Sunday, April 6, 2014

Art and Heart

Asian art has always been my thing. I studied it in college and have traveled to many of the sites. The L.A. County Museum of Art has a world-famous collection and it's always a joy to visit. This time I enjoyed a wonderful Shiva Nataraja, the Dancing Shiva.

An important Indian icon is the goddess figure, but you don't see many mother-and-child sculptures. This piece is from Rajasthan.

It was our second visit to a major retrospective of the light artist James Turrell, who experiments with light and perception.

This time we came to enter his "Perceptual Cell." You lay inside a sort-of MRI sphere where you are surrounded by light and sound. You can pick the "hard" experience or the "soft." I naturally took the "hard."

The technicians told me it is designed to put you in an alpha state. That's a phrase we think we know, but I looked it up and it means being grounded and calm, with your subconscious open to receive. Maybe I should have meditated first, but I was not prepared for the intensity of the experience. I was physically bombarded, the top of my head blown off.

The next day we drove back home to Northern California. Following the rains, the countryside is glorious, almost as green as Hawaii, so much still undeveloped and fresh. I was in a heightened state of awareness, taking it all in. In love with California, despite it all. Born in LA, I lived many years in Half Moon Bay. The Johnson House is a local icon, especially stunning now just after the rain.

And here is Our Town's wonderful old Methodist Church - with a rainbow!

There is a secret way to approach the Golden Gate Bridge. Here is one reason it is so worth it.

Three days after exiting the Perceptual Cell, I am still woozy. Maybe I needed to have my head blown apart to be able to experience my home state with a fresh and open heart.

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