All the links in the world
I’m increasingly convinced conventional rules about time and space don’t apply at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hours pass like minutes; galleries shift like sliding puzzles. I was there in February and found yet another collection I’d never before seen. Now, thanks to former Met security guard Patrick Bringley, I have the makings for a decade’s long scavenger hunt of rooms1 and artworks I had no idea existed.2
Bringley’s All the Beauty in the World is so much more than a list of great art. Instead, it’s a meditative story about grief, silence, and growing into the next phase of who you’ll be. Bringley writes about the gap between visual art and describing what it evokes with words. It’s a lovely dance about architecture.3
“The Met is a place where, with your own eyes, you can see what fellow fallible humans have made of the world that you live in….so under the cover of no one hearing your thoughts, think brave thoughts, searching thoughts, painful thoughts, and maybe foolish thoughts, not to arrive at right answers but to better understand the human mind and heart as you put both to use.”
I mean… if that doesn’t capture the experience of a great museum, I don’t know what will. 12/10. No notes.
Because I am a Woman of a Certain Age who is sometimes Extraordinarily Hot4 whose body seems to have Given Up on Producing Moisture and who is usually Incredibly Irritated by how little this whole time of a woman’s life has been researched,5 I’ve been thinking a lot about menopause.6
My most recent thoughts — there has been about a year’s worth of thoughts, mind — are these:
We need a Pixar movie like Seeing Red but for women in their 50s. They7 say this transition is like puberty in reverse (which is a problematic way to think about it but roll with me). There are dozens of great coming-of-age stories in current pop culture. I want more on this end of the hormonal continuum. Get it done, Hollywood.8
While I’d like us as a culture to pay more attention to this part of being female, I don’t know that workplace accommodations are really what we need? How about we focus on putting our efforts into research rather than cool rooms?
I had the pleasure of seeing Sam Bee’s Your Favorite Woman in Concord, NH, on Saturday. The whole show is both very funny and incredibly enraging. One bit stuck with me in a different way than others, tho. Bee9 rants about the lack of solid info about menopause and how little it is studied. She pointed out that information vacuums like this is where snake oil and grifters thrive. And while I knew that, I hadn’t before attached it to the emotional/physical place I now am. Mind, as they say, blown.
On stitching and other domestic crafts: One of my favorite stories about young girls forced to stitch samples turns out to be less than true, unless it isn’t.
This runner is all of us.
And finally, a shout-out to Tish H. for forwarding a post that was exactly what I needed to read about dog grief. I still miss Lucy so, so much it’s ridiculous. We move on, of course, and go about daily living but oooof.
(Pssst. Hey! Did you know I also write books? There are three you can buy right now.)
Oddly, I’ve been to the period rooms in the American wing a couple of times from a couple of different directions. Ditto the ones in the Medieval and Greek areas. As well as this one, which is a tonic. But I had zero knowledge that there were more period rooms in other wings. Given how much I love a period room, this gap shall not stand.
as well as new context for many I knew about
The Austin Chronicle had a music column with this title, based on the quote “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” The origins of said quote are shrouded in mystery.
but not in a sexy way
SERIOUSLY. I know this gets said a lot but if this were a thing that men dealt with, we’d have all kinds of good shit available to deal with it. LET ME ASSURE YOU THAT WE DO NOT HAVE GOOD SHIT AVAILABLE.
I know it’s a continuum with peri- and post-. I’ll spare you the lecture about connotation and denotation and just point out that you know what I mean when I say menopause.
I don’t know who “they” are either but it appears to be said frequently but so many.
once you pay writers what they’re worth, of course. Union strong.
who I really want to meet one day so I will put it out into the universe again