Friday, January 11, 2008


My mother had three ideas for edifying activities for me and my sister as children -- the zoo (which I hated and actively cried when I had to go), a wildlife preserve where you drove through and fed the animals (again more tears, more pouting) and art museums which I loved. The dead world of art and beauty seemed my style from the beginning. I liked it all -- the traditional, the modern, the downright inane (the kind of thing that makes people say, I could do that! My six year old could do that!) Museums, things of control and quiet, visual libraries. I did wish so many of the works weren't Untitled though. I loved titles even then and loved when the artist gave us a hint as to what he or she was thinking.

I've never had a pet, save for two suicidal clownfish, in my adult life. My friends marvel at this fact and some often make the incorrect assumption that I was not raised around animals. To their surprise, I tell them I can't remember a time when there wasn't some vile biting stinging creature around my parents' house, a couple of dogs, and a cat or two and once even a white bat named Ronnie for reasons that never became clear to me. One of the ironies of my adult life is that I'm surrounded by people who love animals, most more than people, rejoice in their simple, untroubled love. But to me love without trouble would be something else. Still, I'm grateful for those days at the zoo and the strange animals coming up to the car. There's something to be said for not controlling everything! But it's the museums I keep returning to, the way they say something about the past and the future, all perfectly preserved and guarded, lest harm come their way.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Memory is hunger." Ernest Hemmingway

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: The Kitchen Wars Betty Fussell

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday!


Cheri said...

I rode a pony once at the cider mill and screamed bloody murder the entire time I was on it. Have hated horses ever since.

Last night I witnessed a puppy being ran over. It was horrible and I cried and cried, even at the gas station.

Simon and Garfunkle said...

It's all happenin' at the zoo. I do believe it's true.

Marion Ravenwood said...

Indiana Jones! I always knew you'd come walking back through my door again.

the walking man said...

I saw two huge turtles humping once at the Philadelphia zoo, the racket they made put me off of zoos, except For the two times I took my kids during a week end visit.

I do understand your love for museums though, again in Philadelphia I used to take a hit of an illegal substance and could spend hours going through the exhibits, then when I got to work at the DIA for 5 years, I could appreciate sitting in a gallery on the days when the museum was closed and just take it all in, undisturbed. Although I never thought of the art as dead, even though the artist in most cases was.

I found out that artists left paintings untitled for two reasons one was bullshit...didn't want to give the viewer a preconceived notion of what they were looking at and the truth, they couldn't think of a title.

So what are you saying, you want a puppy for your birthday? I know where the Detroit pound is on First street.



RRN said...

Somewhere on someone else's page I read a comment refering to your blog as " Tits and ass ". I would wonder what your thoughts on that were. I don't ever chose to view people by their ass....or any other body part. I find people who do to be sadly missing so much more. We all have what. Unfortunetly....Not all of us have the substance of depth and character. Whatever.

I liked this post quite a lot.

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