JEXIT Stop 3 – A Little Bit of Culture

After a full and long day, I thought that I would sleep like a log on Friday night.  Nope, that’s not what happened at all.  Again, I awoke after only about 3 hours of sleep because my nose was still stopped up and my overly abundant mucous was hindering my breathing.  Again, my cold woke me up so I thoroughly blew my nose and applied some more Vicks; but I don’t know what kept me up.  This time, I didn’t go back to sleep at all.  Instead, I did my devotions and Whatsapp’d for a while, then eventually I got up and pulled myself together.  Even with the lack of sleep, I felt pretty good.  Still, late in the morning I wandered up the street to a nearby cafe (different one from Friday) to try out their latte.  It wasn’t the best but it didn’t disappoint.

My original plan for Saturday was to pretty much be on my laptop all day, mainly due to a project that I’m working on.  God came up with a better plan.  Spiritual Mentor #2, her daughter and I spent the entire afternoon and evening together.  Yay-yuh!

I got to choose what we did for the afternoon and since I hadn’t been to an excellent art exhibit all year (the UN exhibit I gate-crashed with the Jamaican back in October doesn’t count – although I had a good time, it wasn’t a great exhibit) I chose the best-rated art museum in the city.  Well, I picked 2 options and had my companions decide which we would do, and thankfully, the final decision they made was perfect.

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Statue of Rebecca, Jacob’s wife…that’s 1 solid and continous piece of marble, even the veil over her face

We went to the High Museum of Art.  There, we spent a good 3 hours or so, one of those on a pretty informative guided tour and the rest of the time wandering around the exhibits by ourselves.  We saw statues and paintings and furniture and photographs and other objet d’art.  Most of it was very impressive and some of it – the more contemporary pieces – was puzzling for me.  But that wasn’t surprising since I’m not a fan of abstract art.  I don’t like too much darkness (unless it is emphasising the light) in my art and I don’t like pieces that I have to figure out what they’re supposed to be.  I never have and I likely never will.

I did see one piece that was absolutely fascinating.  It was an untitled work by Anish Kapoor.  It’s a giant concave dish that was about twice my height which looked like it was made of a multitude of mirrored glass pieces but was actually made of a multitude of steel pieces, polished by the artist to such a high shine that they look like glass.  The piece looks deceptively simple and could easily be mistaken for just a giant mirror but there’s an acoustic secret hidden within it.  If you stand right in front of it, facing it, and speak at the dish, someone standing directly behind you up to several feet away will hear you like you were standing right beside them, talking directly into their ear.  The speaker also feels like their voice is coming at them through over-ear headphones (not ear buds), like all other sound is obliterated and your voice is a little bit muffled.  We had a little fun playing around with that.

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Untitled by Anish Kapoor

I also learned a little about Eric Carle, an author who has written and beautifully illustrated dozens of children’s books, every one with a solid life lesson and not one of which I had (sadly) ever heard of before.  You see, this is why I like well-curated museums – they edify and enlighten me so much, if only I take the time to go!

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I can relate to the last sentence…my entire year has been a challenging journey with happy and surprising results

After we were done squeezing all we wanted out of our museum visit, we were off to dinner at an Italian restaurant.  I’m not a big fan of pasta – except a good lasagna – but Italian restaurants have so much more than spaghetti and ravioli.  Also, Spiritual Mentor #2, knowing of the salad cravings I’ve been having to try to cleanse my body of a year of rice and oil, assured me that this restaurant had really good salads.

She was not wrong.  I had tomato basil soup and a grilled chicken caprese salad; it had mozzarella, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onions and garlic croutons and was topped off with balsamic vinaigrette.  Oh, and we started off the meal with some type of delicious bread that we dipped in olive oil with parmesan and black pepper that our server prepared fresh for us.  By the time we were done with our meal about an hour and a half later, I was too full to even consider dessert.

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The picture is kind of grainy because of the low lighting in the restaurant but believe me, this salad was delicious and well presented

We hung out for a little while longer, including making a stop for me to get a vial of eucalyptus oil to help with my still annoyingly stuffy nose; the OTC meds were working but not for long after I took each dose, and Spiritual Mentor #2 thankfully had a brain wave about me getting some essential oils to help with my problem.  We got back to my hotel some time after 8 pm, and soon after that I tried out my oil and found blessed relief.

As I wound down for the day, I was still feeling really good about JEXIT Stop 3.  Not only had I absorbed some very welcome culture, but I had eaten great food, got an effective cold remedy that I wouldn’t have thought of and, most important of all, spent unplanned, uninterrupted time with two of my favourite people in the world.  It couldn’t get any better, right?

Wrong.  It totally did.

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