Safe Social Intimacy

Safe Social Intimacy

Here is Anne, with her newest old friend. If you ask me, she is a bit of a block head, literally, her head is a solid block of wood. She was one of Dan’s earliest sculpture projects, way back from when he was attending Webster. She “stood” for too many years in the backyard, exposed to wind and rain. This gave her a severe case of spinal scoliosis, so that one day she just toppled over. Ever since, she has been living on our back porch. In this new normal, she has become an old friend again. I mean in these times, you need all of the friends you can get.

Happy faces aside, we’re dyeing here, or at least Anne is. Please note spelling, and don’t get your panties in a bunch. It’s a long story, so please bear with me. She had initially begun a memory quilt for her mother, but that effort has now transitioned into a memorial quilt in honor of her. Its principle design is guided by the Finlayson tartan. She had found a place in Scotland that sells this pattern at seventy pounds to the meter. That price offended her Scottish pride, besides she was always way more into to DIY. She is using ribbons to signify the thin red and yellow lines that are part of the pattern. She had no problem getting the red ribbon, but could not find any yellow ones. She did get white ones though. Her initial plan was to use one of her fabric magic markers to color the white ribbon yellow, but the prospect of this task seemed too daunting. Enter plan B. She cooked the white ribbon in a concoction featuring turmeric. Think, bubble, bubble toil and trouble if you like, but the product came out pretty good. She even had enough yellow dye left over to tie-die two old white t-shirts. They also came out looking good. She is such a crafty person. 

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Deer, Tony Tasset, 2015

Look, Dear. Yes, Dear? Oh, Dear! Instead of walking around the neighborhood, as has been our wont, we ventured out to Laumeier Sculpture Park for our steps today. We got there early enough to avoid the maddening crowd. Pictured is a new piece that also symbolizes the big deer population problem that this area has. In the background is the park’s signature artwork, The Way. Perspective plays tricks here with the apparent sizes of people and objects in the photo. The deer is much bigger than Anne, but not as big as it looks here and The Way, at three stories tall, is not as small as it looks here either.

We had fun exploring the park and in addition to the art, we experienced wildlife too. We saw a Cooper’s hawk getting dive bombed by a crow and heard a Bard owl calling out, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?” Also, there were numerous Cardinals out singing. We even saw a Bluebird, our state bird.

Recess, Geoffrey Krawzyck, 2014

Another relatively new artwork that we saw is called, Recess, by Geoffrey Krawzyck. At first sight, it is a little underwhelming. It is a newly constructed ruin of a brick building. Only the front façade and side walls are still standing, but on closer examination many of the red bricks have inscriptions etched into them, often with interesting sayings: STL ♥ Baseball; STL is the most culturally rich city per capita in America; Bricks as bones, still standing stones Where husks of dreams lament a reverie of reliquaries line the avenues of hope.

Grotto of the Sleeping Bear, Mark Dion, 1997

The final new to us artwork is an actual ruin, the remains of the property’s stone spring house, from back before this site was a park and still private property. In its day, the spring house was a place to cool off from the notoriously hot Saint Louis summers, in the days before air conditioning. It used an artisanal spring to make natural refrigeration. The artist Mark Dion has repurposed this structure as the Grotto of the Sleeping Bear, complete with a life like bear, in repose. Dion also has an exhibit inside one of the park’s museum, but that is currently closed.

Kubo Cherry Tree at Isazawa

Kubo Cherry Tree at Isazawa, Namiki Hajime, 2001

Zoom-bombing is now a thing. Zoom is a video conferencing app that is now of course all the rage. Our school district is using it for online teaching and Anne uses it to do her virtual gyro classes. Speaking of which, while she was working out, I virtually virtual exercised, while playing Civilization in the next room. Anyway, on some of the more public uses of Zoom, internet trolls have hijacked the video feed and substituted objectional imagery. I think that more experience will halt this behavior, but this is the world that we now live in. 

I have placed my first delivery order for groceries with InstaCart. I have seen their green t-shirt clad shoppers in the store for months now. With one hand on their shopping cart and the other holding a cell phone, they ply the aisles looking for other people’s food. Their website seems up-to-date with what is still available and warns when an item selected is running low. Their surcharge is modest, but my order won’t be delivered until Thursday.

Well, it wasn’t just the rain that halted the water company from tearing up the street and more importantly, putting it back together again. I think that a week is plenty of time to cure concrete. Besides they still have the other half of the block to do. They worked last Tuesday. It rained (a lot) both Wednesday and Thursday. It didn’t rain of Friday, but they usually only work a half-day anyway. They never work weekends and there was no sign of them today. I’m afraid that a torn up street is now also part of the new normal, but as Anne pointed out to me, at least they are on the other side of the street. If this situation continues, I expect that our across the street neighbors, will first cut the yellow caution tape, so that they can start using their driveways again. Then the orange cone will get moved, allowing on street parking on that side too. Except for my across-the-street neighbor who was gifted with a gravel pile. Do you detect a little schadenfreude here? Well, let’s talk about sewer lines then. The shoe was on the other side of the foot back then, when all of the work was on our side of the street.

While the above artwork version of cherry blossoms is gorgeous, there is nothing quite like the real thing. Saturday was a beautiful day and Anne and I took advantage of this brief spell of nice weather and got out for a walk. Spring has sprung and there are many varieties of flowering trees in bloom.

Neighborhood Cherry Blossoms