Thursday, July 26, 2012

You Rhapsodize About Beauty and My Eyes Glaze

Well, I'm back from Tulsa and I had a great time. Traveling with Kitten's mom was a real treat, and she's a photographer so I remembered to keep the camera out. I got a lot of great photos on this trip.

The drive down was easy, and we went immediately to the Gilcrese Museum to see the George Washington Exhibit. It was really cool. In part because I got to see a lot of our first president's personal artifacts. Like his famous teeth- which we made of ivory and other people's teeth- not wood like legend tells us. We also got to see a lot of his books and personal effects, which I really liked.

I also enjoyed that the museum had teamed up with the History Channel to find out what he really looked like. They did all sorts of research and reconstructions that led them to make three life size models of him, one in his early twenties, one of him during the revolutionary war and one when he took office. I have to say- he was a strapping fellow, who was pretty good looking. And at six foot two inches, really tall for the time period. He looks like a person who could lead armies.

What was most interesting to me was he was actually more interesting in being a private citizen. And he was an inventor in his own right- creating amazing farm innovations that effected the American farm industry for years. I learned a lot.

The museum also had beautiful gardens and a significant amount of native and central american artifacts. I wish I could have taken some photos there. The gallery with the Mexican ceremonial masks was both fascinating and a little scary.

After, we headed to the hotel. We had a somewhat lackluster dinner at a chain restaurant and then spent a good three hours in the hotel pool. We had it to ourselves, for the most part, and it was awesome to play around and act silly with each other. Kitten's mom stayed with us, and sat poolside to appreciate our antics. She was absorbed in Condoleeza Rice's memoir, and it was interesting to hear what she was reading- every now and again she would call me over to have me listen to a passage. I love that about her.

We had planned on going out to one of the local lesbian bars, but when the time came we found we were content to stay in the room and watch television and read. We ended up staying up until midnight- way past everyone's bedtime- to watch house hunters and house hunters international. WE got a kick out of it.

The next morning we skipped the terrible hotel breakfast and passed a couple of hours at a local breakfast restaurant while we waited for the Philbrook Museum of Art to open. We talked about a lot of things, my mother's impending birthday among them. It was really sweet because Kitten's mom got all choked up when I was talking about my struggle every year to find something I think she would like, and how I feel like I almost always fail. She told me as her daughter, it would mean the world just to know how much thought and effort I put into it. That meant a lot to me. I think sometimes that maybe she thinks I'm this pseudo-intellectual flake who talks to much and thinks too little....but apparently I was wrong.

When we got to the Philbrook we retrieved our cameras the minute we discovered as long as we didn't use a flash we could take pictures. We spent about an hour in the top garden taking pictures of everything until the heat drove us inside. One hundred degrees will keep even the most ardent garden lover indoors. Which broke my heart, because there were about 22 and a half acres I didn't get to see.

The museum itself was a work of art, and I loved it. The building was originally a plantation style home that was converted into a museum from an endowment by the original owning family. So historucally speaking, the house was an exhibit all on its own.

I discovered I really love statues, and while the Raphealite and other Renaissance paintings were wonderful, and I loved the other art, it was the statues that kept me there for long periods of time. I loved that the "security guards" were all like mini curators, and whether they were old and wrinkled or young and tattooed, they all had something interesting to contribute to my experience. One of them took me behind a locked door to see the inner workings of the huge pipe organ, and showed me how the family had the music piped through the house- a 1920's version of surround sound. Another one suggested I come back in the fall, to appreciate the gardens as the leaves changed.

My favorite, though, was a young man who crept up on me while I was admiring what was certainly my favorite statue. It was a carving in marble or Eros and Anteros (Love, and his brother, Requited love) fighting over a heart. One of them is holding the other back from stomping on a heart. It was tiny and beautiful. I loved it. When he came in he told me it was his favorite piece in the museum. I told him he had good taste. He promised he would leave me to contemplate it on my own, but he asked me to think about which one I thought was the one going to stomp on the tiny heart- love or requited love. He pointed out the artist never says who is who. He smiled, and left me there with my mind blown in front of those two little cherubs, warring over that forlorn heart.

I don't think I could ever forget that moment.

Suffice to say, it was a beautiful time. If you are pals with me on facebook, you can go look at all the awesome stuff I saw, because I took copious pictures.

I'm off to dress for work, but I couldn't go without telling you how much fun I had. My brain is swallowed up with beauty and art.

Incidentally, the photo- that's at the Philbrook. You can see the museum reflected in the water. I'm on the right, Kitten on the left and Oscelot in the front.

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