• Upcoming trips

    May 2 to May 14 London vacation. We will be staying in the President Hotel, 56 - 60 Guildford Street, Russell Square, London, WC1N 1DB. Telephone : 020 7388 4443. Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    February 20. At Christine’s prompting, and, offer to go to the box office for Family Circle tickets, we went to see the Met’s production of Parsifal–from 6.00 to 11.30! It is a modern production for the new generation of opera-goers (the ones that hoot and holler at slightest excuse to the detriment of all others’ listening concentration). Modern dress  clashes horribly with the ancient myth of the story line, and state-of-the art lighting and staging effects  enlighten and intrigue the semi gloom in which the action(?) of  all three acts take  place. I was pleasantly impressed with the singing cast and  thought that it compared favorably with the greats of my younger days.

    The new conductor was enthusiastically welcomed (The Levine era is now forgotten completely) but I thought the sound he produced from the orchestra did not quite evoke the agonizing pathos that I remembered.

    February 21.  Saw “Amy and the Orphans” at The Roundabout Theatre. It is a story of parents’  tussle with the agony of caring for a child with Down syndrome and the adult siblings’ efforts to atone for their parents’ weakness. Wonderfully convincing acting all round and written with great humour to counter the guilt dialalogue of the characters.

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The Potter’s hand (detail)

I had been pleased with myself since I fired the clay of my “The Potter’s Hand” piece. Not that the work stood out in any way from that of the other students except that, what advantage they had in artistic sense, I made up for in superior engineering–a legacy of my woodworking days before apartment dwelling. The reference in the title is to Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam. Here are the relevant verses:

And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not :
And suddenly one more impatient cried—
‘ Who is the Potter, pray and who the Pot ?’

Then said another—‘Surely not in vain
“ My substance from the common Earth was ta’en,
‘That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
‘ Should stamp me back to common Earth again.’

None answer’d this ; but after Silence spake
A vessel of a more ungainly Make :
‘ They sneer at me for leaning all awry ;
‘What ! did the Hand then of the Potter shake ?’

Here are three views of the Hand (I used my own as a model) working on the rough clay without evident support:

However. My smugness disappeared the moment I first saw the incredible sculptures of Carl Milles in Sweden. He has engineered gravity-defying works beyond belief. Here is one of them in his sculpture garden in Stockholm: 




One Response

  1. Your work is simply breathtaking, Ben. In my book, you’re just as brilliant as Carl Milles! Much love to you and Ethel, as you prepare for your next adventure. Have a wonderful trip! Bonnie

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