Monday, December 28, 2015

Rooney Mara

Elle January 2016

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)
'There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow.' Here, Yeats inverts the day: the sun shines (glimmers) at midnight at noon is the color of a moon lit dark sky (purple). The topsy turvey day represents the mystical or transcendence that will bring him peace. Even when he is on 'the pavements grey,' possibly, probably, London, he can, through this mystical union, be back to where he is productive, 'nine bean-rows will I have there ...' and in tune to the natural world.

The lovely purple shade on the cover of January's Elle, reminded me of Yeats' purple glow. And the lovely Gucci dress that Rooney Mara is wearing appears transcendent of reality. The cutouts of the dress look almost cartoon like- the gold bow/ruffles and epaulets especially. It is transcendent. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

David Bowie

Rolling Stone December 17-31, 2015
Always a fan of Bowie, it kicked into high gear the fan that I am of his artistry after seeing the Bowie exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Seeing the whole artist- music, art, film, fashion, I had a reawakened appreciation for the man and his work. And more than his music, I appreciate his artistry and process more than the songs themselves.

I did not buy, nor really listen to, Bowie's surprise record that was released two years ago. I didn't seek it out, and it wasn't really ever played on the radio, so I didn't hear any of it. This new record, which is will be released on January 8th, Bowie's 69th birthday, as seen in Andy Greene's Rolling Stone piece, had me checking it out on the Internet. In the article, Greene quotes Tony Visconti, Bowie's producer: "We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar ... We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact that Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn't do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll."

Well, that is awfully interesting. The first song that I searched for is Blackstar, which is also the title of the record. I learned from the article that ITunes doesn't post singles longer than 10-minutes, so Bowie and Visconti had to cut it to just under 10. Imagine a 10-minute single, not a 70's album rock song like, oh, Freebird, but a contemporary piece. The song was produced as a short film. Greene describes it as "a surreal short movie where he portrays a blind prophet in space who comes across a group of scarecrow figures getting crucified." I have viewed it only once, and I can't seem to move it out of head. I was standing in a line for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, and I demonstrated the apocolyptic dance that the characters of the film perform while Bowie, the prophet, sings/preaches. It's mesmerizing and is what, in my estimation, makes Bowie so fascinating.

Part of the MCA Bowie exhibit was a retrospective of his films. I have seen most of them, and this fall, during Halloween, I found The Hunger, a lush, sensual vampire movie made with Catherine Deneuve. It was the perfect accompaniment to a darkening, blustery autumn night. Bowie is captivating. He has a subtle power. It sinks, perhaps permeates, in its intensity. He is magnetic. The video for Blackstar reminded me of this power. He is a vampire in its most romantic sense. He has aged, but not in the way that mere mortals do. His face is experienced, not weathered. He is an handsome man. I can feel his heart beat in this video, and I want to be pulled in by him. His artistic vision is fresh.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pretty Things

Vogue October 2015

I'm not so sure that this was merchandised very well, but the bracelet 
is lovely. I wouldn't mind having one of those under the tree. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lupita Nyong'o

Vogue October 2015
Lupita is stunning as always in this beautiful ice'd shade. This photo shoot was shot long before the recent attacks on Paris. Not her beauty necessarily, but beauty itself is the only thing that can save us. The beauty to let each live the lives that they were meant to naturally, not in some exaggerated radicalism that is fundamentally not what is intended for us.

I love this color for winter. Fifteen years ago, I bought an outfit of the same. The skirt had playful polka dots and the long sleeved t-shirt-like top coordinated. I remember it so clearly because it was the Christmas that my nephew was born, and I went to my sister's house for the holidays because Joey was coming. And come he did on Christmas day. I was happy to be there and able for the first of my nieces and nephews to attend their baptism. He wore a beautiful lace gown, and I wore blue.

The other thing that I remember from this particular trip is that I had the flu. The real flu. My brother-in-law is a physician and decided that I need an array of pharmaceuticals to temper the symptoms. The over-dose of flu medication did not work. He decided that what would really work is the salt of the sea. My sister lives in Puerto Rico, and there's plenty of that there. Naturally, what he really wanted was Titi Carol to come along with him on his trip to the beach so that he could sit in the ocean with all of the papis and drink whiskey whilst I watched the children. There was something about the salty breeze that wafted across the warm sands. Lucky for me, one of the cousins was old enough to keep an eye on the children so that my head that could not be held up any longer could go down. And down it went to a flu-induced sleep. The children were fine, papi was whiskey'd, and I got some needed sleep. The salt air was the trick.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cinderella's Bavarian Castle

Real Simple December 2015
This summer I traveled to Europe with my sister's family: her husband and four children. It was a wonderful trip to Vienna, Austria to Bavaria to Prague. Enrique, my brother-in-law remembered touring the area years before and wanted the kids to see it. I had been to Vienna and Prague before, but never Bavaria. And I didn't know that "Mad King of Ludwig of Bavaria' built a castle that Walt Disney would build an empire with it as its signature princess castle.

The day that we visited the Neuschwanstein castle, Europe was gripped in a heat wave. Heavy air sat on us as we tramped up the hill, up the stairs, and up some more stairs. So many people were on the tour that I wasn't really able to hear the docent describe what I was seeing. I decided to just hang back to catch any air that might move through the darkness of the stone edifice. I've visited plenty of castles in my travels, and I wasn't quite convinced that this was magical. It was like the air: heavy. But the story is an interesting one, and once I was able to catch up to my people, I heard my nephew say to the docent, 'didn't they kill the King because he was gay?' Well, that is interesting. The intrigue of it.

Once down the hill and revived with a couple of beers, we walked over to the lake. Its water was so clear. First my youngest nephew then brother-in-law stripped to their skivvies and dived in. My 11 year old niece was shy, but once wet with the water that the boys shoved at her, I said, 'let's go.' And I enjoyed the happy and cool party enjoying the Alpine view and sweet water. As it turns out, King Ludwig learned to swim in the very lake. The magazine described it beautifully: Along the banks are tall pines, their branches shaggy with freshly fallen snow, and up above, mountains whose dark reflections quiver in the lake's icy water. For us, the water was incredibly icy fresh, but the snow was gone, and the mountains were even more dark without the snow. There, I felt the allure of the place.