January 06, 2009|
I went to the Legion of Honor today. It was free, but I paid ten dollars for the special exhibits. I recalled that on my previous visits to the museum, a feeling of peacefulness resonated throughout my being, but I noticed no such feeling upon walking in today. I hastily rushed through the exhibits, wondering where it was, wondering why I didn't seem as fascinated as before.
I went downstairs where I was disappointed to discover that the Leonardo da Vinci drawings were not on display. I wandered around somewhat aimlessly and somewhat unimpressed and somewhat discouraged that I wasn't taken in by the history of the pieces.
But then, I found myself drawn to one. I don't recall which, but then I was drawn to another, and another, and I experienced that strange feeling of what I can only describe as intoxication, which is strange to me because I have become more and more technical and critical over the years, and a part of me wants to place blame on the establishment for doing something clever with their lighting, or fumes, or something, but I don't think I can. And I finally slowed down and felt peaceful, and my heart swelled for all the old work around me, and I looked at some of the brick walls on display and imagined how they must have looked under the sunlight thousands of years ago.
It's hard to comprehend how old some of the stuff is. There was an inn sign from the 1700 or 1800s, and there was an old towel rack with these little ornaments, one of which shook as the ground shook, and it was thrilling to see this old thing move in response to the movement of modern day.
It is like inhabiting a space that is very much modern and very much alive, and there is this whole secret dead world that lurks behind these old things. Almost like another dimension.
Eventually I left the special exhibit and looked around the museum and my eyes were like dinner plates when I saw a sign that told me LEONARDO DA VINCI IS THATTA WAY.
I was worried about going in, worried I couldn't comprehend the weight of the objects there, and it was hard, and my heart kept racing, trying to pull my attention away, but I eventually settled in and enjoyed the work. It was still very hard to comprehend that they were actually created by him, and were over six hundred years old. It's a very weird, almost surreal experience to be standing there, looking upon these old things and knowing that they were created at some point in the history of the planet, by real people.
Afterwards, I walked around the building, as I like to do when I go there, but I began to feel too sad to really enjoy it. I ended up sitting on some broken part of the old swimming hall above Ocean Beach, looking at the water till it turned dark. My focus was interrupted by some girl to my left, and I eventually left after she did. Sometimes, if I sit long enough, I begin to hear different things, see differently, notice things that I took for granted before, but not this time. It was a struggle, just as it is when I get home and struggle to work on a song, but end up feeling unable to lift my hand from my mouse to do something creative, because to do something creative involves these moments of uncertainty and chaos, and boredom. I am going to try medication