I finally figured out why that’s an annoying answer and sometimes the best and only one.
To any question, really.
The question that was asked of me was, “How was your trip?” And my answer, all of a sudden, clarified what my trip was about.
I was an observer. And all that I observed was very interesting. And if it was not at the moment interesting, the sum of the experiences made it so.
We took the opportunity to go to a few art exhibits, as we like to do everywhere we go. There’s a fantastic conglomeration of exhibits in California called Pacific Standard Time, and we experienced a few of the sites. Here’s how they explain what they are:
Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented collaboration of cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene. Beginning October 2011, over 60 cultural institutions will make their contributions to this region-wide initiative encompassing every major L.A. art movement from 1945 to 1980. Celebrate the era that continues to inspire the world.
And that’s so true. The California look and feel have certainly played a large role in the expansion of art in the world. Even having a subtopic CULTURAL IDENTITY AND POLITICS reveals a small glimpse of the project.
Having never lived in California but only came as a visitor, albeit for long stretches of time, I never sunk roots there. This series of exhibits shows how that’s pretty much par for the fluid course. The car being the symbol of the endless possibilities, the waves of the ocean, the sun that would never set. Sort of like over the British Empire.
So I just looked and took notes. And a couple of photos.
Here’s one I like that I took on the tram down from the Getty Center.
And here’s one of LA at its best.
This mode of observation was in full form for dealing with family, too.
I did get some more answers from my father about how his mother died. He went to visit his mother in the hospital with his father. He remembers she was in an oxygen tent, instead of having oxygen delivered through a little tube like they do today (his words). A few days later was Thanksgiving. He remembers his aunt, who was his mother’s sister, and her oldest daughter coming into the room crying. And that was it.
He added that that’s how he found out he was a Kohen. At the cemetery, he asked why wasn’t his zayde coming into the cemetery with them.
“Oh, that’s because you’re a Kohen and kohanim don’t come into the cemetery.”
Very little was said at the time, I see.
I’m reading The Prayer of Owen Meany by John Irving. In the book, Johnny loses his mother at 11. In fiction, you remember a lot more than in real life, I’ve observed.