Friday, April 23, 2010

inherited no. 7

a beatles themed birthday
(note amazing stenciled banner in background)

april is a rough month. i always find myself torn between being excited for spring and a little shaken up that another season is passing, already. april is also full of days that i rarely talk about anymore, at least not on the day itself, a month full of stewart births and deaths.

my grandaddy was born on april 16, 1916.

my father was born on april 12, 1946.

my father died on april 21, 1999.

this year april 21 passed, and on the day itself i didn't speak a word of it to anyone. i'm not very good at asking for what i need, especially when i don't even know what it is that i need.

this year my father would have been 64. i like to imagine his life before things went awry, before the little brother whose birthday he shared died and the world stopped, or at least that's how i imagine things. my father never uttered his brother's name to me, and it wasn't until he was gone that i could even begin to imagine what happened to the family living in the house at 931 montvue when keith stopped breathing, at three years old and having only ever learned to say my father's name. it breaks me to think of this family, my family. i like to imagine him like this, instead:

a chubby kid with a big smile, playing with trucks and trains and not yet marred by keith's death and his mother's alcoholism and vietnam's losses. this little tonka reminds me that, despite all this, he made me believe that his childhood was one adventure after another, whether it was treeing raccoons or boy scout camp or shooting cans at the farm.

still, i'd give anything in this world to be celebrating his birthday with him instead of with this tonka. i miss you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

is this really a lady gaga post?

love this version of lady gaga's "telephone."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

venezia bound.

in about 48 hours i'll be on a plane to venice. i'm giving a paper on pollaiuolo's drawings, a paper that still needs some finishing touches. haha. perfect time to blog!

but right now i'm preparing to teach leonardo tomorrow and burning cds for aaron. (ciao, aacat!) as i put together my powerpoint (ugh) i am reminded of the ridiculously amazing parts of my job. you know, like going to venice. is this my life? do i write papers on pollaiuolo and teach leonardo? do i get to sit in front of drawings by leonardo and verrocchio? really?

tomorrow i'll be showing students details of this:

and even better, this:

has there ever been a more perfect representation of a cat in the clutches of a small child? as i zoom in on details of these works, i feel my eyes welling up, an immediate response in part to how ridiculously beautiful these works are but also to the fact that somehow my job is to talk about how ridiculously beautiful these works are. i often find myself faced with the problem of finding words to express what can't be said, how do you describe leonardo's pen on paper?

the thing is, i often feel like teaching is depressing, an uphill battle, a lost cause. but then, there are flickers of seeing a student love something as fiercely as i do, and there's the knowledge that this thing that they love, that they didn't know existed until today, i gave it to them. and i really, really want them to run with it.

so after i teach leonardo, i'll pack for venice, and i'll fly across the atlantic to read my paper in the city that floats, all while wearing a dress with turtles strewn across it. thanks, anthro, for that one. don't be fooled, i'm a nervous wreck. but in the back of my mind, i am comforted by the knowledge that somewhere out there, there are a few shadowy shades a la leonardo who couldn't be prouder of how ridiculous this life of mine is. thank you, gm, gd, and d. (and m.d., who just hit 98 lbs and is a little less shadowy.)