Saturday, July 26, 2008

welcome to my world

I had an opportunity today to do something that I've never done. It's something I've always wanted to do though. And since I have Fridays off for a couple of weeks, I just couldn't sit at home again watching the telly, sleeping in, and taking naps. That's the road to depression, and I've been fighting it with every breath I've got since this whole menopause thing.

Lately it's been even worse because my thyroid has taken yet another nosedive, and the soonest I can get in to the endocrinologist is the last week of August. Unfortunately, that's when classes start, and once classes start, I won't get a day free till the holidays. So I'm on my own with this for now. Hey, wait a minute...thyroid nosediving, extra that's why it won't come off. I've exercised every day for three weeks, and had absolutely no fast food in that time, but lost not a single pound for my hard work. Now it makes sense.

Getting through the days are rough with all the hormone stuff going on. And it doesn't help when the knowledge that I'm fat, middle aged, alone, and getting wrinkled is right there at the edge of consciousness 24/7. Except... unless... until I visit a magical place where none of that matters.

So I spent the whole day today in wonderland...aka, the Met. Metropolitan Museum of Art for you non-New Yorkers. I've always wanted to go alone when I had a whole day available, and on a day when they were open late. But it's always been a trip with visiting friends, or rugrat, when we can only stay a short while. So today, I said...I'm doing it! And I did it.

And as I walked through my favorite spots, taking photos with my new camera (hell, Dell owns my soul already from the computers, I didn't think the camera would make much difference), I found it to be an emotional experience. Earphones sending me classic yoyo ma and anonymous 4, I walked through some of the most incredible art, and history, that the world has to offer, all up close and personal.

It almost makes me feel more connected to the world somehow, rather than detached, as I usually feel. As if somehow, I'm a part of all that past, there is continuity, and life won't really end. There were moments, especially in my favorite spots, when I had to fight to hold the tears back. What would people have thought about the nut job walking around the museum with watery eyes.

So I walked and gazed and daydreamed until my feet, legs, back, and camera battery all died. And it isn't lost on me that the battery lasted longer than my body. I started in the Greek and Roman Art section, and I must confess that they know how to sculpt the body in the ideal form.

I followed the hallways and rooms through the Arts of Africa, and for the first time visited the Modern Art wing where I found, among other treasures, some fabulous Picassos. I particularly liked this one; to me it looked like a woman at a desk writing, and I know I feel fragmented when I'm stuck at my desk working.

One of my most favorite places is the European Sculpture Court. It's a long room lined with sculptures, topped by a glass ceiling. This afternoon was a lovely sunny day, and the sun streamed down into the room and on the statues, lending a warm glow to everyone. It was the place to sit and just take it all in for a moment.

This is an example of the statues from the Court: Lucretia.

From there I moved into the Medieval Art section. This is one of my favorites, too. I love, love, love tapestries and took lots of photos of huge tapestries that covered entire walls and told intriguing stories. Look at this:

And then some of the detail up close -- it's just incredible:

And how could I not pop in to the Armor room; I mean, I was there in Medieval World, how could I not?

And so, I wandered at will, stopping when something fascinating caught my eye, moving on if it wasn't as interesting. Then I looked at my watch and realized a couple of hours had passed. Then I began to feel my feet and back -- not to mention a bit of tummy grumblies -- so popped down to the cafeteria (the least expensive place to eat in the museum) to stop the grumblies and rest the tootsies before I moved on to the second floor and my other favorite place.

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