Monday, September 17, 2018

Details, Bloody Details --- Days 7/190 and 191

Walk: Hood and Presidio
Distanve: 2.5 and Yoga; 4.6 and yoga

Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Beata Beatrix, 1871/72, Oil on Canvas

So, if there is one thing Ciwt doesn't resonate with, it's details.  And that's why she's been so bogged down preparing for her tour of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood artists.  Just the name of the group drives her a bit up the wall because they actually venerated the very Raphael the name suggests they rejected as well as many artists who followed him or were Post-Raphael.

(Are you still with Ciwt?  She totally understands if you've dropped away).

The PRB, on the other hand, was obsessed with details.  Take the painting above.  Here are a few details: 1. The artist's first name wasn't actually Dante, but he preferred it to his given name because he revered the poet Dante.  2. The painting is based on Dante's unrequited love of Beatrice, a woman he also turned into one of the main characters of  many of his works from the middle ages, including  The Divine Comedy,  The Inferno, Vita Nuova, and a book of poems based on his love for her.  3. She died and Dante wrote that they would be reuinted in heaven.  4. Well, actually this a painting of Rosetti's 'love' Lizzie at the moment of her passing (probably by suicide).  5. He treated her abominably even though he suggests they were madly in love and will meet in heaven.. 6. This is just the beginning of the convolutions involved in the painting not to mention all the technical details about how it is painted.

Has Ciwt ever read Dante? No.  Does she know the story of Beatrice? No. Does she know the names of Rosetti's miriad girlfriends besides Lizzie, most of whom have their portraits by him in the show? No again.  His paintings - and those of the whole, damn PRB, are based on Arthurian legends, Biblical stories, Tennyson poems, Shakespeard plays and a multitude of red-headed models Ciwt knows and cares nothing about. 

The key detail Ciwt does care about and can easily retain is that her tour will be over day after tomorrow by noon.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Simply a Crime Comedy --- Day 7/189

Walk: Kabuki Theater (A Simple Favor)
Distance: 3 miles

Simply a fun getaway.  If you're looking for one of those, Ciwt says Go.  

Friday, September 14, 2018

Women, Women, Women --- Days 7/186,7,8

Walk: Legion of Honor and PGCC
Distance: Not much of a total

 John Rodham Spencer Stanhope (British, 1829-1908), Robins of Modern Times, ca 1860, o/c

 William Holman Hunt (British, 1827-1910), Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1867, o/c

Dante Gabriel Rosetti (British 1828-1882), Beata Beatrix, 1871/1872

 Sandro Botticelli (Italian, 1444-1510), Simonetta Vespucci as Nymph, ca. 1475, tempera on panel

Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Proserpine, 1878, watercolor on paper mounted on wood panel


Careful what you wish for.  Ciwt set out to have a private art tour business and one of her clients has put in a last minute request for a tour of the Truth and Beauty show at the Legion here in San Francisco.  So she's been making daily pilgramages to that museum, looking at the richly colored paintings of the Pre Raphelite Brotherhood and their muses, waiting/hoping to get inspired so she can give a scintillating tour.   Stay tuned....

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Blame It on the Balminess --- Da7 7/185

Walk: Hood
Distance: Just a Mile, Too lovely to do anything except just enjoy the gorgeous day

Where are those ideas for CIWT Ciwt had earlier today?
Guess the good weather stole them. If she lived in the warm
weather South, Ciwt thinks she would be a complete sloth.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Old Enough Now --- Day 7/184

Walk: Presidio, Walgreen's (for those of you who do flu shots, it is that time)
Distance: 4 miles

Fall closet time, and this jacket has made it through at least thirty Ciwt fall capers. The tweed fabric and tailoring were just too excellent to let go. But, even when she retooled it to make it more 'Nehruy' Ciwt didn't wear it.  Her reason:  tweed was just too twee, too aging, too old fashioned period.  Well, no need for concern any more. She's finally of an age to enjoy wearing the great fall jacket that, like her needlepoint Nutcracker, has been hanging around waiting for her. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Backish --- Day 7/182

Walk: Alta Plaza Park Clean Up Day, then Day of Rest
Distance: A few blocks

When Ciwt got injured a year ago she was in a cast that wouldn't allow her to climb stairs.  Since she has a multitude of stairs that meant she needed to spend the first three months while she was in the cast alone in her home.  People were great and helpful, but they weren't around much and neither was Ciwt's cat who mercifully had died just befor Ciwt's accident.  After the cast came off there was intense PT for another two months followed by gradually getting her walking chops back in regular sync. - which took and still takes some concentration.

In a few days the whole healing/recovery 'thing' will have lasted a year. This she learned in increments from her surgeon is the earliest Ciwt's injury is considered truly healed.  Ie, if she were a professional athlete, it would be about now her coach would start thinking about putting her back in the game.

Why is Ciwt writing this; why is it on her mind?  Because she's noticed she's sort of out of practice being with people. She's lived alone for a long time so never considered whether the isolation of the healing would have any effect. But now she notices there's sort of a mental scrim between herself and others; words don't come as easily and there's a weird sensitivity to interactions - whether people like her, how and whether to fit in, that kind of thing -  she doesn't remember from before.  

It's been odd. But, finally in the last few days she's realized all her isolation and individual focus on healing has had its effects.  Among other things it's made Ciwt a dull girl or at least at bit off balance about socializing. She's going to have to work at getting back to people which shouldn't be too hard because, rusty as they may be, she does have people skills.   Whew, and stand back world!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Craftsman Delight --- Day 7/181

Walk: Hood
Distance: 5 Miles, Small Yoga

As you can imagine, walking around scenic San Francisco is an ongoing visual delight.  So often Ciwt finally actually sees buildings or sights she has walked past for years.  Such was the case with this tastefully done craftsman/Victorian house.  So often when people use gold on their homes, the color jumps out at the viewer and comes across as garish.  But the owners here have found a way to use thick layers of gold and bronze paint in a way that is so restfully stately and elegant it gives off quiet vibes that stopped Ciwt in admiration.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Ist CIWT Reporting Award --- Day 7/180

Walk: Marin Driving Day
Distance: A Few Blocks, Yoga

Ciwt doesn't want CIWT to be political, but she does want it to acknowledge good writing when she sees it.  And recently she has seen it twice in the Washington Post.  Each of the following articles simply and comprehensibly lays out what is without bombast or any attempt to stir controversy.

In the first article, the Post's Art and Architecture critic, Steve Kennicott, finally exposes the elephant that has been in the art world living room for over a decade.  Ie, the 'perfect storm' of 1. tax law changes that favor private museums and therefore have directed needed philantrophy away from museums; 2. the resulting financial plight of established museums and their pressure to attract blockbuster crowds; 3. the enormous population growth and 4. the availability of media of all sorts that can reach those crowds.

In the second article, Scott Wilson creates a true picture of how our 'homelessness' situation is playing out in San Francisco.  "Homeless," at least to Ciwt, vaguely suggests a group of people who are ready, willing and able to have a nice home if only they could just find one.  No, for the most if not total part, our homeless are people who are mentally ill, drug addicted, in need of drastic care. And those are the sympathetic ones. They can also be unsanitary, thuggish, criminal and righfully scary.  In all her years living in New York, Washington, DC and San Francisco Ciwt has never been afraid of walking around her city.  Partly that was because she (and everyone) could identify the dangerous neighborhoods - like the old Upper Central Park at night- and avoid them.  But now things have changed and she knows fear.  Old safe blocks have become encampments, and she can even lead you to some places homeless are making their homes in the Presidio.

Anyway, read if you wish, and Kudos to the Washington Post writers for some excellent reporting.

Here are the links again:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What Did YOU Have for Breakfast Today? --- Day 7/179

Walk: Hood
Distance: 2 Miles, Yoga

California Breakfast: Peaches, Blueberries, Shredded Wheat, One Fig and Yoghurt

Non-foodie Ciwt posting a food pic?!  She looked at her breakfast this morning and thought "After 6+ years, Why Not?"  Also, Yum.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Preoccupied --- Day 7/178

Walk: Hood
Distance: 5.2 miles, small yoga

Supreme Court of the United States*
Ciwt is preoccupied with Senate hearings. She doesn't want CIWT to be political, but she used to live in DC, work on the Hill, walk by the Supreme Court Building nearly daily and, like multitudes of others,  really cares about that institution.

*A few facts about the building:
-The basketball court on he fifth floor is referred to amongst the Justices as the Highest Court in the Land.
-Construction was completed in 1935. Before that the Justices met in less auspicious locations, including 135 years in 
the basement of the Capitol Building.
-The architect, Cass Gilbert, was the same man who designed the Woolworth Building in New York City.
-In 2002 a wild fox entered the building and eluded capture for over 24 hours.

Monday, September 3, 2018

In Which Ciwt Takes Her Wonders As They Come --- Day7/177

Walk: Hood
Distance: 3 miles, wrestle with wardrobe, Yoga

Minor Labor Day Miracle on Ciwt's Block: Five Parking Spaces

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Most Resistant Color --- Day 7/176

Walk: AMC Kabuki (Searching)
Distance: 2 miles, Yoga


September already and Ciwt's Fall closet caper has begun in earnest.  Great progress until...she reached the Blacks. As every City woman knows, Black has a resistance all its own.  Every piece, no matter how many and how old, insists "You need me!"  Since the blacks make up an Ciwt entire closet, she decided to conquer by dividing them into little sections. Then, after trying and trying to cull, she cried "Uncle," and slunk off to see the movie Searching.  Mercifully it was intriguing and well acted enough to get her mind off the know .

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Dark Dressmaker --- Day 7/175

Walk: Embarcadero Cinema (McQueen)
Distance: 3 miles, Small Yoga

Here's Ciwt's movie ticket to McQueen on top of one of her scarves. After seeing the footage of  Alexander (Lee) McQueen in spontaneous action she is convinced that he could take a look at these two objects, pin them to a mannequin and create a garment that would shock Ciwt's sensibilities and stun her with its raw beauty. He did things like that again and again.  If he didn't have any money (which he didn't for years), no matter; he grabbed the things and people around him with the same creative genius he applied to his garments and, essentially from air, produced fashion like no one had ever seen.  Fashion so compelling it took the haughty and resistant haute couture world by storm.

She watched McQueen in action on film for nearly two hours, saw and heard the the movie's presentation of his life and too short career and still has no true understanding of McQueen or his genius.  That's the thing about genius; you can film it in action, write, paint or dance about it, but, no matter what net you choose, you can't capture that elusive, unique spark. There's a certain sadness in this for Ciwt. Sadness that true understanding of the genius is not to be had, but more that the person propelled by genius likely doesn't understand it either.  It appears to be deep and insistent within them but not reliably of them.