Tidbits

Hopefully my tidbits are nothing like Timbits. P and I took one of our long walks, exploring an area we weren’t familiar with. We walked east on St. Clair. Big old trees and big old houses, some not fixed up, but still beautiful despite neglect. We came upon a small park sprinkled with sculptures. The plaque told us that the park was dedicated to two women sculptors, Frances Loring and Florence Wyle. They lived nearby in a church-schoolhouse converted into their home and studio. They were American, studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, came to Toronto around 1913 and lived together for over 50 years before passing away within three weeks of each other. Their studio was a salon of sorts, a drop in place for artists. Loring and Wyle work is in many public places, in Toronto and other places in Canada. They were known as “The Girls” and were familiar figures around Moore Park, odd but tolerated.

The busts they did of each other are placed in the park so that Loring and Wyle are looking at each other. Then in the middle of the park, a sculpture of a girl done in an art deco or maybe neoclassic style. It’s very serene and I don’t know why, but it gives me the same feeling as the building on St. Clair West where Glenn Gould lived.

We were thrilled to discover the Loring-Wyle park, but we continued walking south trough the windy streets, passing an underpass with beautiful spray-painted images, walking on a bridge and seeing virtually no other people. Just nature and posh real estate. We ended up in Richdale, tucked away from the messiness of city life despite being in close proximity to the very center of it. P was amazed by the houses, gardens and ravines. Couldn’t imagine how people end up there – on their own steam or through family connections.

Maybe beauty is achievable on a small scale. There is a skill in making comfort and beauty with very little.

A lot of change at my work. We’re told to embrace change, but more and more I think that change can be disruptive. It signifies uncertainty and most people feel stressed about uncertainty. I know – we’re supposed to accept lack of control. Hmm…could it be that these ideas about embracing change and uncertainty come from those who unleash change on the proletariat?

I’ve been TIFFing. TIFF brought from the Lincoln Center “Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema”. I’m not sure that all the films are masterpieces without the qualifier “of Polish cinema”. So far I saw 2 films: “Eroica” (1957) – very good, almost a masterpiece – and “Austeria” (1982) – a miss in my view. Eroica is a sardonic look at WWII and the concept of heroism. A gutsy take on the subject, especially considering that it was made only 12 years after the war ended and the suffering must have still felt raw; as well, the film was counter to the prevailing party line. Austeria also deals with the war theme, but as a premonition, showing Jewish life in Galicia on the first day of WWI.

I’d like to see a few more films in the series: a movie directed by Wojciech Has, based on stories of Bruno Schultz, and “Knights of the Black Cross”, based on a popular historical novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

The nice thing about Polish films that you are engrossed in the story and suddenly you notice a familiar face of an actor who was in some other film or TV serial you loved when you were a kid.

I don’t know if other people feel this way, but lately watching “Louie” makes me sad. It’s swerved into a dramatic, confessional series. The acting and writing are very good, and there is a surreal feel to the storytelling, but at the same time it leaves the viewer with a heavy load. “In the Woods” felt that way. Louie’s awkward and miscalculated wooing of Pamela was even more uncomfortable, especially because Louie’s character is in his 40’s and should know not to force himself on a woman. The Louie stories are very human, albeit human with a lot of issues. Sigh. He is okay with his girls, so there is hope.

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