6/3/2007

I am still coping with blogging without a camera--my friend did loan me one, but I don't have the docking station to download photos.

However, the blog goes on. I got up this morning with the idea of running to Golden Gate Park and when I got there, I talked with

A Bride and Groom at the Japanese Tea Garden

People in love are always friendly. I'd really wanted to talk to the group of kimono'd women serving tea, but they were too busy and instead descended upon the bride and groom dressed in tux and white gown, posing for their wedding photos in front of the pagodas. Her favorite book--nothing, she doesn't read. His--Slaughter House Five, by Kurt Vonnegut.

A Woman Reading and Listening to Music, on a bench, in the sun, near the Golden Gate Park Band Shell

(La Vie, by Picasso, from www.artquotes.net)

Reading Picasso: The Real Family Story, a biography about Pablo Picasso, written by his grandson, Olivier Widmaier Picasso.

She's just returned from a tour of Italy and Spain where she saw a lot of his work. There, she says, you see all of his phases whereas here, we generally identify him with cubism. On her trip she spent a lot of time on the train and the bus and had brought Anna Karenina along to read but spent most of her time either sleeping or looking out the window. There were other things to be engrossed in.

Her favorite books of all time--Anna Karenina and Zorba the Greek, by Nikos Kazantzakis, which she's read several times, the first time when she was nineteen. It's not only a great book, but also an easy read, she said, and you can start it on a Friday and finish by the end of the weekend.

On Sunday afternoons, unless she's made other plans, she likes to walk in the park and usually brings a book.

What's next on her list--The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai, winner of the Booker Prize, for her book group.

A couple, on JFK Drive, He--photographing daisies, She--plucking their petals

I asked them what their favorite books were and they didn't know what to say. "The Bible," he blurted out, but he was kidding. It's not, though they remarked that a few states over that would be the answer. "She reads all the time," he said, but she couldn't think of a favorite. She enjoys nonfiction, mostly history. Right now she's reading All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, by Stephen Kinser. I asked him if he head read it, too, but he shook his head, "I've lived it," he said. He grew up in Iran.

After picking her brain (and a few more daisy petals) she arrived at the answer, a near and dear book from her childhood-- Fox in Sox, by Dr. Seuss. He supplied his favorite childhood book-- Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White. I was happy to supply a recitation of the first page. This is one of my least often called upon talents. When I was about 8 years old my mother insisted that my siblings and I read for thirty minutes every day. My sister and I usually picked up Charlotte's Web and started from the beginning each time. As a result, we had memorized the first page: "Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. "Out to the hoghouse," replied Mrs. Arable.... ending with Fern's sneakers were sopping by the time she caught up with her father. We did make it through the whole book, but Fern's initial jump to action inspired us more than Charlotte's web weaving skills and the talking farm animals.

I stumbled a little and forgot at which point Mrs. Arable put the pitcher of cream on the table, but they were still, I think, impressed.




1 Comment:

nbm said...

very clever to use existing images.

by the way, that Picasso, "La vie," is owned by the Cleveland Museum of Art and is currently in New York in the Metropolitan Museum's exhibition on Barcelona. It's a stunning picture. Seriously, I turned my head, saw it, and exclaimed.