Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Family visits

Usually, my sister and brother-in-common-law swing through Atlanta for a quick overnight en route to what, for last couple of years, has always been some kind of emergency, real or imagined, in Florida. Sometimes, my sister is so locked in to getting where she's going, she has a hard time slowing down and enjoying where she is. She comes by it honestly; 30 years in the airline industry, getting those planes to leave when they're supposed to, has turned impatience into a virtue. And, since she's the oldest and with a reputation for always being right, it's been hard to modify her behavior.

But her significant other is a Type B and I not only stop to smell the roses, but do a little mulching, so this year when they gave themselves two days to get from St. Louis to Dunedin, I crafted a day in the city as my Christmas present. The one thing we all need less of is stuff. What we need more of is time and memories.
To that end, we spent an evening in jammies with another airline friend for balance (and to give them a chance to recite their mysteriously coded yet hilarious accounts of cargo and people shipping, favorite aircraft over the years and tales of better days when air travel on legacy carriers was romantic.) The next day we got going early.
As you can see from the photo above, we visited the Georgia Aquarium. It's mere blocks from my condo, but I'd never been. Smaller than I expected but quite beautiful and peaceful (of course, we beat the school crowds).

Then lunch at Taqueria del Sol on Howell Mill---always worth the wait; and a drive through the detours that make up Midtown to arrive punctually at the High.

I love the High Museum of Art with the love reserved for eccentric, not-quite-right-in-the-head relatives and friends. I've been going there since 1976 when it occupied a corner of the Memorial Arts Center next door. But they do love to oversell themselves. The Terracotta Army exhibit has been so touted with timed entries and warnings of crowds but we were almost the only ones there!
If this exhibit comes to your town, go and see it. It's remarkable. Not so much for its artistic merit, which is remarkable, but for the palpable sense of human fingerprints that hangs about each statue. In this, it reminded me of the Gee's Bend exhibit, with its worn quilts all but smelling of the men and women who wore the clothes that became the rags that morphed into the bed coverings that lasted into art, gaining beauty and meaning in each step.
Of course, no trip to the High is complete without a peek at the Louvre's yard sale. We've been borrowing cups of sugar from our French friends since the early 1960s when a shopping trip for the fledgling museum was cut tragically short by a plane crash at Orly that killed almost everyone on board. That crash pretty much defined, stalled and memorialized the Atlanta museum scene for a generation. But I digress....

The current installment of stuff includes a single Vermeer, The Astronomer. Sitting before this painting, sketchbook in hand, was a meditation. It's all triangles! Look:

No comments: