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.

Life in the New Normal

I’ve taken to texting the boys on an almost daily basis now. The last time, I was rewarded with these photos from Dave. He and Maren had escaped the confines of Boston and had driven down to the cape, where they found plenty of space in which to distance themselves with. Unlike Fort Lauderdale, it looks like they had the beach pretty much to themselves.

5 Boroughs Pandemic Map

Dan meanwhile is living in the hot zone. He sent me this map that was current as of yesterday morning. He lives in the red ring that covers most of Brooklyn. He lives across the street from an Orthodox Jewish community center. Looking out his front window, he could see a crowd had gathered there. First the Shul police tried to break up the gathering and then NYPD rolled up. Dan and Brit have been holed up together, subsisting on takeout and delivery. He has kind of lucked out this department. First a pizza order got screwed up and they got four free pizzas for the price of one. Likewise, a breakfast order was delivered twice. Can you say second breakfast?

Meanwhile, back on the farm, Anne and I went out for our daily constitutional. Then Anne attended another virtual gyrotonics class. I went for a bike ride. For a change, there was not a cloud in the sky, although it was pretty windy, so this marvelous weather won’t last very long. The park was pretty crowded, but not too. With the zoo and all of the museums shuttered, there were fewer people in the park than such a fine day would normally garner. Only the restrooms and the golf courses are still open. There were lots of flowers out, including the redbud, which is in full bloom. Two of those large flashing highway signs, the kind that normally tell you which lane ahead is closed, had been installed. Their message was, “Six Feet Apart Folks.” They could have turned them off though, for all of the effect that they appeared to be having. I didn’t use the bike path, but kept to the roads, which allowed me my space.