20 October 2016

Wistfulness

Yesterday, London-based CIA agent Steve and The Yorkshire Ambassador to Germany - Frau Meike in Ludwigsburg separately applauded a photograph I snapped in one of the gift shops at Tate Modern. There was a sepia photograph of Georgia O'Keeffe on top of a display case. Through the window behind this piece of shop furniture, I could see St Paul's Cathedral across The River Thames. It seemed as if the artist was also glancing across the river. If she had been facing the opposite way, the picture would not have "worked".

As it happens I took two photographs at the time and I think this one is better...
Miss O'Keeffe seems a little wistful. If a thought bubble was emerging from her skull it might well say, "I don't belong here in Europe. In this bustling human-infested city, looking across this mud-coloured river to Christopher Wren's great cathedral. Take me home to El Rancho de los Brujos, to Abiquiú and Taos, to my white place and my black place, where desert winds whisper and lizards dart across ancient rocks under  skies so pure and blue you might swim there, where the bones of long dead creatures turn white in the desert and days pass slowly like shadows moving across my beloved  hills..."
A view of Pedernal Mountain, New Mexico
where Georgia O'Keeffe's ashes were scattered in 1986

21 comments:

  1. The photograph is extraordinary, I shall join the applause and clap my hands too.

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  2. YP, can I ever trust you again? I wondered about the photo yesterday but didn't look close enough via my mobile phone to catch it.

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    1. You can trust me implicitly Kaki. Send me your banking details and I will prove it.

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  3. Very clever YP ! I wonder if anyone else made the same connection?

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    1. Somehow I doubt it CG. They would have been more intent on perusing the products in the souvenir shop... Georgia O'Keeffe prints, postcards, mugs, hats, T-shirts and pens.

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  4. You are not just a pretty face are you? Obviously.

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    1. No.. also built like Charles Atlas in his prime. Obviously.

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  5. So which one is the real photograph? Or is neither one real? And in either case, St. Paul's cathedral seems to be on this side of the River Thames, not on the other side. You're a sly one, Mr. Grinch.

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    1. I know you will find this very difficult to understand but you can't see the Thames because it was way below the level of the window.

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  6. Apart from all the cleverness, slyness and pretty face comments, I agree she might well have had those thoughts you have attributed to her.
    Being the pedant that I am I would like to point out (ahem) it is Pedernal - and it is the last memory I have of New Mexico and Georgia O'Keeffe country as my plane flight took me north to Seattle.

    Alphie

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    1. Thank you for pointing out my stupid error Alphie. I shall make the correction in a moment.

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  7. Having been a Texan in my younger days it is my pleasure to inform you that the LBJ Ranch, home of President Lyndon B. Johnson and now a public park, is located on the similarly-named Pedernales River, a small tributary of the Colorado. I wonder if the mountain in New Mexico and the river in Texas are kissing cousins....

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    1. I believe that the Spanish word "pedernal" means flint and doubt that there is any connection between your stream and the mountain New Mexico.

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    2. Just as there is no connection between the Alamo in San Antonoio, Texas, -be the city of Los Alamos, New Mexico, though the word "alamo" in Spanish means cottonwood tree.

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  8. Applause well-deserved!

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    1. If you come to my dressing room I will give you my autograph.

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    2. Is that invitation similar to "Come up and see my etchings"?

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  9. Thank you for showing us the second picture, too. So well spotted, and I like what you put in Georgia's thought bubble.

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    1. Thanks. Perhaps she'd be thinking..."I must get out of this art gallery and do some clothes shopping on Oxford Street...then a show in The West End and a Chinese meal in Soho."

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