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Posts tagged Houston


I feel a little justified or vindicated in my hobbies ’cause both my grandfathers are serious amateur photographers. It’s in my blood: trees, photographs, and cities. Last time I was in Texas, I took this picture from the pile of things to trash. My mother’s father took it, at Puget Sound in the fifties or sixties or seventies. It’s so strange: Seattle is somewhere I go and love now, and I never pictured him there, but it looks exactly like a picture I’d take.

When I got home this summer, that watercolor was on my pillow. “Oh, yes — ” my mother said, “that was at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and I kept looking at it and thinking I knew where it was, and Stacy said, ‘that’s the Spanish Steps!’ So I decided to get it for you. I hope it’s okay.” She didn’t know I’d spent several nights and afternoons on the Steps, thinking and praying and watching. I love the Spagna metro escalator very much.

So those two prints sit by each other on my bookshelf and desk, tying up Houston and Rome and Seattle.


Today Sarah quoted Sheila Hati at me: all of these people, she summarized, are so different and so interesting but observing them doesn’t tell me how I should be, because all their characteristics fit them so perfectly, and they are them.

I am an amalgam, too; I’m not like you. From Philadelphia nominally, but I think of myself as Texas and Minnesota and maybe Vancouver, and I am coffee in Austin and the green drives of Philadelphia and even bookstores in St. Louis and always the best at finding somewhere good to eat, drink, and read; and I am being, everywhere.

Posted in human beings, on art, photographs | Also tagged , , , , Comments Off on Place.


We’re lucky to start a new genre — the epic, the novel, the blog. We and I are, though, still figuring out what it is and how to do it well.

I’ve taken hardly any pictures in the past two months. These span March through September of this year. No meaning, other than: Hmm.

Posted in on art, photographs, summer, website | Also tagged , 2 Comments

Witness and prophet: day five.

As the idea of a museum slowly took shape, I dreamed of preserving some of the intimacy I had enjoyed with the works of art: we would rotate portions of the collection in generous and attractive space . . . The public would never know museum fatigue and would have the rare joy of sitting in front of a painting and contemplating it.
Dominique de Menil

Let’s keep talking modernism.

The Menil Collection is the best place. The museum’s brochure notes that “as modernists, the de Menils recognized the profound formal and spiritual connections between contemporary works of art and the arts of ancient and indigenous cultures.” They do: the collection is such a good mix, and so easy to browse.

Thanks to some Jasper Johns; some Mark Rothoko; the insane Untitled (Structures) film installation — sixteen minutes of barely-moving images projected on adjoining walls –; and all kinds of ancient, religious, and indigenous art, I have much in my mind today.

Posted in on art, photographs | Comments Off on Witness and prophet: day five.