January 29, 2012

Water Lilies.

I recently had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Claude Monet's Agapanthus Triptych (aka Water Lilies).  I've long been a Monet fan and have been to a few exhibits of his work in my lifetime, but seeing the triptych in person was spectacular, awe-inspiring, and moving.  It reminded me of how I felt when I saw Michelangelo's David when I went to Florence.  You go into it knowing it's special, expecting it to be cool to see it in person, but then you get there and experience these masterpieces up close and you realize the extent of the greatness you are witnessing and it nearly brings a tear to your eye.  Or shall I say does bring a tear to your eye.  If you ever go to Florence, please go see David.  Thank you.

Anyway, back to the Agapanthus Triptych.  For those unaware, the triptych was the crowning glory of Monet's Water Lilies series.  The three pieces together total 42 feet and took him over 10 years to complete.  Late in the 1950's, the three pieces were separated and acquired by three different U.S. museums.  The current traveling exhibit is the first time the three works have been displayed together in over 30 years.  It's a small exhibit, as it's all about the triptych, but before you get to that, you see replicas of the original three panels - which started out as very different paintings.  Especially the left panel, which used to have a big Agapanthus plant in the forefront and is the reason for the title.  I say "used to" because Monet eventually painted over that completely.  That particular panel started out with much stronger lines and unusually bold, deep colors, but in the end, had flowing, fuzzy strokes and those soft, cool colors that only Monet could so perfectly achieve.  My guess is that his failing eyesight had something to do with how his strokes changed over the years, but the colors he started out with are what surprised me the most, as they were not what you think of when you think of Monet's Water Lilies series.  I wish I could show you all three panels as they started out, but those jerks in the museum said no photography allowed (other than the photo at the top, which is all I could get.  That's Mr. Monet inside the doorway.).

The display of the triptych itself was executed very simply, as it should be.  It's in its own large room with one giant custom-made frame around it, illuminated with minimal lighting from the top.  It's hung with a slight curvature to it, and as soon as you walk in you're engulfed by it's serene beauty, as if you're right there in the middle of Giverny at sunset.  It's as if it hugs you.  You feel it.  I got goosebumps.  Monet wanted it to be an experience, and he succeeded.  Here are some photos I found of the triptych displayed at one of the earlier exhibits last year:

Those colors!  Such a breathtaking palette Mr. Monet had.  There should be a whole box of crayons called "Monet's Water Lilies". 

I don't know where this exhibit is traveling to, but go see it if you can, because it might be your only chance.

January 21, 2012

My Future. The Verdict Is In.

Well, I cashed in on my Xmas gift from my sister and had my consult with the psychic.  He started out explaining the "rules".  Namely, that I needed to be relaxed and in a room by myself so that he had a clear read of only my energy.  He also told me not to respond or interject until the question/answer part in the second half, and if he asked me a question during the reading, I should simply answer yes/no and not elaborate.  I managed to do all that, although not elaborating was hard and I had to be reprimanded once.

I will preface this story by noting that I saw a psychic one other time in my life in 2004.  A friend was a big fan of this woman and she literally forced me to go - drove me there, paid for it, and left me (why is everyone paying for me to see psychics?).  She was quite accurate as far as my past and present.  As far as the future, she hit on a couple big themes that she emphasized throughout.  Interestingly, the psychic my sister set me up with, Fred, emphasized the exact same two things. 

The first big theme is that I need to move and leave my hometown ASAP.  I'm not meant to be here, and it's bad for relationships and bad for work.  Fred said that I would never have any peace here for any period of time, nor will I ever have steady growth here because the energy isn't here to support it.  He said I keep prodding along, apathetic (have you seen my location on my blogger profile?), trying to resist and do things my way, but that the energy is never going to allow for the success and goals I am supposed to achieve, so I stay stagnant.  He said I need to quit over-thinking, forget practicality and fears, and pay more attention to my instincts and let them guide me to my destiny, which is clearly not here.  He spoke about this theme consistently.  He couldn't emphasize it enough.  He even said, "Do I need to drive the U-Haul over there myself?".  At one point, he told me, "If you stay there, the chance of you having a stable life in your twilight years is very poor.....you quite literally could end up a bag lady".  When he said that, I about had a panic attack.  You see, since childhood I've always had this intense fear of ending up homeless.  I have no idea where this comes from, as I grew up comfortably middle class in the burbs.  As an adult, I've worked with a lot of homeless people, and with some exceptions I have found that most of them are regular folks who have had a string of bad luck, which has only solidified this fear.  If it can happen to them, it can happen to me.  So, you can imagine how it felt when Fred told me this.  I won't get into all the details on this, but Fred specifically mentioned I should go to Denver or Portland, Oregon.  Interestingly, Denver has always been very high on my list, because the weather suits me and I love the mountains.  Portland, he said, is even better for me, and he literally made me promise I'd take a trip there this year.  So I did.  I have 2 friends there I always threaten to visit but never do, so this year I will at least commit to taking a trip to visit them.  The lady psychic in 2004 told me exactly the same thing about needing to move.  She said I'm not "grounded" here, because every time she tried to "ground" my energy it kept trying to fly away and escape.  She said the energy is bad for me here and I will never thrive and must get out.  She actually told me my reason for being here was to pay "karmic debt", which was to help my mom pass on to another life (she had cancer at the time, which the psychic knew without me telling her, including what type of cancer).  She said firmly, "Once you do that, you need to pack your bags and get the hell out of here".  Just like Fred, she could not have been more direct.  The lady psychic was more generic about where I'd end up.  She only said she saw me going much further west, although that does vaguely coincide with what Fred said.

Despite how freaky this is, it's actually very validating.  In as much as I had a nice childhood, I've always felt like I didn't belong here from very early on.  I don't know how to explain it, it's just a feeling.  I've always had a lot of friends here throughout life, yet never felt like I fit in with this town as a whole.  For most of my 30's (the 2000's) I was particularly miserable here, and tried to leave.  For those several years before and after I saw that psychic, I had applied to jobs in other cities countless times, and a few of those times I got really, really close but it never panned out, sometimes because I was edged out for the job, but other times for fluky reasons completely unforeseen.  Seeing that I am practical as Fred says, I felt I needed a job or some reason to move.  It seemed at my age it was frivolous to simply move for moving's sake, with nothing/nobody to go to.  Oddly, what the lady psychic told me eventually led me to coming to peace with staying here.  What she said made sense of how I had felt all my life but could never explain, and somehow, it made me more accepting of being here, and I've been much more at peace with it ever since.   Eventually I was at peace enough that I quit looking for jobs elsewhere, and resigned myself to staying here, thinking that maybe it just wasn't meant to be since I had tried very hard to make it happen yet it never did.  So now I have another person telling me the same thing, along with a possible dire consequence that would realize my greatest fear, so I sorta feel like I need to keep an open mind with all this and perhaps heed the warning.  It also sort of feels like I'm being given a second chance.  I was given one warning, didn't make it happen and gave up, and now I'm being given a second warning.  I feel like I can't ignore that, yet I still can't see me uprooting my entire life and moving with reckless abandon without a specific reason, plan or purpose. 

The other big theme that both psychics brought up is that I'm going to write a book.  Both said it would be published and will be successful.  The lady psychic said she saw this happening in approximately 10 years, which would be around 2014.  Fred said that I need to start writing now, because it needs to happen within 4-5 years or else it won't happen at all, or it will but won't have success.  Those are very similar time frames.  And what's interesting is that for years I've semi-joked about writing a book.  It's usually an off the cuff remark when I make it, but it is something I have thought about and had interest in.  Yet at the same time, I've never been able to figure out exactly what I should be writing about.  Fred said, "You don't know what it's going to be about yet, but start writing and thinking about it now and it will come to you".  He told me it would be loosely about an experience I've had and some sort of special knowledge that goes along with that, which makes sense because I only read non-fiction, so if I were to ever write something it would most definitely be non-fiction.  I realize this here blog is not a very accurate reflexion of my writing skills, but believe it or not, writing is one of my strengths.  Growing up I hated tests but I loved papers, because I knew my chances were better for a higher grade.  In graduate school my writing was complimented by 3 professors that I respect so much, it made me realize perhaps I do have some level of talent there.  In my professional life I have found my writing skills to be recruited for special projects, grant writing, etc.  So, I do have some confidence that I could do it, but where I lack confidence is what I have to say that other people would care about.  That's rather pathetic, but true.  It's not like I feel I don't have any worthwhile knowledge to share, it's just that I figure there will always be someone out there who probably knows more.  I don't feel like I'm an expert on anything.  But, I guess I don't necessarily have to be to write a book.

Fred did talk about my work and said there would be sudden changes in the 2nd half of the year for me.  Uh oh.  That worries me, as my job is grant-funded into 2013, but we should find out mid-year if we will have the opportunity to renew.  In talking about my work, he said he sees me ultimately going "bigger", working for a much larger organization or even corporation, and in general, working with larger groups of people.  He also saw me traveling while doing this.  He said that I'm "meant to help the multitudes", and eventually he tied the book into all this, saying this might be the purpose of the book and is the avenue that helps me do this.  He said there is absolutely fame and fortune in my future if I "don't muck it up".  He really said that.  Multiple times.  No pressure.

As far as relationships, the very first thing he said to me at the start was that I have "very strong relationship energy".  So strong, I guess, that he very confidently asked for the full name of my significant other, as if there was no question in his mind that I have one.  Which I do not, and he was taken aback.  He asked if I had met anyone new recently, been on any dates at all, etc.  Nope, nobody on the horizon.  With that being the case, it is unusual for someone to have such strong relationship energy, so he said this could be interpreted in one of two ways:  either there is someone currently in my life who is meant to play a different role but I just don't know it yet, OR that this energy signifies that I'm not completely over past relationships and I still have healing to do, or else I will repeat similar outcomes.  Most of my relationships have been very positive and I'm still good friends with a lot of my exes, but there were two shitty ones, and those happened to be the last 2 serious relationships I've had.  I feel like that's all been dealt with and is in the past, but when I sit and think about it I admit there is still a hint of bitterness that I can't seem to let go of, so perhaps there still is some healing for me to do.  I'm willing to consider it, as there's no harm in that.  All in all, I mainly found this portion of the reading interesting simply because it was the very first thing that he brought up, and because he was so confident about what he was sensing.  For those who care, ultimately he told me I would find relationship happiness.  I didn't ask for details.  I like surprises.

One thing Fred said that I hope comes true is that I have unexpected money or property coming to me this year.  Perhaps through and inheritance, but he wasn't sure.  Either way, it will be a "gift", something that comes to me and is "unearned".  I can't see an inheritance, because all the people who would ever leave me anything have already died.  I think.  My siblings have families to will things too, and I hope to hell nothing would happen to them this soon anyway.  And frankly, I really don't want anyone else in my life to die because I've had enough of that.  But I like this theory about "unearned monies", and therefore will start buying an occasional lottery ticket just in case.

This isn't quite as interesting, but Fred also mentioned seeing legal and/or financial documents around me.  He didn't know what they were regarding, and later on in the session asked me if I knew.  I had no clue, but of course, this worried me.  The word "legal" is never good.  But in general he said it's not about anything bad, but that there will be unexpected changes or delays with these papers and it might get frustrating, but that the outcome for me will be positive.  He saw a resolution by August.  Interestingly, I got some legal documents in the mail a week later.  When my beloved aunt died last February, she left me a very small bit of money.  Not sure if this is what Fred saw coming to me, because I got that money last spring.  And the papers I received are no big deal, just a few things I need to sign so they can close out her estate, so I can't imagine what issues would arise there.  Other than this, I have no clue what else this could be regarding, but I hope to hell it has nothing to do with my taxes.  I'm already getting royally screwed by The Man as it is, and I don't want any trouble.

Speaking of my future, Camille over at Corpse Cafe was kind enough to do a tarot reading for me a few weeks ago.  This is something she does purely out of personal interest, and I took her up on the offer.  I've never had a tarot reading and know little about it, so it was very interesting to me and also surprisingly complicated.  She spent a lot of time explaining each card and the connections between them.  I still have some reading to do on the cards to better understand it.  But what's interesting is that there were some similarities between what she and Fred said.  First off, the card that reflects my current situation was the 4 of Cups, which she said signifies apathy.  Hmm, that sounds familiar.  Like Fred, Camille said there was an emphasis on needing to make big changes, and that I will ultimately take action even if I don't fully believe it because I will be inspired by something - that I'll be fearful and want to walk away but I will suck it up and do what I feel instinctively needs to be done.  Another card reflected strife in my conscious living, and that I'm fighting a battle I cannot win.  Also what Fred said.  The card in the position that reflects the final outcome was the Tower.  The Tower symbolizes an inevitable shattering of some illusion, and there's no going back.  Literally, the Tower crumbles and falls.  This didn't sound good, but she reassured me that a different card shows that there is nowhere to go but up.  So that's positive.  There was an emphasis on readjusting in 2012 to correct something.  Fred also used this terminology.  Perhaps to correct where I'm living?  Where I'm supposed to be?  She also informed me that one of my cards implied that a new relationship may blossom in the very near future.  Fred did say my energy relationship is very strong.  Bring it, Future!  There is a lot more I could probably share on this.  I am not doing Camille's reading justice here.  She was extremely thorough, knowledgeable and insightful, and I can only take notes so fast, so I plan on doing a lot more reading on my different cards and their positions to better comprehend. 

So, that's my future folks.  Not sure what to do with this information, other than keep it in mind and keep an open mind.  And take my trip to Portland as I promised I would do. 

I'll let you know how it all turns out.

January 8, 2012

Random Stuff on the Ol' Brain.

I went on a vinyl record shopping spree yesterday with a pal.  Had some really good finds, a few of which I’ve been searching for, including a couple of old Herbie Hancock albums.  If the words Herbie Hancock only trigger thoughts of the 80’s hit Rockit, then boy do I have a surprise for you.  His old stuff from the 70’s is some funky, jazzy shit.  And I mean no disrespect to Rockit, which is a fantastic song, especially if you feel like doing The Robot, but many people only know Herbie for that song/era, and he is so much more than that.  The album Man-Child is so goddamn funky it’ll put an ugly look on yo’ face.  I love that saying- I stole it from an acquaintance and I feel it’s the perfect description for really good, dirty funk.  If you love the funk, you understand.  I beg of you, please go to this link and listen to at least a few minutes of it.  It’s divine.

While record shopping, I ran into a problem I have run into before, and I’m now realizing this problem is no longer a fluke, it’s a trend.  And that is the lack of old rap and hip-hop albums.  It’s always a tiny section.  And quite often they are on the expensive side compared to other used stuff.  There are a few gems I’m searching for that are nearly impossible to find, even online.  And when I have found them, the asking price is ridiculous, as if hardly any exist, which I know just can’t be true as they sold millions of copies.  I have a theory as to what might be causing this phenomenon.  Rap and hip-hop as we know it today didn’t really start emerging until the mid to later 80’s, and then rather exploded in the early 90’s.  Pretty much right about the time vinyl started to die out.  So I’m thinking that the timing of the genre plays a big role in this.  But is that the only reason?  A friend suggested to me that in addition to the already-limited supply on vinyl, that DJs probably snap up a lot of the good stuff for samples, which actually makes sense, except how many DJs are really out there in the world?  I mean, could there be so many that all that remains of the vinyl hip-hop section is one measly 4-foot section of every store?  I don’t think so.  Even if timing is the main factor, it still seems to me that there should be a lot more out there than there is.  Where did they all go?

After the shopping spree yesterday, I went back to my pal’s house, where we hooked up with a few more pals, and ate pizza/drank wine while we flipped back and forth between playoff football and the Republican debate.  As far as football goes, the only teams I was somewhat excited about both lost, so now I’m really just not interested in what happens from here on out.  I will continue to watch, of course, but with apathy.  Except that I really want to see the Steelers lose.  As far as the debates go, well….let’s just say I’m disturbed.  And fucking irate about some of the blatant lies that were spewed.  I’d rather not be reminded that there are millions of people out there who think like these guys do.  It really frightens me.  I don’t think I’ll watch again.

I ordered this shirt online today and I’m in love with it. 

I had my session with the psychic.  More on that to come in the near future, but he did have some interesting things to say, and there were some things that freaked me out a bit.  In addition to this, the lovely Ms. Corpse Cafe kindly offered to do a tarot reading for me, which was also very interesting as well as a learning experience, as it was my first tarot reading.  It’s complicated stuff with lots of connections between the cards and different ways of interpreting things, but overall if I understand things correctly, it seems there was some overlap of a few general themes between the two readings. 

Lastly, I will admit that I am once again using this blog as a means to procrastinate.  This time I’m avoiding taking my Christmas tree down.  I really, really don’t feel like it.  Only Herbie Hancock can help me in this situation.  That’ll get my ass moving.