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JANUS / JANUARY 2019…

I began 2018 with new eyes, literally. My cataract surgeries were quite successful even as the results were not so dramatic for me as some stories I heard from others. Pleased not to need bifocals while frustrated by keeping track of readers… again! The big challenge is to continually practice blending the differently functional focal lengths chosen for each lens.

Now, like that Roman deity/archetype who names this months looking in both directions, past & future, I might only ponder new lenses for the eyes in the back of my head!

We had spent a delightfully un-Christmasy 2017 on the Big Island in Hawai’i… Kona before Hilo & then Volcano to observe its glow… before returning to Minnesota in January for the next visit when we joined Alice & John to begin clearing the condo which had been Helen’s home for 14 years.

Being the last repository of many generations, she gifted us a deeply delicious daunting task. We could only take lessons,

It required yet another trip to Minnesota in April to deliver our promised gift to BroMark… rejuvenating his room with new dressers. He shopped with us at IKEA to choose 2 kits compactly & precisely filled with new social lessons & technical adventures! The end results were happy!

Mark loves to join us for coffee in bed…

We three brothers then flew to join Alice & John at the condo on Longboat Key where we created a second memorial celebration for her Florida friends & family. Then later a very intimate family closure inside a beautiful sunset on the beach we all love.

Returning to Minneapolis Stephen & I packed a rental vehicle more capacious than we actually needed to drive what we’d carefully chosen to keep & bring home to Soundcliff.

More of deep consideration around family history & value… inside personal aesthetics. This had become a deep study while allowing us to dance rather freely, if not sometimes frivolously!

For example, routed our drive some 300 miles out of our way to facilitate a totally rare visit to my deep friend & love, Wendy, who has long made her home in Iowa City. A fabulous “detour”, entertaining decades of life…lovely life!

She has a drawing for a painting I made in early 1970s, which I’d forgotten…

Driving through the Midwest we’d both left in our youth we discovered good & hopeful changes, like the statistics touting wind farms at rest stops in Iowa.

Further down the Interstate we encountered signs of the Sand Hill Cranes in Nebraska… not so far from where I grew-up, although I’d never seen them. We stopped to explore & inform ourselves before pushing toward an overnight stay with a credible roadside attraction dinner.

Next day Fort Morgan, Colorado to visit my mother. At 94 Momma has been doing rather well living in her own apartment which is part of my youngest brother Terry & his second family’s home.

We’ve long made at least annual visits to her & other long deep friends in the Denver area. This time we all met for dinner in Boulder, since we were anxious to get home, knowing there was winter weather ahead… Barely into Wyoming we began to encounter the kind of icy weather which discourages such road trips as we might have loved in our youth. Stephen did yeoman’s duty as driver while the vehicle acquired a heavy load of the frozen road-slush!

Several driving days later our Island home Soundcliff was such a welcome sight!

My annual routine wraps around the two annual Vashon Island’s Studio Tour events scheduled quite regularly on the first two full weekends of May & of December. Mother’s Day & Christmas make fine Bell Holidays!

As usual Summer seems to arrive too suddenly & life gets busy with weeds & guests. This year I was busied to work with Yosi the designer of the completely redesigned new website, built for the bells from the code up. [Check out GRBBELLS.COM]

I spent a fair amount of time on designing a bit of mechanique to turn a bell so it can be filmed while recording its sound.

In August we returned yet again to Minneapolis for SFS’s 50th high school reunion. While I chose, now with some regrets, to not attend my own reunion in 2013, I enjoyed his… probably because I had no baggage & could more freely scope into his history.

Momma took several falls over the summer. The doctor would not let her come home again. After rehabilitation she moved into a wonderfully staffed local residential facility.

BroJon & I met in October to begin dismantling Momma’s apartment so the family could use it otherwise… a second stint at such salvage work in my year. Fortunately my Momma does not have much substance more than to be sweetly herself!

As we were planning this trip we learned of the death of Terry’s son, our nephew Derrick. They returned from the funeral while we were dismantling Momma’s apartment downstairs.

Later in the week we said goodbye to our brother as we left to drive back to Denver. Jon drove on home to Kansas City & my friend, Dwight, would take me to the airport the next day. By the time we arrived home from that trip we learned that our brother Terry had fallen & disconnected the oxygen he needed. He too died! I’ve yet to digest the story of our history enough to tell it.

Momma, who had been our original concern, was ultimately fine!

Stephen had scheduled a travel for us to go to Northern California only a few weeks later. A tripartite itinerary on the mission of honoring his father Otto [who died in 1999, just is months before my father Vic]; visiting friends; while also, in the manner of a true raconteur, re-stimulating & re-coloring old acquaintances.

More travel was not my first preference & driving through San Francisco traffic to Oakland was a huge trial of patience, but arriving to wonderfully nice martinis & conversation atop well worn leather mission furniture with our friend Orlando, who was hosting us in his comfy B&B below soothed my frustration. Thank you!

Michael Hathaway, the deep friend, who introduced us more than 24 years ago, joined us for dinner at Gather, the restaurant in the LEED building which Earth Island Institute recently finished… the organization for which he has served on the board of for all of the years I’ve known him. Our drive next day toward the Russian River brought us into more direct contact with the smoky atmosphere from the wildfires raging further north, becoming national news some days later. It stained the sunset as we approached The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center [OAEC & Facebook]… the “Mother Garden” where I had volunteered for so many years while I lived & gardened nearby…

So much history with too many stories to share here!

We found our friend Dougo in the greenhouses which are new since I was last there. He has been the head gardener on this property for more than 35 years & is himself an entire book of stories! He & I became very close friends in the years before I met Stephen & moved to Seattle.

While he has visited us a number of times at Soundcliff we have not been to see him for too long, so we had much to catch-up on over a sweet dinner down in Occidental. To stay in one of the guest houses was a first for me, to overnight on this precious land where I learned to garden after my years in “Aridzona”.

Next morning we were taken by a friend & fellow club member of Otto’s to visit their camp at the Bohemian Grove for a small memorial ritual. This institution holds quite mythic political & lively literary reputations in these historic woods just a few miles from where I lived for 7 years in West Sonoma County.

I appreciated this opportunity to experience the reality of this rare old growth forest preserve. One building has the history of being where the Manhattan Project [what became the atomic bomb] was nurtured & hatched…

The Mother Garden was & still is a communal property with a long, deep reputation for being a very early organic garden as Farallones Institute. It is lauded as a significant treasure in the territory where Alan Chadwick taught, Luther Burbank worked & Alice Waters stimulated interest in organic food. Dougo has husbanded a famously huge seed collection. It was such a pleasure to spend time there with him again! I would love to write that book!

But there was another visit to make on Stephen’s agenda, so we drove across the Golden Gate & out into the hillsides south of the city where his friend Margot Knight has directed the Djerassi Resident Artists Program for some years. He has wanted me to see it for almost as long & it became a wonderful bit of education & a great hike along which we experienced many fascinating installations created by those who had spent residencies there…

A upholstered stump & smokey atmosphere…

We hardly had time upon returning home… when I needed to prepare for the looming Studio Tour dates… before we were scheduled to fly to Miami to spend Thanksgiving with our nephew David. My notion of our original plan became another story in my dogeared file labeled “family”, but we still got a sweet, if too brief visit with our gay nephew on the more colorful side of the state which I dub “Kansas with palm trees”.

The Holiday Open Studio weekends were successful, in spite that I was barely prepared on several fronts. Our traditional party on the second Saturday evening again collected a stimulating flow of guests who I could thoroughly enjoy, even inside my exhaustion.

The calendar had set the dates early this year gifting us gentle time to begin recuperating from a period of too-much travel. Even my “travel agent” was happy we had no plans for more.

We took some advantage of local entertainments, but loved wallowing in a blank calendar! Most of you know my proclivities to avoid most of the pandemonium around the holidays… knowing that Solstice is simply the real reason for all the rest!

We were anticipating visiting again with Michael Hathaway, who we had seen only for that dinner in Berkeley earlier in November. He has regularly come north to visit us at least once each year.

The three of us have known each other in so many configurations of deep friendship with other friends both before & of course mostly after he facilitated Stephen’s & my first meeting.

I met him when he too was a volunteer at the Mother Garden, driving from San Francisco most weeks to join the rich feast of the days we would harvest its bounty for donation.

He spoke on our first meeting about the book he was about to finish for publishing. All these years later it finally became true & he sent us a copy of what was a sizable tome, yet with only a portion of the material he’d written. We wanted more!

He is a poet & great story teller & has lived a long life with complex tales of making a true practice of personal, political & ecological happiness. His book’s title is The Possible Happiness Of Life.

He always arrived with a folder of visuals, including many cartoons, which he especially loved collecting to share as amusing illustration to his story.

We celebrated New Years Day with a small dinner of six old friends, enjoying especially lively conversation. He had scheduled his return flight to Oakland late enough on the 2nd that our yoga poet friend Steven Shaun made it out to the Island in time to spend a special hour with him. They’d become friends of a particular quality with appreciation of poetic ideas & words.

An hour after we’d seen him off he called from the ferry dock on the other side asking if he could return to the Island because he was not feeling well… explaining he’d become really cold on the boat & hadn’t called for the Lyft to the airport. Of course they went to collect him back to Soundcliff while I continued making dinner & bumped-up the wood stove again. He had always been cold on these visits north so we’d been keeping the house a bit too warm for us all the time he was here.

He arrived explaining that he was feeling much better, but did not want to eat. I made a pot of the mint tea I’d dried from the garden & he took it into the guest room to nap.

The three of us were sitting at the dinner table when he came out about an hour later to get more tea & to join us as we ate. He was unusually ebullient, especially as he had been working all this holiday through a difficult time in his life, as we’d been understanding & appreciating during this visit. We welcomed feeling the genuine joy which he expressed, that being is his more usual mode. He explained that he had come to some solution or understanding. “I’ve found the answer” he exuded. “It is to just stop!” With that his head fell back in the chair & he died!

Of course we could not in that moment appreciate such finality, so we got him to the floor & Stephen Silha called 911 while Steven Shaun began resuscitation techniques which the operator was directing until our fire departments emergency crew quickly arrived to take over.

We could only get out of the way & simply watch, knowing better every futile minute our initial deep understanding. He had lived well. Wisely choosing to not get on a plane, he instead came back to Soundcliff where we could hold him in our love at his last moments. Here was the closest place he had to call home in this time. We are honored inside this terrible & exalted event…

I must finish this letter with acknowledgement that to live requires accepting truth & finding meaning however those present themselves each day.

I must continue to rediscover & relearn the practice of happiness his life celebrates.

Such a difficult beginning promises a year to remember! I’ll tell you about it in 365 or so more days…

Gordon

AFTER WINTER SOLSTICE – 2018…

Greetings on the Winter Solstice 2018…

Sunrise at Soundcliff on the morning after the longest night…

Solstice is THE holiday for me. A day as “HOLY” as I can easily accept… being quite real. The physical manifestation of whatever genuine magic keeps the world from tilting totally out of control.

A moment in the rhythmic continuity of everything
we can really know marks this seasonal symbolic loss of light & of its return.
All the many other festivities of this season’s cultures begin with this. I could too-easily whisper “amen” & be done with the rest.
But, no, I realize that I can choose better…

Working inside the wider study & understanding I’ve long practiced I appreciate again that I am not always the same curmudgeon who I have sometimes seemed again this year. I do indeed have my moments, teetering on this cusp, of both snarl & smile.

I have been remembering a story which reveals part of the origins of that curmudgeon, from the year of my graduating from college [being summer 1967… 50 & more years ago], when I accepted a job to help set-up the first-ever year-round Christmas Shoppe in Denver’s newly developing Larimer Square.

I was one of a cadre of creatives [read: mostly gay boys] who naturally collected around this project of wrangling Denver’s version of retail rehabilitation by bringing gifts of talent which were essential & also appreciated while being affordable… thus ultimately under-rewarded in the longer term… An economic fable commonly called “gentrification”.

We began in August, as I recall, to unpack hundreds of cartons containing dozens of artificial trees, upon which we carefully strung hundreds of strings of lights & then hung with thousands of ornaments.

For some trees there were obvious “themes” or color scenes to follow with some logic, but others invited the invention at which we could excel when given opportunity to play creatively as a fair-or-not part of the pay package. It was, after all, the summer of love…

The initial Ho-Ho-Ho enthusiasm we brought to work at this new adventure, wearing cut-offs to cope with summer heat in an old historic brick building with no AC, began to drag. Soon enough, the plastic icicles were being hung with matching drips of sweat. The fake snow couldn’t cool anything except one’s sagging ardor. The scent of the holidays became the rank smell of hot glittery paint on cheap wood, hide glue & ageing papier-mâché. What would later seem festive to eager customers had become too early rather icky.

I thus lost most any love of Christmas as it was becoming, even then, to be celebrated & it took some years until I could think of the holidays without remembering that stink… which, at least symbolically, still returns to my nostrils some years.

So, I have done several versions of these holidays backstage, so to speak, in retail since the small-town department store I worked during high school, through the Ma-and-Pa jewelry store so important to me during college… into the useful folly of Christmas-in-July as practiced by my family to avoid the perils of winter travel in the mid-west.

I deserve my status as part time curmudgeon!

The anodyne to what I’ve come to see celebrated mostly as a madness is a profound appreciation this simply magical re-occurrence of a long night of adjustment into proof of sanity. Balance. All has righted itself. Life continues anew.

I can now rather more easily let all the ancillary feasts carry-on as they might & need. I play with them as I will… or not. I know what is real to me.

Solstice Blessings,
With Bells… or without even those such trappings…
GRB

Jingle Crotals…

JINGLE BELLS… are they wrong?

Please, don’t get me wrong too! I’m just an artist, a maker of resonant small silver bells who loves also to play with words… in this case the Latin word CROTAL, which means rattle.

Thus, all “jingle bells”… because they have a pebble or bead rattling loosely inside them to make the sound, are actually Crotals… unlike bells, which have attached clappers. Most ”sleigh bells” are thus also crotals!

So… lets sing this song properly… all together now! “JINGLE CROTALS, JINGLE CROTALS, JINGLE ALL THE WAY!”

While timber rattlesnakes then are Crotalus Horridus, I’m not a killjoy! Not even my sometime pedant would be so foolish as to suggest such un-melodic English as that! I just find such holiday tidbits too delicious to ignore !

View the Crotal Bell in the Botanicals Collection…

BIRTHING THE MOLDS…

GRB Bells recently participated in our VIVA [Vashon Island Visual Arts] Spring Tour the first two weekends of May. [Our Holiday Tour is the first two full weekends of December.]
As part of the studio’s presentation I demonstrate wax injection, one part of the process of the bells’ manufacture which I am capable, within the constraints of time, to demonstrate simply. I am thus encouraged to explain here the process of making the mold into which the wax is injected.
Here are the castings made from my original wax carvings for several designs plus their clappers. I call these the “masters” & I securely archive them in order to be able to remake any of the rubber molds which might break or wear out. They are also the best form of copyright, since the molding process will shrink the design slightly & all bells made from them will be smaller.
You see them sitting upside down on their “sprues”, which are the rods which were the channels through which the molten metal entered the temporary plaster mold to make the casting. A bell has at least two pieces — and the clappers must be made separately, of course.
This group includes The SEAHORSE Bell with its unusually complex, three-piece clapper on the left. [The two bells on the right are the SUFI SURF & the CLOUD PALACE Bells]
This is the raw silicone rubber, which is soft & resembles a dense putty. It comes in strips protected with peel-able plastic on both sides. I cut it to size with scissors & pack it around the master in an aluminum mold frame, with the sprue touching its interior side. At this stage I must begin to think “inside-out” as I work to fill the negative space around the bell with the positive rubber.
When the mold is filled I label it with a thin aluminum or brass tag into which I emboss its name with a stylus. The mold press has two electrically heated platens between which the mold is sandwiched. A heavy screw with a large handle tightens to press it all tight.
Under that pressure its heat of 350 degrees
vulcanizes the rubber in about an hour.
The result is a solid block of harder rubber completely enclosing the master, squeezing a slight excess, which insures that all the details of the master have been captured. It shrinks a bit as it cools, freeing itself from the sides of the mold’s interior.
I trim the excess with scissors & peel out the tag,
leaving the name permanently as part of the mold.
Next comes the difficult part! I use a scalpel to very carefully cut the block apart to free the master, while also making “keys” to secure the fit when the mold is put back together.
It is fascinatingly puzzling to dance between thinking positively about the negative! It requires bringing the cuts from the bottom of the sprue ever closer to the still invisible master, prying the dense rubber apart with the help of a hook mounted to my desk. It is important to land the cut at the best place on the design to make the mold function well, both to promote the escape of air pushed ahead of the molten wax & for ease of removing the cooled wax.
The mold stretches & wants to snap closed. I must use brute strength of one hand while keeping the other facile enough to aim the blade cutting delicately into narrow-sighted space dancing between positive & negative space…
These photos show the process arrested by being held open with toothpicks… Each piercing in the design must be cut cleanly so as to efficiently re-close, recreating that detail in wax.
I cut down from around the skirt of the bell to create a core which is pulled from the interior of the master, with another tricky part involving the clapper loop which clings, being filled with rubber in the top of the bell’s interior, difficult to reach with the blade. Even with a collection of tricks over years of experience, I often still struggle with this part of the process!
Below you can see that core sitting-up in the center, atop the left & right half of the mold, which shows the positive wax which was injected into it.
Outside are the halves of the second mold containing the 3 clapper parts.
The wax injector is a heated pot filled with wax under about 5 pounds of air pressure.
Near-liquid molten wax is injected into the sprue of the mold when pressed against its nozzle, thus engaging the pressure sensitive valve behind it.

 Here is a video of an actual injection:

The result is a wax replication ready to be cast into metal to make the bell I will sell.

 

CROATIA-VENICE- AMSTERDAM… PART SIX…

While Amsterdam is another city built on an ancient system of canals, it could hardly be more different than Venice.

The spatial aspects of both cities are unique in spite that each is flat to the sea. The Dutch, coming from the land, built yet more land. Venice… perching precariously on pilings anchoring only a few small unstable prehistoric islands, squatting in the shallows of a lagoon…

Protected by all those walls we walked in Croatia… Venice arched inwardly upward, hoarding the spoils of world trade well before any Dutch expansion.

The periods during which each reached maturity have much to do with their differences. Older by many centuries, Venice plyed the classic shipping trade routes inside the warmer enclosure of the Mediterranean, connecting Europe to the mid-east, the Indian sub-continent, & ultimately China. Its smaller size amassed some sense of the mysterious enclosure characterizing an “Oriental” quality. 

The Dutch, building later, in the chill of the North Sea, discovered the distances of the larger world by circumnavigation
 outside the antique model of the world…
miniature inside the cincture of Gibraltar. 
That Mediterranean hothouseclassique
launched quintessential herbal seeds… 
plus rich cultural spores into the global garden.
… the city’s slogan is…
i   A M S T E R D A M
The canals here are wider than Venice & were originally even wider yet… facilitating the floating movement of people & goods around a bustling trading city by float. Now the waterways are more for recreation, having been mostly filled-in to create space for the comfortable streets of wheels… more bicycles than cars…. more than the population!

Wide sidewalks on either side allow pedestrians to stroll abreast 
while dancing with cyclists walking their rides home. 

I find both cities imminently walkable. 
We’ve been two nights walking the older central part… 
a visual delight!

We are staying with our friend Joost 
in his 1930’s row house just inside the “ring” of canals… 
 Steep stairs are ubiquitous. 
This space has been keenly attended 
in the remodel he’s making mostly himself!
His location is served by the city’s efficient system of rail trams. 

There is plenty of auto traffic, but all is rather subservient to the obvious first choice to ride bicycles… evidenced by the fact that there are more bikes than citizens!

Specific, well separated lanes are dedicated to bicycles & one must honor that or be threatened & cursed for being in their way! The cross-walks become sometimes complicated to get to the center islands where one waits to board the trams. Electronic tickets, touched at sensors upon both entering & leaving the car, calculate the fare for the distance being deducted from the balance. Oh! that we could learn such easy good sense in more of our cities in the States! 

We spent time in the Rijksmuseum on Sunday… busy with the throngs wanting to see the revered paintings of the Dutch Masters, which I too was happy to experience, of course. I enjoyed seeing the icons of my art history courses in the real. While there were crowds, if I lingered, there were also rare moments…

This is a stately old building, bridging over the main street which runs through & under its facade into a vaulted foyer echoing with Vivaldi.

Musical ensembles play outside modern entrances up into the museum… or down into the new depths enlarging antique spaces to accommodate essential modern facilities… I like this improvement’s mixing of clean functional lines with the original Gothic Victorian.

 Juxtaposition abounds…
At sister Alice’s insistence we headed toward the Van Gogh museum, a short stroll through a lively urban park… This contemporary building surprised me by becoming an almost religious experience… I realized how little I actually knew about him. He is no longer simply impressionistic curiosity as I resonate better with his quest toward color. My long-lost painter groked his gooey pigments in a wistful way.

To be able to see almost the entire oeuvre of an artist who accomplished so much in only a decade chides my career, which began [& still dreams] in paint while getting side-tracked by the fantasy of jewelry before the whimsey of bells.

I could yet again drown us in photographic memories
proving only inadequacy
still…
 I Am-sterdam!

CROATIA-VENICE-AMSTERDAM… PART FIVE: VENEZIA…

Our room has rich silk brocade on the walls in a stylishly remodeled building where Stephen had stayed a decade ago. It is smaller than expected… not the same upper room he thought he had reserved. But we have all of Venice… probably our favorite city… just below the window facing the facade of the church. On the hotel’s top floor is a sitting area offering chilled prosecco adjacent to a roof-top terrace overlooking Saint Stephen’s Square.We spent several sunsets & late evening finishes there, sometimes with other guests.

 
The window just below the small railing was our bathroom…

Walking to the Vaparretto (water bus) stop we remembered adventures we had had
inside the central smaller arched window… on a previous visit.

I enjoyed this view on our way down the stairway to the street.
Wrought iron grills always seem more romantic in Venice… 

MY EYES & ART!

This piece spoke to me… I was awaiting having my cataracts fixed upon my return home…

We are here to swim in the vast visual sea of an art event known as the Biennale… having been held for a season of months every second [odd] year for more than a century… since 1895.

While the whole city becomes involved, with scattered national, private & corporate galleries… often requiring treks up numerous stairs into the upper floors of ancient palazzi…

 Yet, one provocative example reached out of the canal waters…

There are two main venues:
The Giardini is a more formal park with a collection of permanent national pavilions, sometimes brashly fresh but often if not rather stiflingly antique, seeming rather tired. 
The Arsenale… is an even more antique form,
while being an infinitely more aesthetic & functional space for exposition.

The Arsenale itself became fascinating to me… often eclipsing the art it housed.  Part of Venice’s historic naval base, this hugely long building was a ship-building facility of extraordinary capabilities. A ship in a day! The present building is simply handsome in rather a more Renaissance manner than its incredible description as being Medieval.

The vast spaces where Venezia built her ships now offer fabulous venues for my imagination… not to mention that it offers the same for curating such a plethora of rich contemporary creativity. The long colonnade, with various patterns of brickwork exposed through broken stucco, supports an immense beamed roof.

The center wooden floor no doubt overlays the mechanique & iron tracking on which the vessels being built were moved along between numerous transepts housing workshop bays specific to that particular stage of production, many having additional tracks from exterior delivery ports supplying material for the various crafts.

All this puts a beautiful lie to any notion that the assembly line was invented by Henry Ford!

These hundred brick plinths became sentinels & sentries,
characters gracefully holding raw space for a cultural dance…

Ample space encourages gardens of visual ideas inside conceptual forests.

Fibers are integral to outfitting ships with essential need for sails & cordage… used here to make an airy tent form inviting meditation & play.

Suddenly fiber becomes bales of color!

Shipping becomes metaphorical & dreamlike…

Boxes of mirrors precisely reflect unexpected presumptions…

Stories require imagination…

 

Visual technology abounds…

 …while also presenting the eerie experience of climbing up into space
holding a mirror of shallow suspended water reflecting the rafters…
inviting reverie… perhaps on sea-rise.

 An unexpected dessert of Chinese intricacy in several media followed an exuberant introduction of laser-cut sheet-metal [brass or anodized aluminum?] 

A later ton of not-dissimilar paper-cuts…

Making a wall…

 Embroidery was abundantly featured as a third medium.
Not at all “forbidden stitch”…  but a lusciously long impasto of stroke-able silk…

Ireland presented an arresting video atmosphere presided over by a gorgeous crone…

Bones of Lucy do indeed bridge…

New Zealand’s space presented a hundred foot screen showing a statically painted mural… scrolling, right to left, which movement triggered vignettes to become animated as they processed, being gradually replaced by a next story, all handsomely stylized in an idyllic manner
triggering inherently residual memories of colonial comfort.

 

Arrival at the end of the building invited celebration…

This alley, parallel to the building & pacing toward the exit, invited… at the conclusion of an intense day… absorption & distillation.
Time to contemplate a martini at Harry’s!

I wrote in my journal: ‘The Giaradini was a bit disappointing yesterday.”
That after the Arsenale & before deeper cogitation…

The Giaradini’s central building suggests being four-square… having an octagonal dome…

Four pieces by John Waters, hung thus in each of the corner vestibules,
 observing succinctly the games of the art world
which happily I mostly left many years ago.

Peeking into the cafe was dizzying!

Balanced by…
This first glimpse of the Hungarian Pavilion piqued satisfaction inside
its portal of Nouveau exuberance.

Gondolas are becoming rarer, but this stalwart example battled some rough water as we passed on the vaporetto… the larger boats which are the city’s water bus system…

This long post does not begin to share the full experience of Venice, so I am planning to later make several shorter posts about those details. This verbose writer is continuing a life-long practice learning literally to communicate… 
Patience Please!