Tuesday, February 26, 2008

weekend wander - part I

last night I returned home from a lovely long weekend in metro dc. my travel fairy was definitely working overtime. I arrived in dc thursday morning, the day before some nasty weather hit town causing all sorts of travel delays and cancellations. I returned to cleveland hours ahead of the winter storm which was already playing havoc with flights to and from chicago. this morning we woke to several inches of wet, heavy snow and the radio announcing massive school closings and countless traffic accidents on area highways and byways.

it amazes me how much we can pack into days when we're away from our normal day-to-day life. even though I was visiting family in northern virginia, I still managed to hit a few museums and play tourist during the time I was there. I arrived in d.c. thursday morning and jumped on the blue line at national airport to head to the national museum of women and the arts. until may 25th the museum is exhibiting works of paula rego. wow! take it in if you can. louise nevelson's dawn's wedding feast was scheduled to open the next day at the museum, but members were welcomed to preview the exhibit the day I was there. membership does have it's privileges!

well, maybe my travel fairy was taking a coffee break that afternoon. I took the metro to the pentagon to catch the bus out to my folks; I arrived at the bus platform only to find the bus I needed to catch speeding off. it was thirty minutes before the next bus. another woman got there the same time I did and we connected in our shared bad luck. we struck up conversation and the next thirty minutes flew by while we chatted. her story was very interesting, as most people's are. she and her husband immigrated to the united states in the mid 1970s from bolivia. they were looking for a better life in which to raise a family. they both worked (and work) hard and definitely made a better life for their children and themselves. when I hear these stories I feel proud of this country, but then I also feel sad because there are so many forces out there that are trying to keep people like maria and mario out by making it harder and harder to seek refuge and a better life here.

friday was an icy and cold day. I spent the day pleasantly with my parents. we were busy all day working on various projects. it was a most pleasant day - I come from stock that finds a great deal of satisfaction in being productive. am sure I grew up with a few cross stitched samplers extolling the sentiment of 'hands to work, hearts to god.'

compared to friday, saturday's weather was fine - it was grey and cold - but nothing I wasn't used to living on the north coast. the day's scheduled highlight was lunch with a couple friends I've never met, reya and barbara, buds from the blogosphere. I walked into the restaurant and instantly recognized reya even though I've never laid eyes on her before. it wasn't long before barbara joined us. the next couple hours flew by as we got to know each other on terra firma. although I just met these two women, it felt that I was meeting old friends. after lunch we all took off on our respective ways. I spent the next couple hours wandering around some of my favorite haunts - as I walked down the hill toward the washington mall, I needed to make a quick wc stop so entered the botanical garden. I stumbled onto two treasures (well okay, there are always treasures at the botanical gardens) - a new permanent exhibit called plants in culture and a exhibit of quilts with botanical themes. after the botanical garden I circumnavigated the grounds of the national museum of the american indian. the group of sculptures called 'always becoming' has been erected on the grounds since my last visit. these amazing sculptures challenge western notions of art and the western world's value of 'permanence.' these beautiful works are intended to erode over time, in doing so they are in harmony with the natural world and in doing so provides an important reminder that all is transitory.

with these thoughts in my head, it was a bit synchronistic that one of my next stops was at the national gallery of art where I took in the exhibit "impressed by light" a collection of photographs taken between 1840 and 1860 by british photographers. it was transcendent to stand before these images and contemplate that what I was looking at captured some moment and place a hundred and fifty years ago. perhaps lady eastlake said it best in 1857:
"Every form which is traced by light is the impress of one moment, or one hour, or one age in the great passage of time."

with this said here are a few passing images from saturday's wander:


zquilts said...

You are SO making me want to go and soak p some of DC's remarkable cultural opportunities ! It's been so many years since I have had that opportunity ! Thanks for sharing such a reat post and glorious photos ! Oh - and welcome home Toto!

Steve said...

Those "Always Becoming" sculptures sound so interesting! I love D.C. I always have such a great time there. (Reya's presence helps!)

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

here I am, sitting in small-town France, walking around Washington thanks to your post. Thanks so much for this. Really.

jenclair said...

What a great slide show! And the links, too! Loved watching your stroll and seeing a bit of DC as well as the peeks into the museum and the exhibits! I've got several links "clicked" and ready to examine--thanks, Kim.

Reya Mellicker said...

So cool seeing my neighborhood through your eyes. Very cool! Love the groovy day shot!!

It was wonderful to meet you. I hope that next time I'm in a better state - I was consumed by my thoughts about my sister.

Barbara said...

Great pictures of our fair city! Port City Java will always remind me of the cold Saturday in the Fall when I attempted to join the Eastern Market crafters. There was no bathroom for those of us exhibiting our wares, so I had to make repeated trips to PCJ for coffee and a bathroom.

It was really good to see you in real life!

kimy said...

z - if you plan a trip, let me know and I'll come down! it is a great
place to visit (tho' I can't see ever living there again - too hot in the summer!)

steve - hope you can check out the sculptures. was really wonderful meeting reya - were your ears burning saturday? we did talk about her meeting you - which she loved!

lee & jenclair- you are MOST welcome! glad you enjoyed the virtual walkabout.

reya - I love it when I experience a familiar, or even not familiar, but the same location, through another photographer's eyes. probably why I always enjoy going on a photo wander with another shutterbug! and I always learn some new photo trick to boot! glad to read on the puppy you are feeling better.

barbara - ditto - loved meeting you! I will keep pcj in mind next time - I find it very useful to know where the 'friendly' public facilities are! aside from the books, another reason I'm quite fond of public libraries! I can attest that the public library across from the eastern market metro stop has a nice clean wc and doesn't even require a key from the desk!

keep me posted on how it goes with your quilting project! if you ever need inspiration I have a few links that serve me well in that department on my blogroll - and those links have links, and so on and so forth. geez, the next thing you know you'll be so busy reading blogs there will be no time to quilt or for real life (no seriously, I was just picking up on our discussion saturday here)

WAT said...

HA! The possible bloggers, the ducks, the people with relationship issues on their cells, and more makes this slideshow of DC most entertaining!