Tuesday, September 23, 2014
GRAPEVINES AT THE GETTY
Last week I took a field trip to the Getty Villa in Malibu. I especially wanted to see an exhibit called Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity.
I'd take a core-formed two-inch "White Perfume Flask with Purple Zigzags, Greek, 600-300 B.C." over over a two-ton Dale Chihuly installation any day.
I was equally mesmerized by this grape arbor tucked into one side of the reflecting pool (which was devoid of water due to Southern Cal's dire drought). Shades of ancient Rome, Bacchus, molten light, and the bittersweet changing of the seasons.
Afterward I meandered over a south-facing balcony to catch a glimpse of the Pacific through hillsides of eucalyptus and sycamore. Suddenly I felt a fluttering at my elbow--a flock of uniformed schoolkids wanting a peek at the view as well. "Come," I said, and ceded my place, and looked back to admire them--joyful, pointing, taking pictures--like a row of little birds in their identical blood-red polo shirts.
In the bookstore I bought a postcard of St. Michael the Archangel (Constantinople, first half of the 14th century), whose prayer I have memorized and use frequently to good advantage.
On the way back, I stopped in Santa Monica at a yarn store. Come late September, a girl's thoughts turn to scarves.
From there, I walked over to Staples and bought a 2015 At-A-Glance Tabbed Weekly Calendar.
Then I wandered down to the Huckleberry Cafe and Bakery, braved the hordes of screenwriting hipsters, and purchased a ham and gruyere croissant to go (fair).
Pacific Coast Highway was all ripped up, with orange cones and jackhammers; and traffic on the 10-E proceeded at a horrific crawl the whole ten miles to my exit.
I listened to Horowitz playing Scarlatti and thought about how instructive life in LA can be, if only you let it. Pain built into the joy; hardship built into the hoped-for easeful field trip; squalor built into the beauty; and inexhaustible life tinged, always, with death.
That's the way of the world. Which is why God gave us wine.