Monday, February 29, 2016

The Best of February

Frolicking birds lined up at the three baths (the St. Francis from Mission San Juan Bautista, my Zen stone from Berkeley, the tall art deco bath from who knows where).  One handsome Steller's Jay and Rufous-sided Towhee waiting a turn among the flighty finches and others.

All the blossoming trees.  Pink now on stage like a whole troupe of pink-tutued ballerinas, as well as the earlier white.  The apricot orchard at the library in bloom.

Hot cross buns.  Early, it seems.

Getting to hear Maria Joao Pires playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto #3, exquisitely.

Our favorite Indian-spiced lamb burgers at Arlequin, sitting at a sidewalk cafĂ© table like somewhere in Paris.  Getting a glass of cold Gruner Veltliner from the wine bar to accompany the lamb.

An extra day, which I'll use to go eat Jamaican sole and work on my last mystery pages, in my spring-cleaned patio, though my writing mind seems as rusty as can be.

The fabulous Pierre Bonnard exhibit at the Legion of Honor, come to us from the Musee d'Orsay by way of Madrid.  Getting to bathe in those colors, radiant and transformative, which always remind me of the passage in Remarque's Heaven Has No Favorites, the description of the effect the stained glass windows at La Sainte Chapelle have on the slowly dying but intensely alive woman who's come down to the life and light from the safe sterility of the sanatorium:
It was almost noon, and the room, with its high stained-glass windows, was flooded with light, as if it were a transparent tower of radiance.  It seemed to be nothing but windows, full of Madonna blues and glowing reds and yellows and greens.  So powerful was the torrent of colors, she could feel the hues on her skin, as if she were taking a bath in colored light. . . . It was a cataract of light, a weightless ecstasy, a falling and suspension at the same time; she felt she was breathing light; it was as though the blues and reds and yellows were coursing through her lungs and blood, as though the dividing line through skin and consciousness had been abolished and the light were penetrating her as she had seen it in X-ray photographs, except that the X-rays went as deep as the skeleton, whereas these seemed to irradiate the mysterious force that made the heart beat and the blood pulse.  It was life itself, and while she sat there, tranquil, without stirring, letting the light rain down upon her and into her, she belonged to it and was one with it.  She was not isolated and solitary.  Rather, the light received her and sheltered her, and she had the mystic feeling that she could never die as long as it held her so, and that something in her would never die—that part which belonged to this magical light.  It was a great consolation, and she pledged herself never to forget it.  Her life, those days that still remained to her, she felt, must be like this, a beehive filled with the ethereal honey of radiance:  light without shadow, life without regret, combustion without ashes— 

No comments:

Post a Comment