Monday, January 2, 2017

The Aga Khan, Sherlock, and Macca on St. Bart's

She is greeting this glorious new year with a cold, folks - sore throat and runny nose, but otherwise hale. Many have been much sicker this holiday period, and this bug is no surprise, it has been incubating for days. So - no movies, no Y, just taking it easy - thank God I don't have to teach. Tangelos - fruit of the gods - leftover turkey soup, a newly-made ratatouille, and just a bit of wine to wash it all down.

Yesterday, a huge treat - to the Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Art with Nick and Beth-Anne. It's a brand new museum in the northern reaches of the city, hard to get to without a car, but with the 3 of us sharing transit costs the trip was fast and easy. What a spectacular place - a gorgeous building flooded with light, just the right size for a museum, with a stunning but not overwhelming collection of artifacts. There's a special exhibition now about the ancient art of Syria, particularly heartbreaking because we know so much of the country and its art has been obliterated. And there's a permanent collection of such fine objects, some from many centuries B.C. It's hard to link the delicacy and beauty of the art with the murderous extremists we associate with Islam today. And what's made so clear is the confluence of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, all originating from the same part of the world with many similarities and even some of the same founders - Abraham et al. And yet today, all so very far apart.
 Photography was forbidden - this is from a book. It's the skeleton of a leaf covered with gold calligraphy, incredibly intricate.
An art project done with immigrant kids - to take a box and create what 'home' meant to them. Very stirring.

From the sublime to another kind of sublime - Wayson came for dinner and we watched Sherlock together, I trying to explain, quickly, who was who, as he'd never seen one before, and it all whizzes by at such speed. So much fun! Spoiler alert: I was sorry Mary had to go, though she did have a death scene worthy of Shakespeare. I did wonder, in the swimming pool fight scene, how Sherlock had the muscle to take on a trained assassin; we have never seen him working out yet suddenly there he is, James Bond-style, wrestling in the pool. I was waiting for the wet shirt moment, like Mr. Darcy's, but no, we just hurtled on to the next nearly-incomprehensible scene - I mean, that key confrontation with Mary about her past, where were they, in an office Sherlock has created in a walk-in tomb in a cemetery? Did I miss something?Yes, undoubtedly. Can't wait for next week, when Toby Jones leers onstage as the next arch-villain.

More sad news: writer, art critic and all round wise man John Berger has died at the age of 90. From a Guardian article:
In a conversation with Susan Sontag, he once said: “A story is always a rescuing operation.” And he has also said: “If I’m a storyteller it’s because I listen. For me, a storyteller is like a passeur who gets contraband across a frontier.”
What a great way to look at storytelling - smuggling stories.

To cheer you up, if you need cheering, please go to YouTube and enter Paul McCartney St. Bart's the Killers. Macca is vacationing on the island of St. Barts with his wife and daughter Stella, and on New Year's Eve was apparently at a big party at the home of some Russian oligarch who had hired the band the Killers to play. They invited Paul on stage and launched into an impromptu version of that sweet old-fashioned ballad Helter Skelter, and Paul just rocks like a teenager. If I have half that energy when I'm 74 - or even tomorrow - I will be a happy woman. Frisky, that's what he is, damn frisky.

No comments:

Post a Comment