I had a nice relaxing birthday…so why am I depressed? Read on.
What is a Birthday without discovery? Just to go out and party or get drunk seems to be a waste of a day to me. What do you learn from that, what do you take with you into your next year of life? A glass of alcohol only works for inspiration with the greatest writers and then that’s all you would be doing is drinking…every day…all the time. Imagine how many novels you could get through in the haze of a drunken year. Me none, as hangovers absolutely take the life out of me. So instead I seek to discover new things, in hopes to discover something new about myself, even if it’s simply that I greatly dislike something new.
The first stop was LACMA at about 11:00a.m. Before stepping into all of the typical galleries of paintings and pottery we happened upon an exhibit by someone I had never heard of, DAN FLAVIN. Flavin was an artist that created a lot of his work in the 50s, 60s and 70s, but he didn’t work with brushes or clay, he worked with fluorescent lights of various colors. I would consider his work strictly modern, and at first the idea was almost laughable to my friend and I, especially with some of his simpler formations. Oh, how clever that he took a white fluorescent light and put it at an angle against a wall! But as you walked through the exhibit, they became more visually complex and quite beautiful to look at. Long hallways were placed here and there and halfway down the hall was a wall made of green fluorescents facing the person and facing away yellow fluorescents. Another room had some blood red lights positioned creatively in the corner. It’s really hard to describe something simple without making it seem silly. We walked down a long hall of blue fluorescents that were placed along the walls and ceiling in opposing formations and I became dizzy. From the side of the hall with the yellows halfway down, we finally saw the true brilliance of the way it was all set up. The pink on the other side dissolved against the far white wall into an almost purple, then two of the previous rooms in the distance were segmented by colors, blue and green. I almost started drooling. One of the rooms had a long wall of green squares that came to about waist height and cut you off from the other half of the long room. It was quite resplendent (I’ve been wanting to use that word for a long time.)
After that we wandered around for awhile – the Japanese museum, the medieval area, in which we were forced to take a tour by an older lady who didn’t want to have to come all the way down there for nothing, and found out some very interesting things about three of the pieces. The color blue represents something of a divine nature in religious sculptures from the medieval era – had no idea. Some beautiful work. It was nice to finally use the membership I bought a half year ago.
We then went to lunch at The Pig n Whistle in Hollywood; my first time there. The structure itself was interesting, high ceiling made of wood, the walls of stone, but with the 80’s music playing, it felt kind of anachronistic…it didn’t feel right, I didn’t feel the presence of the writers of the past that came to jot down notes on some of the most famous plays and movies of all time. The waiters were a little snobby. Then came the nachos! What splendid nachos. I will return a second time and hopefully the evening environment will be more to my liking as the nachos were.
I saw La Vie en Rose, but I will not talk about it here, instead I’ll deal with it in my next post, where it deserves a write up of it’s own. Only that during some of the movie I felt the absence of a friend, which I’ll return to.
Finally I ended up at The Cat and the Fiddle for free jazz and a nice omelet dinner. I love jazz music, even the bothersome swarm of gnats by the fountain seemed to dance to the music as it played. The saxophonist was wearing a bright blue Venom (spider-man) button up with Japanese characters on the back. I sat for a long time by myself, thinking that I would wrap the day up alone, but some friends came and they brought more friends and there was a nice little group of us, including nearing the dn the very good friend I began the day with, shared the Flavin light show with, the nachos with, and the final hug of the evening with. And I think that’s what I learned the most yesterday, is the true strength of a person in my life. With everything that she’s going through (which is a lot) she still had the fortitude to stay up the night before and bake me the largest cake I think I’ve ever seen and then to put her own issues aside for a day and spend it wandering around the city with me. If I could have half the strength she has, half the commitment to people that she showed to me, I think I would be the kind of person I want to be. No, she’s far from perfect, but I realized how much she truly meant to me and perhaps how much I meant to her. And I began my day today depressed because of this feeling, that yesterday could never be repeated, a chance perhaps never taken. I pray, truly pray (which I don’t do as often as I would like or used to) that there will be a chance for more of these days to discover with her. I’m afraid there may not be, I don’t know if I can be as much help as I want to be. A cake won’t solve this.
And why do I share? There’s a story brewing, one that begins and ends with the same person I spent my day with. Inspiration, the greatest kinds of inspiration, are not found in stories or movies, but in the passion of the people I know. Sometimes patience is required to see beyond the first impressions or the flaws of someone, but I’ve found when I do I discover and experience more great things than I could have if I ran away at the first signs of trouble…things heal sometimes, though I guess sometimes they don’t. I’ve had enough in the past that didn’t heal, maybe now I’m calus and those same things don’t bother me anymore — or would that be understanding. I guess I’m lucky enough that they did heal this time.