Saturday, November 18, 2006

Paris Couture and other art

The Museum of Fine Arts has a special exhibition of Paris couture from this year’s spring collections. I went yesterday afternoon. The show is not very large, but the garments from Dior by Galliano are couture at its best. I stood and wept, looking at them. Nothing else in the room touches the genius in these designs. They are so far beyond the edge that they’re as if they’re from another world entirely, and that, to me, is what Paris couture at its best does. Everyone else will show variations of plausible clothes that actual humans could wear, work within the restrictions natural to fashion design, NY, Milan, and then, Paris happens, and someone like Dior or YSL or someone else or all of them will do their stuff, and it’s a pure wind of absolute artistic freedom that blows everything else away. There’s no Yves Saint Laurent in this exhibition, one of the only design houses that comes near this visionary work, IMHO; no Miyake, some Chanel, some Lacroix. The exhibition catalog doesn’t have pictures of the Dior, as far as I could see, so to see it, you have to go. And it’s worth going.

The writing I’m doing is finally going in a sort of flow. I’m attempting the NaNoWriMo challenge – a 50K word novel written entirely between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, for those who haven’t heard of this thing – and even after not doing any writing at all for far too many days, I’m at last going along and letting it happen. Unlike the other stuff I have to let happen, this is a joy, mostly. And it is also fundamentally something that I control, another big draw for the control freak, here. Er, 40% control freak, I mean. I’m using the story to work things out in my own head—kind of fantasy as therapy and discovery. I have come to hate simple subject-verb-object sentences. I write a lot of them. It occasionally drives me bonkers. There, I’m doing it again. Argh. I’ve spent so much time typing on my laptop that I have sore spots on the heels of my hands where they rest on the keyboard. I’m cranking out each thousand words with the same intensity of effort as swimming laps. I love swimming laps, on those rare occasions when I do it. I also hate it; it’s hard, and exhausting (but it’s really good, too). Erm, it has not escaped my notice that my respite from writing the novel is...writing a blog entry. Crap.

The daily exercise is still working out for me (god, sentence structure bugging me again, ack, caugh, splagg). As long as I do my situps and leg lifts, my knees don’t hurt. This is, as you might imagine, a powerful incentive. Hopefully the weight will stabilize soon. I feel fairly good physically, a bit like a sharpened knife. The strength in my legs helps.

41,420 survivors, it says, as Battlestar Galactica begins, and the music is so haunting that when that’s on the screen, I get choked up. The original show was pretty cheesy, and I still half-expect it to be the same cheesy thing it was in its previous incarnation. But this is about what happens to people in extreme situations, how they maintain a society, how they live with themselves, how they continue to find meaning in their lives. What does torture really do. What makes an election meaningful. When is it acceptable to execute people, and for what crimes. Whoo hoo, something not unbearably stupid.

No coffee plant pix today - soon, though; I'm posting remotely from MIT's graciously offered visitor wireless network, and I forgot to bring the camera doohickey.


Blogger Lucia said...

The chickie on the couture page appears to have had a run-in with a lacrosse player on the way to the prom.

Hmm... this could explain, or at least exemplify, my complete lack of fashion sense. Good luck with the writing thing. I should try it sometime.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

I'm hoping to get in to see that exhibit, too.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

We popped down to Boston Friday night to see a friend of David's who's there for a conference. We had hoped to go to the MFA but got on our way later than originally planned and just didn't have much time. Fortunately, they're there until March. Now we'll just have to plan to do it as a fun day outing some other time.

3:28 AM  
Blogger Amy Lane said...

Wow--I've got the Gallactica thing on my wish-list for dvd seasons...foolishly I skipped it, thinking that, like it's predecessor, it would be short lived, and now I'm having major series-regret. And don't knock the subject/verb/object sentence. I do a lot of first person from a very young, very passionate character--you should see what paralegal editors make of her grammar!

12:46 PM  
Anonymous The Tattoo Queen said...

I adore BSG, we've watched it from the beginning. And I also, get choked up.

Good luck with nanowrimo!

3:32 PM  
Blogger Shafira said...

I did NaNoWriMo two years in a row---it's a blast; I hope you enjoy your experience with it.

We love BSG here as well. We saw the mini-series, were late to learn there would be a regular series and now we're hopelessly behind since the DVDs don't come out fast enough to catch up!

I've been thinking of you almost non-stop since I "met" your blog a few weeks back. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you as you and yours get through this first major holiday. I give thanks that you had such a wonderful husband to love and cherish (and even mourn). I hope you and yours will find some "thanks" in this holiday as well.

Peace be with you.

8:08 PM  

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