Monday, August 29, 2011
It's been a while. Some of you have been around for years and I'd like to thank you for being here, reading, and commenting when the mood suits you. Writing is a fairly solitary endeavor and I enjoy this space, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one. I appreciate your being around for the good stuff and for your patience with my experiments. Much has changed since the summer of 2008, but I believe the important parts remain the same.
This is one of those things I usually do not do, but after some thought I decided it would be a good exercise to go back through the years and see what I've written here. I've thought a lot about the various types of posts I've written. Some make me proud and some duds (yesterday was sort of a dud...) I'm tempted to hide, but I won't. There are themes that repeat and thoughts I've allowed to fade. It's an evolution and it was a treat to look back at the way this space has stretched and contracted over time. Thank you, Amelia and Tracy, for this suggestion. It was viewing your walks down memory lane that inspired me to take my own.
Most beautiful post: February 8, 2011 A Reading
Most popular post: August 12, 2009 Julie & Julia Bruschetta
Most controversial post: May 24, 2011 Adaptation (Theft?)
Most helpful post: August 10, 2010 Who is she?
Success surprised me post: February 10, 2010 Shoot to kill.
Didn't get the attention it deserved post: May 13, 2010 The Pier
Most proud of post: October 27, 2010 Of Parks and Trailers
The following talented writers and photographers have inspired me. I'd love to see them write similar posts and I hope they do, but until then I highly recommend taking a look at their spaces. Seeing the world through there eyes is something you don't want to miss.
Rachel's rachel eats
Rachael's the slow-cooked sentence
Shari's the art of seeing things
Lecia's A Day that is Dessert
Lucinda's nourish me
Posted by Denise | Chez Danisse at 7:17 AM
Sunday, August 28, 2011
com·po·si·tion noun \ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən\
the act or process of composing; specifically :
arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially
into artistic form
-Merriam-Webster's 1 a :
Posted by Denise | Chez Danisse at 12:21 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I like to take an apple, any type, but I'm particularly liking these Pink Pearls at the moment, and peel it, then chop it up, roughly, nothing fancy. Place it in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon on top. Next I sprinkle some sugar, just a little, over the lemony apples. This is a particularly puckering experience with the Pink Pearls. I don't believe the combination is a common enjoyment, but I certainly like it.
Do you have a culinary indulgence some might deem odd? Perhaps you'll share.
Or maybe I'm the only one.
Pink Pearl (apple)
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I dreamed this,
does that mean it didn't happen?
Does it have to happen in the world to be real?
-excerpt from the poem Castile from the book Vita Nova by Louise Glück
Saturday, August 13, 2011
I was sitting before the window in a little cafe named Blackbird when I saw a well-read day-old copy of The New York Times. I reached over and pulled out The Arts section. I was first drawn to the striking image and then to Michael Kimmelman's words.
Sometimes on a whim I stop into the Bode Museum here to commune with a tiny clay sculpture of John the Baptist.I'm hooked. It seems we share a definition for the good things in life. When I find someone who believes in taking time out of his day to commune with a tiny sculpture, I want to know more. What else does he have to say?
It’s in a corner of a nearly always empty room, a bone-white bust, pretty and as androgynous as mid-1970s Berlin-addled David Bowie. The saint’s upturned eyes glow in the hard light through tall windows. Attributed to the 15th-century Luccan artist Matteo Civitali, the sculpture is all exquisite ecstasy and languor.And I start remembering what I love about museums, especially quiet museums, especially the rooms that do not have the of-the-moment crowd pleasing exhibitions. Yes, often those crowd pleasers are worth seeing, but the experience is entirely different.
There is nothing like standing in a silent room of a museum with a work that speaks to you. A room empty of people. A lingering museum guard is fine, but no one else fighting to stand before the piece you are admiring. No one bumping into you while they view the highlights with their headphones. No docents. No tours. No all-knowing friends explaining the meaning of the work to their interested and uninterested companions (did you see Midnight in Paris?). Just you and the work.
Before I left Chicago I planned a day of saying goodbye to some of my favorite places, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. It was a weekday and I walked along the lakefront to reach my first destination. If you are able, I highly recommend visiting weekend destinations on weekdays. It is a different world.
I recall entering the quiet museum. It seemed I was the first visitor. I had it all to myself, at least temporarily. I'll never forget the way the late morning light flooded into the atrium and onto the sculptures.
Later in the afternoon I visited the planetarium's giant dome, sat beneath a simulated night sky, and looked up at bright stars in an almost-empty theater.
I never made it to the aquarium. Still, it was an amazing day, one I hope I will never forget.
Michael Kimmelman's article and my memory of this day in Chicago remind me of how lucky I have been to have had a wide array of such beautiful experiences, all over the world.
There was something about art school that distanced me from this type of beauty. I don't know if it was the way I fully immersed myself in the degree experience by attending every single lecture and exhibition I could fit into my life at the time, or seeing the work of others as well as my own work through an academic and often critical eye, or if it was just too much of a good thing, but I graduated with a feeling that resembled a need for detoxification. The beauty was gone. I just wanted to get away from it all.
It has been about four years now and I've been slowly easing my way back in, learning to appreciate it again. It's nice to be back, but I don't regret the way this part of my life unfolded. The experience reminds me of something I read in an interview with Tobias Wolff.
But it’s good for a while to be dropped through the bottom, to be a little helpless, to have to scramble to make do, because as you get older, you do less and less of that, and it’s good for you, it takes the rust off.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
“Quit your complaining. It’s not the world’s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It’s not the world’s job to enjoy the films you make, and it’s certainly not the world’s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you have to, but stop whining and get back to work.”
-Werner Herzog (a paraphrase)
Sunday, August 7, 2011
The landscape here makes me feel small. When the secrets of the thick fog reveal themselves at dusk the mind is transported to a place where anything is possible.
Holding mugs of hot coffee in the cool mornings while looking out at the stillness of the bay, Bob Dylan's Isis in the background. I've been floating, suspended somewhere above my usual reality, drifting back into my past, forward into potential futures, and landing back in the beauty of the limbo present.
I remember walking beside my mom, the young cool chick with long dark hair. We are in the mall and she is asking the clerk in the record store if they have that new Dylan album, the one with Hurricane.
There's the future I'll keep secret so I don't write it away, and the words I'll type, but not say.
The calf has escaped, she's beyond the barbed wire fence, and appears to have done so without bloodshed.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I couldn't help myself. -Denise
Tuesday, July 19
SAN GERONIMO: At 7:55 p.m. someone reported that subjects unknown had attached a homemade street sign reading "Bird House Way" over an official street sign. The vandals had attached the sign with clothespins. Several unsanctioned birdhouses had also been attached to nearby telephone poles.
Saturday, July 23
INVERNESS: At 4:12 p.m. a man reported that a group of bikers grabbed him on his way to the post office, restrained him and took his picture.
Monday, July 25
WOODACRE: At 1:30 p.m. a woman reported that the garbage man always looks through her window from his truck. Deputies talked to the man, and determined that he was not doing anything illegal.
excerpts: July 28, 2011 Point Reyes Light