Sometimes you get the chance to have a day that’s slow, that’s a bit out of the ordinary and to my way of thinking, it’s something to be immensely grateful for.
The first of two such days happened for me on Sunday. DrK came to town for a stay so we could go and see a very popular exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. The Musee d’Orsay has loaned 112 great paintings to the gallery for a few months for the Masterpieces of Paris show and to say that this exhibition has been popular is an understatement. There are several Van Gogh pieces and others by Cezanne, Gaugin and many others.
We’d heard there were long queues to get in; we’d heard the show had been extended for a few weeks to account for these queues. We thought perhaps getting there 30-40 minutes before the gallery opened at 10am would be wise. It seems everyone else had the idea. We walked past hundreds of people, many of whom had bought deck chairs, picnic blankets, flasks of tea and coffee, newspapers and books. We joined the masses in the line for approximately two and a half hours! Yes, that’s right. Nearly three hours!
We’d had the sense to bring our knitting with us, but not hats and the day got hot. Thankfully staff from the gallery handed out flyers that actually had instructions on them for making hats! Here’s me in mine.
Don’t let the empty space around us fool you. We were not alone on Sunday. We just took photos facing away from the enormous line snaking behind us.
The big question, obviously, is did we think the hours of waiting were worth it? Well first of all, waiting with a friend is never a bad thing, no matter how hot you get, how sore your feet are. We had knitting. There were coffee vendors. There were, for the most part, nice people around us (let’s not discuss the woman who yelled inanely at her children for the duration. Why bring small children to a huge line and then yell at them when they get restless?). Anyway, it was fun. And the exhibition was stunning. It’s perhaps a cliche to say it but seeing some Van Gogh paintings up close was really quite a hallowed experience. I had imagined that perhaps I’d be underwhelmed by the experience but I wasn’t. We approached Starry Night Above the Rhone with great reverence. It’s beautiful. No matter what anyone says, a picture reproduced in a book can never equal seeing it up close; seeing the strokes of the brush, the greater depth of the colours, the mark of the artist. It just can’t be beaten. To have seen it with Kylie after such a long wait is a memory to treasure.
And today was also a slow day. My Tuesday. It started at 5:30am when I was woken by a nightmare. To settle my mind, I got up to have a pot of tea, knit and watch Jane Eyre. The day continued in this manner, more or less without interruption as I lost myself in finishing my Golden Vintage cardigan. It’s drying now, after hours and finishing and seaming, but here’s an advance screening of my unique addition to it – a crocheted neckband, not done in the pattern. More on this later. It’s not this green but the light of the day was fading. Better photos to come.
I love slow days. Time stands still in a way and in the suburbs, it’s quiet and you can feel almost disconnected from the world. Almost. It’s satisfying in the extreme.