Connections, Reflections and the Internet

Since I started my blog, a friend of mine suggested that I join Facebook to promote it.

I have been avoiding joining Facebook as it is something my children have been quite involved in.  In any event, I threw caution to the wind and went for it.  Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Setting up my page and account profile was almost as fun as setting up the blog.  What to put on it?  Who to invite? Tricky.

My daughter wasn’t sure if she wanted to be my friend.  We have a definite mother/daughter relationship.  I am her mother, she is not my friend.  We like it like that.  She doesn’t want me to know certain things.  I can understand that – besides, if I want to know something – I just ask.  There isn’t a lot I don’t know.  In any event, my daughter has agreed to be my friend and I promised not to look at her profile.  She thinks it’s quite funny.  Kids!

Since I’ve been on Facebook I found two old friends and I am now friends with my nieces.  They all live in the USA.  It is strange becoming friends with old friends and family.

The internet is a wonderful thing.  I have reconnected with someone who I have been searching for over twenty years.  The sheer joy and other emotions connected to this discovery is more than I can describe – and it is all down to the internet.

I have been officially unemployed for a week now.  I haven’t been idle.  I have signed on with three new agencies and trawled the job sites on the internet.  I have posted my CV left, right and center.  I’ve had a couple of lie-ins, a bit of culture, and I’ve signed on for unemployment benefit.  Every little bit helps – I haven’t done that before.

I have been catching up on housework, writing and finding time for reflection.  I have been asking myself questions:  What do I want to do with my life?  How do I move forward?  When am I going to win the lottery?  I have put these questions to the Universe and am now waiting for the answers – especially to the last question.

So while I am waiting for the Universe to send me more of what I already have – I will trawl the internet for work, post my CV, write, reflect and make connections.

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My Relationship with Art

“It better be good”, I said as I paid £12.50 for my Rothko ticket at The Tate Modern.

The young man looked at me in surprise.

“Just joking”, I said, ‘”After all, it’s only art.”

“You’re right about that”, he said, and smiled.

This is my first visit to the museum  – apart from using the Ladies’ toilets during the River Tango Festivals.

I have seen Rothko’s work before.  The paintings didn’t look like much just standing directly in front of them – but then I noticed the variations of the paintings as I moved around them.  So I decided that I would play around like this and get the best angle.

I lasted 40 minutes in this fashion.  Although I wasn’t crazy about most of the paintings, I did manage to amuse myself.  Listening to other people talk about the work is always interesting too.  The jury is still out on whether it was worth £12.50 though.

After that, I went to the 5th floor where they have a permanent collection called ‘States of Flux’- focusing on Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism and change and modernity’.   I really loved this section – although I have seen better examples of Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Oldenberg and Rauschenberg when I lived in New York in the late 70’s – early 80’s.

It was about this time I fell madly in love with a Russian artist.  I couldn’t have done that if I didn’t like his work.  That is untrue – I fell in love with him first, and it helped I liked his work – after all, how can you tell your boyfriend that you love him but his work is not to your particular taste – to put it mildly.  (I had once been dumped by a young man because I didn’t ‘get’ his poetry!)

We would go to many art openings together- see the same people – listen to the same old art jargon.  People were so full of themselves and pretentious about art.  I never got why people felt they needed to justify what they did in the name of art.

What amused me the most at The Tate Modern were the little plaques next to the paintings trying to explain what you were looking at.  They went something along the lines of:  The artist was trying to show the juxtaposition between the music that came out of the instrument and the instrument itself by defragmenting the instrument into several parts, blah, blah, blah and the green represented the other side of the fence, blah, blah.  (Think of it being said in the style of Lloyd Grossman)  Did the artist really say this or is this some PR hype?

I suppose that most people not used to looking at modern art might need some explanation of what they were looking at.  Whether it will make them like it? – I’m not so sure about that.

I went into a room that was painted as a blackboard – with symmetrical vertical and horizontal chalk  lines in various patterns.  For me it was nothing too special, though if you stood in it long enough you could probably get dizzy.  What impressed me was that someone actually drew these perfectly straight lines – meticulously and perfectly spaced apart.  Art.

When I left The Tate the sun was going down and the sky was a kaleidoscope of colour.  It was more beautiful and interesting than anything I saw in the museum.  I was in awe.  Nature has that effect on me sometimes.  I love The Southbank at night – so I tried to take some photos.  Some didn’t come out as well as I would have liked, but I think the colours are great.  My bit of art.  I think these are self-explanatory.

Photos from The Southbank

Family

misc19/11.  That was probably the last day I ever spoke with my Aunt Marta.  I remember trying to frantically call her when I had seen what had happened.  Her husband, Fred, worked in The World Trade Center.

As it turned out, Fred was in London on business.  I don’t want to think about what happened to his colleagues.

I had lost touch with some of my family in America for various reasons.  My Uncle George – the so-called black sheep of the family – and my favourite Uncle – recently sent me a change of address card.  I called him immediately as we’d lost touch – I lost his details.  After reassuring him that I still loved him and that I was merely a ditz for losing his address, we caught up on all of the family news.

Sadly, I received a letter yesterday from my Uncle George – my Aunt Marta (who used to be married to my Uncle Lenny) died last week.  She was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and she was on life support.  She was only 65, still young for that disease.   I need to call Fred.

Although My Aunt Marta had been divorced from my Uncle Lenny, she was still very much a big part of the family and was like my mother.  She looked after us.  When I moved to New York, we used to meet in the city and go to the theatre, see the ballet, or go to Carnegie Hall for a concert.

She was such a beautiful and vibrant woman.  I can’t imagine what the last few years of her life had been like for her and her family.  I do know that she was very happy in her life with Fred, her second husband.  She met him when she turned 50.  ‘It’s never too late to find love and happiness’, she once told me.  There is hope for me yet.

This sad turn of events had got me thinking about my family – more than normal.  I don’t feel that I need to live in the same country to be close to my parents and brothers – though sometimes I miss taking an active part in their lives – especially as I have the most adorable niece and nephew.

As I live so far away from my family – I am usually the last person to know what is going on.  I don’t want to be the last to know.

I have lived in the UK for over 20 years.  My only family here is the one I created.  My children are the only reason I’m still here – I would prefer to live somewhere warm.

In this age of the internet and mobile phone, communication with others is a lot easier.  I just talked to my son on MSN – he is in Bolivia!

There used to be a saying by AT&T in America:  A telephone call is the next best thing to being there.  Now it is the internet.  Keep in touch.  Communication is the key to everything.