the quilts I make, my family will sleep beneath it ... and dream.

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