Infinity Room

I’ve been in Las Vegas all weekend at a very special event. One of my beloved nephews and his boyfriend got married. It was a beautiful ceremony–and even the rabbi cried. For these two young people it was all about love. But for anyone who came of age in the 1950’s or 1960’s there was also a deep emotion of joy and relief that gay marriage can even happen. Oddly, I have great family associations with Vegas. For many years it was the site of my husband Rich’s family Thanksgivings. And I was introduced to the city by our hostess who, with her roots in Nebraska, provided us with many down home side dishes for the turkey dinner.
Of course I like to see art when I’m here. So I got a ticket for the gallery at the Bellagio to see two installations by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

It was worthwhile, if a bit mixed.
$15.00 gets you in. The two installations are “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity” which is an infinity mirror box and
“Narcissus Garden,” billed as “750 metallic spheres form a lake on the gallery floor. A winding path invites visitors to stroll through the space and consider the distorted reflections staring back at them.”
I loved Narcissus Garden. And, ironically or not, it is currently THE place for a selfie in Vegas. The spheres have a buzz all their own, like the Donald Judd boxes in Marfa. I sat on the floor and soaked up the vibe. But afterwards, I could help wishing they’d been placed in a much larger space, or outdoors.

https://autre.love/journal/2018/12/15/yayoi-kusama-narcissus-garden-bellagio-gallery-of-fine-art-in-las-vegas

“Aftermath” is pretty transformative. But you get only 45 seconds inside. I don’t think my old eyes even adjusted, and I was just starting to relax into it when the 45 seconds were up. I did hang around catching glimpses as people went in and out. But I do wish they’d let you go back a second time, or stay twice as long.

https://www.bellagio.com/en/entertainment/gallery-of-fine-art.html

A Hundred Cups of Coffee

Proofing, proofing, and more proofing. The book is in production at Tres Chicas and I am working with Melissa White, book designer extraordinaire

Here is a little preview, an entry from two years ago.

February 5, 2017
Cup #69
Socorro’s, Hernandez, New Mexico Nicely brewed cafe coffee

Italianate figures of girls carrying flower bowls wrapped in red sparkle gauze. The flowers are fake.
It’s Rich’s birthday. We’re headed to Ojo Caliente to soak. Big fight with him yesterday. I was so mad I hit the wall with my fist and said “fuck you.”
What was the fight about?
On the wall, a magnet reading: God loves you and so do I. On the cash register: Shit Happens
The sign: Spanish Food and Pizza
A guy comes in and returns a slow cooker.
Redi-whip and part of a chocolate cake in the glass case. What were we fighting about? The same thing we’ve been
fighting about for two decades or more. How close are we? Who decides? Our differences. Our similarities.
Some couples I know don’t quite seem…married, despite the years. And some seem like twins—not for me. And some with weird or scary agreements that look like prison or with equally odd arrangements that bring happiness and contentment.
I don’t know if our fighting is the flip side of passion. We’re just…really close. And like our old, much missed cats Felina and Orpheo, if we get too close or the wrong kind of close we try to bite each others’ ears off.

***
I hope to be posting the launch this spring!

Active-Shooter Drills Are Tragically Misguided–From The Atlantic

Active-Shooter Drills Are Tragically Misguided
There’s scant evidence that they’re effective. They can, however, be psychologically damaging—and they reflect a dismaying view of childhood.
Our feverish pursuit of disaster preparedness lays bare a particularly sad irony of contemporary life. Among modernity’s gifts was supposed to be childhood—a new life stage in which young people had both time and space to grow up, without fear of dying or being sent down a coal mine. To a large extent, this has been achieved. American children are manifestly safer and healthier than in previous eras. The mortality rate of children under 5 in the United States today is less than 1 percent (or 6.6 deaths per 1,000 children), compared with more than 40 percent in 1800. The reduction is miraculous. But as in so many other realms, we seem determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/active-shooter-drills-erika-christakis/580426/

Personally, I feel educational institutions would be safer if there was stringent gun control, more extensive counseling services, and efforts to build community.