Perfect summer days have kept me in rapture, and away from my keyboard. The weather has been hot, but not humid. A temperature of 33 degrees Celsius is pleasant with low humidity, but can create human misery when accompanied by high humidity. This morning the temperature is a mere 17 degrees centigrade, but the humidity has returned, and so have I returned to my keyboard.
Attila and I visited Toronto in late June, for a short but wonderful holiday. We stayed at the Victoria University Accommodations, practically across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum, where we hold Memberships. The accommodations are just what we like; a room, two beds, a locked door, and a clean communal washroom down the hall. The staff is more than pleasant, and the location cannot be beat. The cost of the room includes a healthy buffet breakfast, served early.
We enjoyed wandering familiar ground, visiting parts of the local neighborhood where I used to live. Familiar faces were everywhere. We spent quiet mornings sipping coffee at a sidewalk cafe, watching the steady stream of pedestrian traffic, and chatting about whatever came into our heads. Stopping for a quick lunch at McDonalds, we would then enter the museum for an afternoon of breathtaking entertainment.
McDonalds, as I might have mentioned before, is one of the only restaurants in Canada and the world where I can eat without fearing for my life. I avoid other establishments like the plague, for literally they could mean death for those of us with serious allergies. McDonalds knows what is in the food they serve. They not only know, they will tell. A rare combination in the food service industry. I am glad to see they have a new line of "light", low fat foods coming to their menu.
While we were in Toronto, the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) was exhibiting "Images of Salvation", a collection from the Vatican. We enjoyed the exhibit; two pieces in particular caught my attention and memory.
The first was a painting called "St. Matthew and the Angel" painted by Guido Reni. St. Matthew, busy recording the Angel's words in his ledger, is looking down at, and listening with warm interest and respect to what the Angel is telling him. The Angel is sharing from the heart, with face, eyes, and hands raised to count fingers as he/she speaks up at St. Matthew. A thoroughly human pair whom, in my mind, represent the best of the human spirit.
The second was a painting called "Virgin and Child" painted by Jacopo Bellini. I had seen this piece in print, and not really considered it interesting. The passion of the piece is in the detail and play of light and does not transfer to the printed page.
The theme is of very little interest to me; mothers of exalted people change the same kinds of diapers, as do mothers of humble people. Although I consider the mother/child relationship pivotal to human existence, it is not because this particular mother and child lived and died in their own time.
The revelation of Bellini's work is its beauty of execution; its subtlety in portraying the human spirit through highly stylized lines and colour. It would not surprise me to find that the inspirational roots of Art Deco were fed by this passionate piece of work.
The title of the exhibit, "Images of Salvation", took on a deep and significant personal meaning for me through these two works. The depth of human passion and the breadth of human emotion and experience are, in my view, the only hope for human salvation. If indeed, such a thing exists.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Towards the Light
By the Easy Chair
Mara and Dann
by Doris Lessing
On the Screen
The Man Who Cried
with Johnny Depp
Wind: N 0 km/h
Sunrise 5:53 AM EDT
Sunset 9:05 PM EDT
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