The Everyday Enchantment of Music
By Mark Strand
A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music. Then the music was polished until it became the memory of a night in Venice when tears of the sea fell from the Bridge of Sighs, which in turn was polished until it ceased to be and in its place stood the empty home of a heart in trouble. Then suddenly there was sun and the music came back and traffic was moving and off in the distance, at the edge of the city, a long line of clouds appeared, and there was thunder, which, however menacing, would become music, and the memory of what happened after Venice would begin, and what happened after the home of the troubled heart broke in two would also begin.
It was just as hot on Saturday as we had been warned it would be -- 103 degrees in D.C., according to my phone -- so we wanted to spend as little time outdoors as possible. We dropped Adam off to work at Glen Echo (in the air conditioned photo gallery) and went to the Hillwood Museum to see Prêt-à-Papier: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave, who recreates historical costumes from paper that she folds, crumples, paints, stitches, and spatters with glitter -- there's a short film in the visitor center, while the costumes themselves are displayed in the Adirondack Building and throughout the mansion:
Paper costumes from Provence reflect the bright, playful colors of the Beauvais tapestry behind them. The adornments are made from corrugated cardboard.
A crinoline dress recreated in paper, based on an 1866 original, displayed in Marjorie Merriweather Post's bedroom.
Inspired by a pierrot jacket, hat, and petticoat from the Kyoto Costume Institute, this deep brown paper dress...
...is paired with brilliantly colored matching paper shoes.
The Harpie Dress in the dining room is based on an original in Paris's Musee Galliera, named for its triangular paper pleats.
The kimono-cut Peter the Great Robe reflects the sensibilities of the Kyoto Costume Institute, though it is not a copy of a particular outfit.
The Countess Samoilova dress was created specifically for Hillwood based on the dress in the Portrait of Countess Samoilova by Karl Bruillov, on display in the Pavilion, a onetime movie theater.
Here you can see the detail in the paper shoes and the "lace" which is actually painted paper mesh.
We didn't spend any time in the gardens due to the heat but instead came home, retrieved Adam, and eventually went to meet my parents at Ted's 355 Diner, which has replaced the Hollywood Diner on Rockville Pike. I had a feta cheese omelet that was very good but being so warm makes me not very hungry; Adam had pasta, Daniel and Paul had sandwiches, parents had Greek food and everyone was happy. We came home and watched Dial M For Murder on PBS after discovering to our horror that we did not have it on DVD, only on ancient VHS, and now we are hoping the storms we may get tomorrow have mercy on the area!