Of Bernini and hoses

I was in Los Angeles recently staying at the magnificent Bel Air Hotel and was lucky enough to get to the Getty Museum.? At the time there was a show of the marble busts of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.? It was one of the most breathtaking exhibitions I?ve ever seen.

How could he do this? He makes marble so translucent, it ?boggles the mind.?I went round and round one of the sculptures because I was sure I could almost see through the skin of one ear lobe. Astounding. These characters almost seemed to speak. They do everything a portrait is supposed to do: ?give you a sense of intimacy with the subject.

This week most of that show opened up at the National Gallery in Ottawa. Either get there, or if you live in or near Ottawa make sure you see this exhibition. It is superb it puts everything else into a perspective. Just when you?ve given up on everything, here is genius revealed.

I was thinking about the show as I finally caught a moment when the hoses weren?t frozen solid, to wind them up instead of leaving them lying all over the place. They stay outside ?as they’ve done for the last 40 years. Most of these hoses are rubber, old and just fine. The one that probably won?t survive is the cheap modern one.

Finally got the taps are opened and emptied. But I think there?s probably some bits of the pipes that have busted or burst already.? My fault, but I have been so distracted with the closing of Gardening Life and finding new work, that my beloved garden was shoved away from me.

?Bad mistake. So out there slogging around, thinking about Bernini and wondering if he ever got discouraged with his medium. It made me want to read books about him and his times which sounds like a great winter treat.

I had a book review in the National Post (Saturday? Nov. 29), and will repeat some of the suggestions and add more for the holidays coming up. ?

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