Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another "grand adventure" for us here in Texas

Another "grand adventure" for us here in Texas. We certainly can say that we are making the most of our time here. It was another day to sleep in and after breakfast, Charlotte and I headed out on the buses again. This time I had the route planned and we left right from the stop in front of RMH. Our first stop was Rothko Chapel. It is on the campus of the University of St. Thomas. The chapel was commissioned by Dominique and John De Menil (I have no idea who they are) and built/designed by Mark Rothko, a well-known abstract expressionist artist. The space is unusual, serene, and interesting. The outside looks very plain (just a nondescript brick building). The interior is a round(ish) shape with 14 large, dark painted panels placed around the room. There is natural and artificial light coming in from the top of the chapel. When you step in, the space seems rather dark. But as you stay within the space, the light fills up the room. It is almost like dawn taking place within the room as you sit there. It is a very quiet space designed for prayer and contemplation. The center celebrates all faiths and based on information on their website, they have frequent special events. The place is also open to the public daily for prayer or meditation. There are benches and kneeling pillows within the chapel. The interesting thing to me about the painted panels was that they were a great focal point for meditation. Each one was unique and some of them had brush strokes that evoked images or designs, even though they were basically monochromatic panels. It was almost like looking at clouds and finding shapes within the brushstrokes. I am sure that everyone would see something a little different. We stayed in there for a little while and Charlotte did a great job being quiet. She even whispered "tweet tweet Mommy" when she wanted to get my attention. From there, we hopped on another bus and headed over to the movie theater that was across the street from (DUN DUN DUN...) COSTCO. So we had lunch (pizza and ice cream, of course) at Costco and then went to the 2:00 movie to see Ponyo. If you haven't seen this movie yet, put it on your list. Roger and I have been fans of Miyazaki (the writer/director) since we saw Spirited Away and we have since seen many of his other great movies (Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro). Each one is a visual masterpiece and the stories are sweet fairy tales. This one is his version of The Little Mermaid. Charlotte was mesmerized and really enjoyed the story. There was one part where the boy was looking for his mother after a storm and when he couldn't find her, he began to cry. Charlotte started to actually get upset too but I assured her that everything was ok (and the mom appeared in the next scene...All good!)After the movie, we hopped back on the bus(es) and just got home. What a full day! Back to the grind tomorrow with proton at 8:30. Let's pray that everything goes according to schedule this week with no machines breaking down. That would be good!!Rachel

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