Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wildfire Thoughts

Aside from the rather terrifying experience of the Griffith Park wildfire on the way home, yesterday was actually one of the most peaceful, almost spiritual days I have experienced in quite awhile.

It was an off day at the Huntington and anyone with a Bank of America account could get in for free, a welcome change from the monthly Free Days when the musuems are overcrowded and the grounds (and cafe) become mommy/stroller HELLs!

Actually, I felt I was seeing this beautiful refuge for the first time.

And there was actually time and space to appreciate the musuems art and collections. At one point I was almost transfixed by a Sergeant portrait of Pauline Astor. For a moment I felt like James Stewart (or Kim Novak) in Hitchcock's VERTIGO, sitting almost alone in the gallery staring at this beautiful painting.

The lovely face and pearl necklace were almost three-dimensional, the rest of the painting (including the mischievious King Charles dog at the lady's skirts, were almost stylized. I was quite entranced by it all.

Just before we left we took a long walk through the Huntington's desert garden. These are always a revelation and one is always stunned and amazed by the sheer variety of nature, even in the planet's more arid and forbidding zones.....

The feeling, the total absorbtion took me quite unawares, as did the great column of smoke that loomed ever larger as we left the security of the Huntington at about 4.30 and moved down the freeway towards and by the out-of-control wildfire climbing the dry hills and canyons of Griffith Park.

A very strange and illuminating day, only in California (for better or worse)......

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