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Sabbath Day – A “Beautiful” Day

December 6, 2013

I keep the Sabbath on Thursdays. This weekly post keeps me accountable for using it well.

My mother has been visiting from Florida for the past 17 days. She came up to visit her grandson while Noelle and I attended the annual meetings of the America Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature which always occur just before Thanksgiving. She stayed on for the holidays, and has been very helpful as we cleaned house and considered how to lay down deeper roots in our community. She leaves tomorrow morning.

So, for our final day together, we took August hour of school and went into NYC to visit the Museum of Modern Art. OUr day was filled with Kandisky, Klimt, Cage, Picasso, Warhol, Klee, Maggrite, Mondrian, Matisse, Monet, Doesburg, Cezzane, Pollack, Wyeth, Rivera, Kahol and many, many more. We made our obligatory visit to Picasso’s “Three Musicians.” We saw Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and Wyeth’s “Christina’s World.” One can get lost in the field with Christina if one attends closely to brushwork. We saw for the first time David Alfaro Siqueiros’ “Collective Suicide” (August was drawn to the conflict and weapons). There is a term, I believe, for going mad in the midst of so much beauty. It is certainly easy to be inspired: each time we visit the Monet room, August pulls out a journal and begins to draw. He spent almost an hour here today. Not imitating, just doing his own thing while surrounded by amazing art.

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I always find myself drawn to something new, as if seeing it for the first time. Today it was Umberto Boccioni, and in particular his work called “Dynamism of a Soccer Player.” This is the human body honored by not being rendered as an object but as atmosphere shimmering. (August’s didn’t see athletics, but distinctly recognized two ravens.)  Up close, every inch of this painting is alive. I was also moved, more than my brief stroll through it would reveal, by the exhibit build around John Cage’s 4’33. Decomposition seemed to be my theme today, both of bodies and of space.

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After closing down the museum, we went around the corner for solid Irish fare at Connoly’s Pub and Restaurant, which calls itself the “Best Irish Pub New York has to offer.”  It wasn’t all that, but then again we were a hungry, grumpy group by the end of the day. I had the Irish Stew and a Smithwicks, while Noelle had the Shepherd’s Pie. A quick drive home left us all ready for bed.

I remain up ridiculously late, reading and cleaning (I am reading Bonhoeffer and de-waxing candlesticks). It is December and I am trying to cram too much into every day. As I write this, I remember that Sabbath is built around rest, and so I am off to get some now.

Shalom. Paz. Peace.

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