Distance: 4.3 miles, small yoga
Right by the Blue tree is this small rock garden some little person (Ciwt thinks it's a girl) is creating one by one..
Distance: 4 miles, small yoga (with no twists)
The magnet is that blue color. There are just so few blue flowers and shrubs she encounters - which she thought might be unique to Northern California. But it turns out there are very few blue flowers or shrubs anywhere in the world. According to biological scientists it's a color that is 'infrequent in nature' with less that 10 percent of all species of flowering plants producing blue flowers.
Why? Ciwt wondered. Again a biologist was there to answer: There is no true blue pigment in plants, so plants don't have a direct way of making a blue color. In order to do so a few species of flowering plants and trees have 'figured out' (Ciwt's non-tech term) how to go through complicated alterations, and one of these is Ciwt's spectacular tree, the Ceanothus Pacific Blue, which should be capturing her heart for another month or so.
Walk: No, Sunday rest and finishing documentary stream
For Ciwt four of the six hours or two of the three episodes of PBS's Hemingway documentary were unnecessary downers. By the end of Episode One - which she definitely recomments - we know where Hemingway got his writing style, that he came home from his hellish WW I experiences physically and mentally broken and began both his macho posturing and alcoholic drinking. We know about his years in Paris, his behavior patterns with his serial wives, his lying and that he was already the most famous and best writer of the early and perhaps mid-twentieth century. He had 'rearranged the furniture of writing' as the great writer himself, Tobias Wolff, put it. We know he had had three serious concussions, couldn't be alone,was a daily drunk, was narcissistc and obsessed with death, was brutal and unreliable in and out of marriage - and was internationally famous.
Learning all that with old clips of the people and places of his childhood and handsome young adulthood along with those of Paris in the Twenties is stimulating, fascinating, visually alive. But by Episode Two, Hemingway is in his thirties and the effects of his mental and physical illnesses - including alcoholism - have gained on him and keep growing. And from then on we learn nothing new really. It's Hemingway being brutal here and challenging someone to a boxing match there, and roughing up his wives, and going to bullfights and aimlessly, drunkenly carousing, savaging his friends and people who had helped him in print. Getting more concussions, killing animals and deep sea fish. A huge macho display captured around the world in magazines and news reels. And producing mostly great literature.
By Episode Three, there he is again but worse, just a shell. Now the abuse is physical with the wives, the looks and health are gone, the writing is a grind some of it not so good, one of it - The Old Man and the Sea - outstanding. But what are we viewers gaining from watching this empty, highly publicized, predictable tragedy? It's just terribly sad, depressing, the man is very very sick and has been for decades. Do we need hours of seeing the destruction play out?
Walk: 1. Fillmore for lunch with friend (imagine that) 2. Hood errands 3. Hood
Distance: 1. 2 miles 2. 4.5 miles 3. 3.5 miles, random stretches and slight yoga poses daily
So, the 1920's, 30's, 40's and Paris are alive and well in Ciwt's cultural considerations. The Calder-Picasso Show at our de Young Museum has now been joined by Ken Burns' PBS documentary on Hemingway. And Ciwt is busy taking that in. Stay tuned for her thoughts, but for now who knew Hemingway was a cat person? Not Ciwt.
He's in good company 🐈
Walk: 1. Hood 2. Union Square Chiropractor
Distance: 1. 4 miles 2. 1.5 miles
So, the verdict on Ciwt's back pain is in: iliolumbar ligament tear requring at least a month of detoxing from pickleball. And of the many interesting things she has been doing with her excess energy (like filling out and paying her taxes), Ciwt renewed her passport. And that meant renewing her passport photo.
Ten years ago when Ciwt was way too limber for any back tear, she was allowed to smile and look likeable for her photo. But now, when she is ten years older, no smiling allowed according the nice young Walgreens counter worker/photographer. Oh dear, whoever has to look at it might be in for a fright. Then again, maybe that will be nobody, because she only used her old one for one trip to Paris in ten years.
But! She has been watching Rick Steves before Jeopardy every evening during this covid year, so she considers herself quite the international woman at this point.
Distance: 4 miles, a little stretching (which hopefully will help - unlike yesterday's stretches 😢)
|Across the Street from their house|
Ciwt walked over their way this Easter, and yes! No matter what the holiday, these San Francisco fellow travelers provide a two-part festive celebration for the delight of all passersby. Happy Easter.
Walk: No, couldn't figure out what to do today
Distance: n/a, yoga
|Peter Carl Faberge (supervisor), Imperial Coronation Egg, 1897, to commemoriate Tsarina, Empress Alex Fyodorovna|
Walk: Short Hood
Distance: 2 miles, yoga stretches for back
|Nicolas de Stael (French, born in Russia, 1914-55), Sicily (View of Agrigento), 1954, o/c|
Walk: Hood for exercise
Distance: 3 (aching back) miles, yoga here and there
|Berthe Morisot, Lady at her Toilette, 1875, 23 3/4 x 31 5/8", oil on canvas|
Walk: Brief Sunday Hood
Distance: 2 miles
|de Young Museum, partial facade, March 2021|
|de Young Museum, 2021|
Walk: 1. de Young Museum (Calder-Picasso with friends/actual people interaction) 2. Presidio Pickleball, Hood
Distance; 1. 7.2 miles 2. 4.5 miles, a few games of pickle
And pretty soon the cherry trees around D.C.'s Tidal Basin will be in full bloom. Three days ago the National Park Service reported the Yoshino cherry trees had entered phase four (out of six) of their blooming cyle. So maybe even today. You can't count on that, but you can count on the fact that there is enormous excitement around the NPS team.
And all over D.C. the annual Cherry Blossom Festival will soon begin. The first Festival was in 1913 to commemorate the one year anniversary of Japan's gift of more than 3,000 trees to the United States. Now, to honor the offering of good will and the renewal of spring the Festival continues when the trees bloom each spring.
Similar to D.C. Japan has a yearly flower-viewing celebration, hanami, a tradition that is over a thousand years old. There cherry blossoms are especially meaningful. Their short, but brilliant blooming season symbolizes the fragility and the beauty of life. Additionally, cherry blossoms have long held an association with Japanese nationalism. A single fallen blossom symbolizes the brave sacrificial act of a fallen samurai warrior.
In either country this short time of feasts, games, celebrations, commemorations and comings together is breathtakingly gorgeous.
|Sakura Tunnel, Tokyo, Japan|
Walk: Routine Bone Scan (annals of aging)
Distance: 5 miles
So, Ciwt was sooo busy (ha!) she forgot to publish her CIWT Day 9/333 about an art collector extraordinaire.. It's there now and she thinks she remembers basing the following post on it in case you were confused by Ciwt's confusion.
Walk: Presido Pickleball
Distance: 2.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle, Yoga
|Henri Matisse, La Dance, 1910, oil on canvas, 8'6" x 12' 10"|
|Dimitry Meinikov, Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin (1854-1936), 1915|
Walk: Joe's and Presidio Pickleball (yes)
Distance: 4.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle, general stretching
In just a matter of a few years, from this:
|Henri Matisse, Still Life with Blue Tablecloth 1909 oil on canvas, 34-5/8 x 46-1/2 inches The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg |
Walk: No, Rainy Day😊 (we need it)
Distance: n/a, yoga
|Pablo Picasso 1-4* (partial views)|
So, CIWT readers might remember that Ciwt happens to be taking a sort of symposium on Picasso at the same time a Calder-Picasso show is on exhibit at our de Young Museum. If they have exceptional memories they might remember that Ciwt's first modern art love was Picasso about whose Guernica she did her senior thesis. 5* It has been nice to be remnded of what her initial excitement was all about.
Art historians, museums and art books usually break his numerous painting styles into periods: Boy Genius realist, Blue Period, Rose Period, African Period, Cubist, Neo-classical, Surrealist to most. This gives the impression that in each period Picasso concentrated on a certain style, stopped that style and then went on to another. You might not be attracted to any of them, but the immense variety of styles he mastered, many totally invented by him, is in itself a wonder and a reason he is regarded as a genius. Beyond that is the remarkable fact that in a single year he might produce a masterpiece in one style one day and in another style the next (or on the same day). And some of those might be sculptures, or prints in a variety of techniques, stage design, ceramics, even poetry and writing.
Such was his near endless talent and prolific artistic virtuosity. Unique virtuosity. Throughout an artist's lifetime, changes in approach, subject matter and style are to be expected. But the extent to which Picasso's style changed in each discipline, particularly painting stands alone among the history of artists.
* 1. The Alter Boy, 1896
2. The Old Guitarist, ca. 1903-1904
3. Girl with a Mandolin, 1910
4. Untitled (from Musee Picasso, Paris), ca. 1927
5. Guernica, 1937
Walk: No (again!)
Distance: n/a, Yoga
"Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to release it"
"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set it free."
~ Michelangelo (Italian, 1475-1564)
Leaving the 1900's of Calder and Picasso, both of whom are celebrated for their sculptures, Ciwt's thoughts move to arguably (if anybody actually would) the greatest sculptor who ever lived: Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, best known simply as Michelangelo. And to a few things Ciwt learned about him recently.
First, biographically, she didn't know that he grew up, after the death of his mother, with his nanny and her husband who was a stone cutter. Or that Michelangelo's father owned a marble quarry so that the young boy spent a great deal of time watching stone being quarried and carved as well as acquiring hands-on experience with the stone at an early age. He also sought out the company of significant artists and worked in his early teens as an apprentice to one of the master painters who had been hired by the Vatican to decorate the walls of the Sistine Chapel.
Second, in terms of his technique. Like many people Ciwt is familiar with the two famous quotes from Michelangelo above. Because of them she has carried an image of the sculptor standing in front of a block of marble and artfully chipping away until he began to sense a presence inside. And then gradually, carefully, laborously continuing until, OMG, David! Or, secondarily, that Michelangelo looked at a block of marble, sensed what figure was in it, and carved away "until he set it free." In both cases, the figure inside would have been a revelation to Michelangelo.
Turns out, yes, Michelangelo saw sculpture as the art of taking away to bring the form below into existance. But, no, the look of the form was not a surprise to him. Even before and certainly in the multi year process of actually carving he produced detailed sketches - over 900 of them remain. The drawings are imbued with technical skill but, beyond that, with his own spiritual passion and desire to work with the marble to bring the soul of his subject to life.
No higher goals for himself can be imagined, and the wonder is that he actually achieved them - at an early age. During his twenties! he produced two of the world's greatest sculptural masterpieces, Pieta and David. At the time the life and emotion he had brought to the grieving mother and the depiction of the human form he achieved with David were beyond ground breaking, beyond a revelation. Nearly 450 years after his death in 1564 his work is as wondrous as it was at the time, remains ground breaking and is still the gold standard sculptors aim for.
|Micheangelo, Pieta, 1498-99, Carrara marble|
and then the very next year he began David
|Michelangelo, David, 1501-1504, Marble|
Walk: 1. Hood 2. No
Distance: 1. 3.5 miles, Yoga 2. n/aJan Philip van Thielen (Dutch), Tulips, Yellow and Pink Roses in a Glass, 17th c., oil on canvas