Wednesday, July 28, 2010
"Middle of the Night Wakefulness Before a Trip"

Predictable, that! Better, I suppose, than the dreams of misshapen airports, in which trains cross through the long hallways, and I can never seem to make my connection, and all is confusion. Last night's dream, all that, yet somehow I arrived. Somehow I arrived in 'the city that works', with its tall buildings, and moist air so much cooler than here. Somehow I was wandering its streets, overhearing bits of conversation. The places they mentioned, the vague headlines on the newspapers in the boxes alongside the tall buildings...

...Oh yes, I knew I'd arrived. But something wasn't right. I wandered the streets, in hopes of a restaurant. But something was missing. I wasn't quite where I was supposed to be. Wasn't I supposed to have luggage? I wandered the grey streets with a lightweight bundle. I clung to it, and knew I'd find its lightweight, cozy softness comforting. I had a small blanket tucked in that bag. My 'security' blanket, all might work out as long as I had it...

...But that rest of the puzzle? It all dissolved into hot black night, and the loud roaring of fans and a familiar just firm enough bed...

Thursday, July 29, 2010 A
"I Have Only Seen a Tiny Bit! (Part One)"

Oh, the weariness, and I have only seen a tiny bit! So much for my optimism 'I want to see it all', when I first entered the Art Institute Museum.

A crowd quickly gathered... Click on photos for larger view

I made a bee line to the Egyptian gallery, but I had to pass through several other galleries first.
A tall Buddha is very impressive, with his "chest expanded because he is full of prana", as the headphone guide said:

Buddha, Chinese, Tang dynasty (CE. 618-907), early mid 8th century
Limestone with traces of polychromy
Height: 219.7 cm (86.5 in.); Diameter: 111 cm (43.7 in.)
Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection, 1930.83

Leaving this room, two graceful Bodhisattvas flanked each side of the entrance into the next room. This one looks like he's swaying to music, lost in reverie:

Bodhisattva, China Tang dynasty (CE 618-907), 8th century
Limestone with traces of polychromy
157.5 cm (62 in.)
Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection, 1930.84a

When I got to the Egyptian gallery, a tour guide was holding a small group of children captive, as she discussed a colorful mummy:

Coffin and Mummy of Paankhenamun, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 22 (c. 945715 BCE)
Cartonnage, gold leaf, pigment; human remains
170.2 x 43.2 x 31.7 cm (67 x 17 x 12 1/2 in.)

Later this week I hope to see his 'cousin', Meresamun at the Oriental Museum.

In addition to this 'star' of the gallery, a few lovely small reliefs enchanted me:

Relief Plaque Showing a God, Ptolemaic Period (c. 305-30 BCE)
Stone, 29.5 x 25 x 2.5 cm (11 5/8 x 9 7/8 x 1 in.)
Museum Purchase Fund, 1920.257

Wall Fragment from a Tomb Showing Donkeys,
Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5 (c. 2504-2347 BCE)
Stone, traces of paint, 28 x 21 x 9.5 cm (11 x 8 1/4 x 3 3/4 in.)
William M. Willner Fund, 1910.234

Owing to photo size hugeness, this entry continues on the next page...

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