All in one weekend? All of this? And how can so many things be both happy and sad at the same time? Let me count the ways.
First, Earl is beginning his move into a new studio space at Art Supply on Main Street. He has been using my studio space on weekends and during holidays for almost ten months. His 'borrowing' of my studio was to have been for last summer only. But as I've been truly busy for most of this time managing the civic art project for the new Houston Permitting Center, I overlooked the fact that that studio of mine was ever more taken up with Earl's 'stuff'. However, a month ago, I looked ahead, saw my job ending in July and told Earl he must find a studio to call his own.
Now he's found one and it is a wonderful space with a bathroom and kitchenette and walk-in closet in addition to lots of wide open square footage. He's just had the concrete floor painted a deep green and today, he spent time putting up samples of wall colors. Then he spent more time boxing his art supplies, canvases, books, jam box and CDs, finished work and everything else that's been collecting in my studio.
Seems that right now, I am both elated and sad. Elated to see my own space being cleared so that I can use it once again. Sad at the same time, seeing all his 'stuff' ready to depart to a new place. Really? Yes, really. Note that in the photo below, all the 'stuff' in the center of the room belongs to Earl.
I loved watching him paint right here. At the very same time, I welcome his departure and am looking forward to seeing him work in space all his own, surrounded with his masks and folk art, pottery and what seem to be hundreds of brushes, dozens of portfolios and boxes filled with journals, sketch books and tomes on Renaissance painters. I can hardly wait to see how each of us remake our own studio space.
In addition to all of this planning and moving and painting, Earl took me to a movie theater yesterday afternoon to see Rossini's "Le Comte Ory," a very amusing opera where the women are not felled as victims and the production, costumes and staging were gorgeous.
Tenor Juan Diego Florez became a new father about 35 minutes before curtain call. Wonder if he sang with more joy because he'd just held his new son?
Mike Silverman writes for the Associated Press that the opera is " As light as a souffle, as sparkling as a glass of champagne, Gioachino Rossini's final comedy, "Le Comte Ory" has finally made it to the Metropolitan Opera. And with a brilliant cast of bel canto specialists in key roles, the production that premiered Thursday night is a rare feast for the ear."
This Saturday matinee was broadcast on the radio and transmitted in high definition to that movie theater in Webster, TX, and to movie theaters around the world. I loved it and told Earl I want to go to hear the next and the next.
We returned home really sated and happy and then watched the first three episodes of Mad Men, Season 4. Very good, but its darkness permeated the rest of the weekend. Felt it especially when compared to the antics of the opera. Things are heavy in Mad Men.
There is more. I called my good friend Katherine and found that she suffered an episode in January that knocked her right out as she prepared to sit in her chair with morning coffee. She spent a week in the hospital and then this vibrant, active woman was told she cannot drive anymore. She has just moved into a retirement community and her town home is for sale. She has a lovely new two bedroom apartment, but she eats in a dining room filled with folks in wheelchairs and walkers with untended hair and I know that they certainly are not wearing the trim, fashionable clothes that Katherine wears. Hearing from Katherine just about did me in as she is one of the most vibrant, busy, extroverted women I know. She worked with me at the East End Chamber for several years and I always called on her when the management district was giving a party because she always knew everyone and made folks feel welcome.
All that said, she is now ninety. But not to drive anymore? When she is still actively engaged? How does she get where she needs to go? She served as Idylwood's Garden Club president again last year. Now she can't even drive in to attend the monthly Saturday morning meetings. How will she do all the thing she is accustomed to doing? And where are we all headed? It's not pretty.
Finally, Earl and I took a walk around the neighborhood this morning and Earl had to return home right in the middle of it because his hip began to hurt. I kept on for my 45 minutes, but now my knees feel funny for the first time. They've been feeling a little funny since last Tuesday at Pilates. Does this mean I cannot take a morning walk in flip flops? Do I need much more support, not for my feet, but for my knees. This is not good news.
Finally, no phone or Skype visits with any of my three daughters. I am pining for them all. Miss them so much and won't get to the Pacific Northwest until June.
That's it. A good weekend and yet filled with small sorrows, some more important than others. On a lighter, softer note, the Confederate jasmine along the driveway is filling the air with its pungent fragrance.
A new cherry laurel tree is really taking off in the front garden. And there are several other smaller cherry laurels doing quite well in close proximity.