Monday, December 9, 2013

My Week-End in the Arts

It's been one of those week-ends that's oh so rare lately, one of those week-ends that in my naive younger years, I thought would be every week-end.  Sigh.  But at least we live in a place where such week-ends are possible.  You probably do too.

On Friday, I went to the Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale.  It was wonderful to see the exhibits--the one on wood--oh, the variations of art and wood!--was amazing.

I grew up going to Smithsonian museums, so I understand that the Ft. Lauderdale museum is small.  In that size, it's like many a museum in local communities.  Most cities of any size have some sort of museum, museums created in the last century by philanthropists who needed a place to park their art and their cash.  People from larger cities may scoff, but there are advantages to a small museum.

For one, you can actually see all the art.  It's a manageable size.  You wander through a few galleries, and then, just as you're feeling overwhelmed, you're done.  You can go back and linger, without that feeling of a huge building to make your way through.  You're less likely to have to deal with crowds.  You can see quirky exhibits that no larger museum would allow.

On Saturday, I spent part of the day writing a short story.  I went to spin class with my head full of the Nelson Mandela blog posts I'd been writing.  I have a writing date planned with a friend for Thursday--I need something.  I'd been thinking of a short story that involved quilts.  Lo and behold, something different came into my brain.  I had fun on Saturday and Sunday writing that story.  I'm not done yet.  I will have a few more days of fun.

On Saturday night, I went to hear my husband sing in the concert that the Broward Chorale presents once a semester.  We got to hear The Messiah and then, pieces by Gilbert and Sullivan, with a few assorted pieces in between. I've had parts of Handel in my brain, along with Gilbert and Sullivan--it's a strange mix.

On Sunday afternoon, we headed back to Bailey Concert Hall to hear the Broward Symphony.  Our friend plays bass, and at first, we thought we'd get her comp tickets.  But then her grown children decided to go.  However, we didn't mind paying.

When we got to the ticket window, I said, "I teach English here at Broward College, but I forgot my faculty ID."  The woman handed me 2 tickets and said, "We believe you."  I was hoping for reduced admission, but we got in free!

The concert was wonderful:  a fairly traditional symphony and two pieces that were more experimental.  On our way to the car, I heard some of the concert goers express distress, but I thought it was wonderful, what the instruments could do when asked to perform in a non-traditional way.

I have a child's love of instruments.  I love the way they look and the sounds they make and I'd love to touch them all and try them out.  I'd also love to wake up in the morning magically endowed with the ability to play.

As I reflected on my week-end, I thought about how I once believed that every week-end would be like this one, if I could just get to a big enough city.  But I've had similar resources--small art museums, my own writing, concerts given by local artists--in every small, Southern town in which I've lived.  Then, as now, I'm not willing to spend huge amounts of money on local musicians that come through.  Then, as now, I'd rather pay $10 to go to a museum (or nothing at all, as the Smithsonian charges; I'll often wait for the free admission day) than to pay for a big art show.

Would my soul feel any more nourished if I'd heard Itzhak Perlman?  Maybe.  But I'd have had to wipe out my checking account to do that, and that would deplete my enjoyment and nourishment.

Life begins to get a bit more hectic again with visitors and the holidays.  I'll stay on the lookout for ways to infuse that time with artistic outings.  It's good for me in all sorts of ways.

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