Thursday, September 17, 2009

letters and pictures

I found my father's letters from his sisters and brother and nephew in Germany. All are in German, and most are in a spidery old style handwriting that is unreadable by us moderns. I have no German, so the chance that I can decipher anything at all is too slim to mention.
I did have a friend who speaks German well look at some of them, and he struggled but got little out of them. I have resorted to creating a catalog and sorting by year and combining with pictures from the same year, but I guess that the content may well remain a mystery. It is sad in a way, especially since they were written to the US from Germany in the late 20's through the 60's and might have some interesting stories to tell.
That said, they may also be dull as dishwater, but they make for interesting photos..

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the studio

The evening sunsets are also lighting up the Studio, which I still in my mind call "the NEW studio" though I did the big move in March-ish of this year. I still enjoy just walking in and looking at it. I still am not working in it as much as I hoped, but I am thinking that winter will help keep me inside. Right now the weather is too good for me to just look at it from the window.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sol LeWitt rides the MTA

The MTA gave the riders of the A, B, C, D, 1, 2 and 3 trains a pressie this week in the form of the first part of a new mural which was designed by Sol LeWitt before he died. It is stunning in how B.R.I.G.H.T it is in the overall dingy subway station at 59th St. This station has been under construction/renovation forever, and all of a sudden the wraps came off the only piece of art in the station so far and it was pretty shocking.
I love it, but it just makes the rest of the place look worse.
How can dirty greige tile and even dirtier construction coverups compete with this!??
I understand there are two floor pieces, both compasses to come but they will be separate installations from this, and are also going to be in shades of grey.

42nd Street has a bright tile pattern and a shiny or at least clean floor. I guess we can only hope that the rest of the station is going to rise to match this shiny happy interloper.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Autumn sunsets are the best

The summer rain made for many grey and dull evenings, but now that Labor Day has passed and the unofficial end of Summer in the US is here, suddenly we have sunsets! Maybe I am back ... I was taking an unannounced break so now I am having an unannounced return...

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I don't have a picture for this... or maybe I do ...

I am having a minor crisis and it seems to me that a lot of people are pondering a similar thing

I mentioned the TV show about Hoarders that I was watching while salvaging little pieces of unused yarn. I heard one of the hoarders say... not an exact quote but close ... That yogurt may have expired in 1997 but what is going to happen to it? It will just get more sour as it ages.

Now, I have uttered words to that effect about yogurt. Not, mind you, yogurt that has been sitting around for 12 years, but yogurt that HAD been around for a bit like maybe a month. It didn't have mold on it or in it, I ate it and survived..... but I have the hoarder gene, I am absolutely sure of it.

Then there was this wonderful piece about scarcity ... or not.
there was this from the Voodoo Cafe about the Myth of Scarcity
and now Romilly is pondering similar issues...

What's up with that, Doc? are we all pulling similar issues from our past at the same time? I have more yarn than I could knit up if I knit non-stop from now til Hell freezes over. I have buttons and buckles and odd bits of flattened metal that were run over by several trucks in the street. The important thing is that I can find all of them. My justification is that if I WERE a Hoarder I would know I had them but I wouldn't be able to find them.

In an attempt to reduce the boxes that contained unknown items, I pulled down a box that said "STUFF from mom and dad, to go through" on the label (see, labeled, NOT hoarder).

I had only a few days to go through the apartment where my parents had lived ... and saved everything plastic that they touched ... for over 40 years, so only a limited amount came home with me. It was touch and go in any case, in among the Christmas Cards received in the 1950's I found my father's naturalization papers from the 1930's when he became a citizen. The ORIGINALS, not copies, so I had to sift and hope I was getting everything important. Chiefly I saved that big box and some photo albums.

What I did get, I found the other night, was 30 years of handwritten letters in German, in spidery handwriting on aeropostal paper from the family I know next to nothing about who used to live in Berlin. The letters date from 1920 and continue up to the 50's. I have them separated by decade and am hooking them up with pictures from the same decade so I can get an idea of who is who. I will eventually find someone to try reading them, just to see if they are interesting, but for now they are all terra incognita.

My father was a hoarder, my mother was a destroyer, so how these survived is a mystery. A journal of my mother's survived also and after looking through it I did a mad thing. I gathered up all my old morning pages journals and got rid of them. I had them for years and years and what I found on skimming through them was that I was pondering the same verse, not quite like the first over and over. I decided that maybe just chucking them and starting anew would move the verse a bit further along.

So this is a pondering of saving and spending, and there is a lot of similar pondering going around it seems, not just here above the G.W.B. I think my son was a little appalled that I had trashed the journals, but I feel a little lighter for having done it. Of course he might have been happier if I had gotten rid of that box of smashed metal pieces from the streets of New York.

Somehow there is a lot of mystery revolving around old letters in German in Gothic script and not much mystery about me pondering my weight or how hard I am working and at what. Maybe I should just leave the letters untranslated and pretend I know what is in them.

What are you saving? What are you spending?