Last year I took a class called Flash Memoir, from Osher Life Long Learning in San Francisco. We were taught, by author Diane Frank, how to shine a bright light on a precious moment from our life. I wrote several short passages and one of them was published this month inWorm Wood Press Media.
The piece I submitted was Turn to the Sea and it was paired with a lovely coastal image by an artist I have yet to meet,Wendy Setzer.
You can see read the poem and gaze at Wendy’s art right here.
We explored Copenhagen through collaboration and feel. Donna was in charge of direction and I set the pace. And the pace was, for the most part, No Time: no time constraints, no rush, no firm planning, except here and there.
The Danes and their bikes are part of the landscape as they mend and flow through the city, around corners, all seemingly going at the same pace, all giving way to one another. I have not a single shot of a Dane on a bike, like it intrusive to take a photo. But I did not feel that way in Amsterdam. I don’t know why.
I was fascinated with the details in Copenhagen architecture. Even in the house there were simple window closures, that looked fragile, but were not.
Woodwork from airport floors to the water front, boasted clean, tight lines.
Along Nyhavn we ran into a carpenter who was making a sturdy bench with gentle curving lines, providing a place for people to take a pint, or sit and talk. I thought of my dad and how he built in the same way.
Further along, near Paper Island, wood walkways looked like a fine craftsman had made them. Not the treated lumber we see along the California coast, but tight-grained hardwoods and connections that were made to last.
At the tram station, we’d find angles to take shots. Especially Fredericksberg station. This one was our fav, with the symmetry, the strong horizontal green line. I never got tired of it. I understand there is a new tram being built around the city that has been in planning/construction for the past seven years.
We planned one outing to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. We hooked up with a friend of a friend who lived in town and rode her bike to the train station. She took us a level below the tram where we caught the train to Louisiana, a town named by the original land owner who’d had three wives, all named Louise. The museum looked like a residence when we approached via a ten minute stroll from the train station.
The main exhibit featured a Dutch photographer, Rineke Dijkstra, who’d done a series of large, sometimes life size, portraits. The images were personal in that each maintained eye contact with the photographer, which meant each maintained eye contact with the viewer. It was haunting, like each person said it was ok to see them in all their frailty, uncertainty, or pride. There were longitunal studies showing young people growing into themselves. I had to take a break mid-way through the exhibit to regain my footing. Having that much eye contact with people I did not know demanded attention.
Our last day in Copenhagen we logged 17,000 steps, the most walking we did on the entire trip. I think we were trying to fill ourselves with the energy of the place. Simple, sturdy, steady. We fit in a visit to the Design Museum Denmark where I had the feeling that someone from Denmark had played a role in Apple’s designs.
They created an outdoor garden with many Danish designs you could sit in or play on. Here’s Donna with her new grey boots. Can you imagine walking into a vintage store, buying slightly used shoes, and wearing them all day long?
We wandered into what looked like an old fortress, a short stroll from the museum, and discovered St. Alban’s Anglican Church.
So many things make Copenhagen special to me. The bread, the bikes, getting confused for a local, and the pace. More than anything though, it was having time to wander around with Donna. She’s a perfect travel companion.
A friend of a friend lives in Copenhagen. We invited her to join us for art at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. We met at the Metro, took a 40 min train ride up the coast, a short walk to the museum and spent the next couple of hours engaged with Rineke Dijkstra’s portraiture exhibit which almost demands you attention.
Once inside the Musée d’Orsay time didn’t seem to matter. Until I came face to face with Renoir’s Woman with a parasol.
It took me by surprise. It stopped me in my tracks. I was afraid I was going to lose it, and then I cried. I left the gallery and found a large group of people looking out a round window that turned out to be the face of a giant clock. After a bit of time looking out toward Sacré-Cœur I returned to Renoir and had the same experience. I couldn’t handle this painting for more than a short time.
We visited Paris in 2014. Me for the first time, my wife for a revisit. It was everything I’d hoped for and more. The place is simply a feast for the senses. It seems only fitting to submit these images for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Patterns. There were hundreds. Mostly shot with my iPhone and edited with Snapseed.
Yesterday I read a blog post from Real Surfers. It was the first surfing blog I followed. For one the guy, Erwin Dence, has a great sense of humor, but two, which maybe is actually one, he’s a fantastic artist. The image above is from his web site. There’s more where that came from.
But yesterday wasn’t about Art. It was about waves, or better stated, the absence of waves. He and his buddies got Skunked, though it sounds like maybe there were some bitty waves. At the same time, my backyard, Pacifica, CA, had huge waves. Too big for me. I’m looking forward to our surf waning a bit, which it appears to be doing. Maybe the next swell will hit the northwest where Real Surfers is based.