I did two exciting things yesterday. Please keep in mind that my definition of exciting might not be the same as yours. In the morning, I cleaned out my desk drawers and straightened my bookshelves. There is almost nothing as exciting as order after chaos. I got rid of lots of random unidentifiable objects, many of them technological wonders of previous days. I got rid of four books. I decreased the number of non-book items scattered around my shelves and they suddenly seem far more spacious, at least as shelves crammed with books go. The only slightly frightening thing is that I may be approaching the point where no matter how creatively I stack and pack, I won’t be able to fit more books in the current shelves. That, however, is a problem for another day; today I rejoice in tidiness.
The other exciting thing was not what I thought it was going to be. I think it gets extra bonus excitement points for that. I went to the SFMOMA to see the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit. I liked it, but not as much as I expected I would. While I was at the museum, I also checked out the voyeur exhibition and wished I hadn’t. It was truly disturbing. There are things I do not need to see, but now I have seen them. After a reviving lemonade in the rooftop garden café, I went to look at my favorite painting in the museum, the one in the image, by Mark Rothko. Caveat: the original is BIG.
Sure, the painting is just a big swathe of orange-red over another of deep blue on a brown background. That doesn’t capture the effect of the picture. It breathes. Okay, maybe not literally. But I sat in front of it for about twenty minutes and there really does seem to be something alive in the colors. The upper half has kind of a sunset-cloud-glow-swirl to it and the lower has a deep-pool absorption. The Gestalt produced, in me at least, a sense of rest and healing. Go check it out.