A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Unveiling of Teatro Vida

Art is good, maybe the best thing there is. Having several museums full of it within a block is pretty cool. The only thing better than easy accessibility to art hanging on the wall of a museum would be world-class art hanging on your own walls--but budget constraints make that option impossible for most. Even if you could afford it, the hassle would make it almost not worth the bother. Some lucky folks, though, get to treat the museum from time to time like their own homes, and without any expense or fuss.

Tonight friend Alma and I went to one of those lovely receptions at the Museum of Fine Arts that makes me feel like I'm in my own living room. The Blake Court, with its monstrous painting "Historical Monument of the American Republic" by Erastus Salisbury Field dominating a whole wall, was reserved for the reception. In a corner of the gallery, lovely Lorena Garay played classical, Spanish and Latin guitar. In another corner, a table was heaped with bright fruits, cheeses, and other appetizers. A bar was set up under Field's masterpiece. Smartly uniformed servers threaded their way through the crowd with trays of hot amuse-gueule.

My new best friend Magdalena Gomez had invited me to this "unveiling" of her latest venture, Teatro Vida. All the bigwigs who had donated money to her program were there, plus a good cross-section of the arty types in town, with strong representation from the Latino community. Alma found somebody to talk antiques and set design with, and I wandered around sipping my wine, taking notes and amassing quotes for an article I'm writing on Magdalena's venture.

Magdalena's from New York City. She moved to the Valley years ago and loves it here. From Springfield, New York is only three hours away, so you can get there pretty much any time you want. And sometimes you might want to: for an opera at the Met, for example. But six days out of seven, Springfield suits just fine. A lovely evening like this makes me think I've got the best of all possible worlds.

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