Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fine Art, Snow, and Trash {Lent Day #36}

Run, shower, dress, put dinner in the crock pot for the kids, write a few notes to grandmas and dear praying WMU ladies, help with a few ratio math problems, go to the post office, make sure sports physical and payment for baseball get to the high school, change sheets on bed, pack history books to study while away, return a few emails, set things out for Classical Conversations, and more...all needed to be done before I left, and I almost talked myself out of going into Boston early.  

I'm so glad I didn't.

I made it out of the house a little after 12 noon, was in Boston by 2, parked in a very privileged spot in Cambridge {thank you, Pastor Cook}, and rode the subway to the Museum of Fine Arts.  Sadly, the museum closed at 4:45pm, so I only had about an hour and 45 minutes, but I drank in every precious moment ~ got the iPod/headphone guided tour and everything.  The museum is HUGE, so I had to choose carefully, and still only had time for about two-thirds of my choice ~the European Art collection.

Here's John the Baptist wearing a goatskin coat with the hooves still intact ~ and he's pointing to Jesus.
And here he is with his head on a platter.
This Monet painting was having very tedious cleaning and restoration work done on it.
Can you imagine working on a canvas that Monet himself worked on?  How did this woman get a job like that?  Wow.
 This blown glass sculpture {not in the European Art collection, but en route to} reached to the ceiling and was beautiful.
I think I gasped when I came upon this one!  It had been one of the paintings we studied in Challenge II in Western Cultural History seminar.  We even had to learn what museum it is located in, but I had forgotten.
And next some Monet "Water Lilies"
I saw and listened to the background of so many more amazing paintings and sculptures, took a very quick trip to the gift shop, and then the intercom announced the museum's closing.  I walked several chilly blocks to the Prudential Center, had dinner and dessert {Pinkberry!} and read a magazine to kill a bit of time before heading back to my car via subway and then on to the airport to pick Robert up from his trip to the Dominican Republic.  The evening was quite eventful, as I was in the middle of text messages from Sarah, our CC director, parents of students in my Challenge class, and Robert regarding the impending snowstorm.  Should we cancel or not?  Would Robert's flight get off the ground at JFK?  Would we need to spend the night in Boston?  The snow was coming down pretty heavy by the time he was due to arrive.

Robert's flight was delayed by about two hours ~ de-icing, more de-icing, computer problems, etc. CC was canceled.  Parents were notified. A hotel room was booked.  And I was falling asleep at the airport while waiting.  Robert sent a message telling me to go ahead and check into the hotel.  He would taxi there whenever his plane arrived.  It was a scary trip to the hotel with the snow and icy roads, but I made it.  As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, Robert messaged me to tell me he was on the ground in Boston.  Being wide awake at this point, I just turned around and went back to the airport to get him.  I think we finally climbed into bed at 1:30am.

After a late breakfast, we headed back home through this:
It was so scary!  There were accidents, and cars in ditches, and cars stuck in the grass all along the way.  We've been home for about three hours now, and it is STILL snowing.

We all sat around in the kitchen listening to Robert's adventures in the DR, looking at photos, and watching videos.  He had a really incredible experience, made important connections, and has a tentative plan for taking our church on a trip there in the spring or summer ~ probably to build a couple of houses.  He had no running water or electricity while there.  Not many people do.

The community he visited was across the river from this one.  The stuff cascading down the hill into the river is trash.
Kevin, a grad student from our church, has worked with the community folks in this area to improve living conditions in several ways.  The "street" they are standing on here is named "Kevin" in his honor ☺, and a beautiful grove of trees now stands in the place of the trash that this community had once piled up at the shore. Kevin was also Robert's interpreter at a church service on Sunday morning!
Two confessions tonight:

I am tired.

I am rich.

Rich, wealthy, privileged in too many ways to list ~ compared to so many.  Just feeling tired from a day of observing fine art, eating in upscale malls, and driving a car is a form of wealth and blessing beyond compare.  And yet I am dissatisfied.  And yet I grumble.  Forgive me, Lord.

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