The last couple of weeks have been a long, hard slog. Work took me to Berlin and to Paris, both, of course, glorious locations, though I mainly saw the interiors of our meetings and hotel rooms.
Arrived home Wednesday, limp from fatigue. Soon the workplace was consumed by a self-inflicted wound, which, at this writing,
continues. has just been addressed and I hope it is now fixed. But I hope it will resolved tomorrow.. Along with other global anxieties, this has been totally distracting. It is very difficult to get anything done, especially with the nonstop siren call of Twitter.
But I am determined today to nourish my other self, the one that rises above Trump and Brexit and North Korea and work.
So, what has been engaging me recently? I did manage to escape my duties to see two exhibitions in Paris, one on the photographs of Irving Penn, and the other called “Gauguin, the alchemist”.
I had always admired Penn’s photographs, but it was fascinating to see how he worked, putting subjects into tiny, awkward spaces, his usual backdrop an old piece of carpet (my photo below; tried to take a selfie as my Irving Penn portrait, but that didn’t work out 😉 or a curtain.
How he studied the work of great painters to see how they dealt with light. And, of course, he had rather marvelous subjects, like Picasso.
Here’s a close-up detail, which I snapped with my iPhone. I just love the reflection in the artist’s eye.
I’ve also been trying to lose myself in reading, which has been a challenge–see distraction, above–but I managed to finish two very good books, even if I found the subjects overall sad and in some cases, vacuous.
Despite my not finding most of the subjects in these two books admirable, I enjoyed reading about their lives and houses, friends and parties. One can’t help but think all that talent could have been used to better ends.
About to start the biography of Elizabeth Jane Howard, whom I already know was an incredibly complex person with a terribly complicated life. Hmmm, what sort of pattern it this becoming? Watch this space.