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7 November 2006

i was in virginia last week, which made me remember some of the many reasons i love the east. this time of year, one of the primary reasons is color. everywhere you look, the world is bursting with warmth. red. gold. leaves burning brilliant against an indian summer sky. and the world is full of promise. it’s an odd thing–death bringing hope. endings filling you with wonder, not desolation.

the first few days i was there were chilly. perfectly autumnal. gray skies. rain. making color more brilliant. sunday was brisk, sunny, clouds scudding. and monday dawned beautifully clear–a perfect Indian summer day. the world was full of magic.

after a gorgeous drive into the city from loudoun county, i started my meanderings around the city at the east building of the national gallery–one of my art meccas. and by pure serendipity, i began on the lower level (which i usually save for last). i go there for the calders. i love the rothkos and the pollocks, among other incredible works from the last fifty years. but it’s the magic of the calders, with their melding of concrete and nebulous forms and their magical shadows, that draw me back to the east building every time i’m in d.c. i love them so much that i save them for last, so that their magic leaves with me. but this time i went down first. and as i walked down the last half flight of stairs into the exhibit space, i discovered big beautiful rothkos that i had never seen before. in shades of red, orange, brown, maroon. warmth and peace. as if the palette of fall had been captured and transformed into these magnificent canvases that beckon you into pure color. and in that color you find your self.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 16 November 2006 5:09 pm

    We’ve had the best showing of leaves in 5 years..since I’ve moved here. This afternoon, walking from the metro and looking back at the black sky of the storm over the district with the remnants of brightly colored leaves in contrast to the rapidly stark trees..gorgeous. My description doesn’t give it justice.

  2. 4 December 2006 1:28 pm

    the leaves are wonderful, aren’t they? one stormy morning when i lived in boston, i turned onto the bike path i walked to the T every day. the sky was gray and it had been raining. the rain had made the asphalt of the path blacker than normal and had turned the trunks and branches of the trees a nearly black brown. the yellow of the leaves stood out beautifully against all that black and gray, with the yellow painted lines of the bike path echoing their color on the ground. a study in gray and yellow. i wish i had had a camera at that moment.

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