Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lagniappe Night

What could be a better evening? To spend a few hours at the Hosmer-Morse Museum, wandering the galleries, soaking up the new "Quest for Beauty" exhibit! The new exhibit, a retrospective of Tiffany’s life and art, from his earliest works as a teenage pencil artist to his death as world renown interior designer and glass artist, with stops at his oils, watercolors, architecture and decorative arts studio, is stunning.

There is a jazz quartet playing in the next gallery, which helps to complete the fulfillment of the senses. The eyes, pleased by intricacy, color, texture. The sense of smell and taste having been earlier indulged by the consumption of a glass of Banfi Rosa Regale, all that is left deprived is the sense of touch. The night is young.

Walking down the proverbial garden path to the back pavilion, a young woman demonstrates how stained glass is constructed. She goes over the pattern making techniques, how glass is selected, marked, scored and snapped. The pliers, grinders, soldering iron, copper sheathing, all the tools peculiar to this particular craft are displayed and explained. A discussion of the different kinds of glass suitable, commercial grade, art, custom, the repetitive patterns, unique splotches, textures available, ensues. I am reminded of my days wandering the marble "graveyard", examining scraps of marble and granite, looking for the piece that would complete my kitchen, give me a cool surface to roll pastry dough, to use as a desk, a counter.

The slab I chose, a reddish-brown speckled piece has a black meteor arcing from the middle to the end. I carefully layout the exact cuts to be made, wanting that meteor to end at the upper right corner of my work surface. The pieces that are cut off I have recut to top the nightstands in my bedroom, protecting the surface of the wood and adding more visual, textural fullness to the room.

Granite is cold.

The woman holds up a piece of art glass, having cut it to get the color striations exactly where she wants them. She wraps it in copper, uses the soldering iron to melt it to the glass. I am starving, being fed crumbs. I want to do this, learn this, hold a soldering iron, join the pieces feel the heat of the blowtorch through the protective body gear, sculpt it, pour molten glass...

I want. I am consumed with desire, with wanting, with a wanting that is on such a different level than the wanting of the body. My being, my ish, wants this, needs to do this. As much as I need to write, cannot live any longer without writing, it wants. I take a deep breath, slow myself. Patience, the time will come when my hands will do this. My hands will be scarred, cut, burned. Happy. The work of my hands pleases me. I will find a way, a time, for this too. My hands will sublimate for now. They understand. They understand patience so much more than I do, that whatever will happen, will happen in god’s time scale, not mine. And I breathe.

The chapel, the various windows with their deep colors, the carnival glass vases, ripples insets, cracks feed me. I am overwhelmed with beauty, dizzy. There is a window with one piece that strikes me. A deep purple on one side, the back an opalescent lavender striped with pinks. When this was in a home, did the owner stand there, walk inside, outside, feeling this?

How can I leave this place? Why do I deprive myself? I could come here every month, every other month, and I restrict myself to once a year. Why? Was I waiting for an invitation, for someone to accompany me? For surely the enjoyment of beauty is enhanced when it is shared, another’s perspective, knowledge, parallels are always welcome. Yes, it is. And yes, I was. I’ll admit it. While I enjoy museum and gallery hopping by myself, do it often, there are places I want to share, share with someone I care about. Lacking someone to share this with, I deprive myself. I do not want to do this alone. I would rather abstain in toto than indulge and be only partly filled. Now, tonight, having someone here, someone who appreciates, makes the experience better. It does.

And there is more.

My friends have often heard me complain that I "never go to the movies", that the only movies I see are kids movies, Enchanted, Ratatouille, Happy Feet. We leave the museum, drive to the mall to see the new Denzel Washington flick. Handsome actor, New York setting for me, lots of action and a true story for him, and a really good movie to boot! I enjoy the whole concept of heroin dealers as big business, a multilevel corporation with all the attendant benefits and drawbacks. Denzel Washington as the CEO of Blue Magic, wearing a Brooks Brother suit and Burberry raincoat, as opposed to the cliche half-assed pimp dealer, is perfection.

To sit in an adult movie with another adult? Mirabile dictu! It’s as if I’m in a foreign land. And to be with someone who does not maintain a running commentary of asides, questions, interpretations, parallels? It’s peaceful, relaxing. This was an unrestrained pleasure. Mindless, light, yet I was able to actually appreciate the experience without being keyed to respond to "what about, but if, and then, oh yes, do you?" every few minutes. I had the freedom to get into the movie.

[sigh] A very good evening indeed.

And better.


Across from the movie is Schakolad. Chocolate covered pretzels, truffles, molded lollipops, dipped fruit! The smell, oh god, the heady aroma of chocolate liqueur fills me as the tang of bittersweet chocolate fills my mouth.

I stand there, eyes closed, feeling the truffle melt, my tongue rubbing the ganache filling against my upper palate, back and forth, licking my teeth.

I am drunk with pleasure.

I take another bite, cool mint slams my nose, tingles, itches. It is so rich, so high in fat content, there is no room for the hard chocolate shell until I swallow. The thick liquid coats my esophagus, warms my stomach when it hits. I am transported, standing there, eyes still closed, so still, frozen in time.

There are many wonders in the night.


Independent Accountant said...

It sounds like you had a good night. Enjoy. There's precious little enough we enjoy.

winged unicorn said...

thank you big brother. was a very goodnight indeed