1) This morning Mine Host and I headed off to the Asian Art Museum to get in as soon as it opened. Their special exhibition "Flower Power" is part of the general commemoration of the 1967 Summer of Love.
1a) Back in the day, the 1999-2000 Boston season was "Egypt in Boston," and all the arts organizations did something Egyptian. It's high time we had a "Summer of Love" or some such season again, and get everyone involved.
2) "Flower Power" focused on six types of flowers that appear in Asian art and their symbolism. And viewing the collection of illustrations, rugs, calligraphy, paintings, sculpture, I could not help but think how much my gramma would have loved every bit of that exhibition. Each bit of beauty and symbolism carried me back to her house.
2a) I was taken by the image from Buddhism that "the heart of any sentient being is like an unopened lotus; when enlightenment is attained, the lotus blossoms." Another exhibition noted that unopened lotus blossoms tipped the arrows of Love.
2b) The exhibition also included a couple examples of baihua, the "hundred flowers" motif. This cleared up a mystery for me about two cloisonné lamps from Gramma and Uncle Bill's house, which are now in my parlor. Bill had always said they were the thousand flowers pattern. When I'd researched it, I'd come up with nothing. Now I know what to look for!
2c) Symbolism played such an enormous part in this show, and it made me think that grade school students should be taught symbolism.
3) Mine Host and I then toured the permanent collection, bits of which I remembered from visiting in 2015.
4) Our plans called for an early lunch at the Cavalier, and Mine Host was rather insistent on taking the streetcar instead of walking. Turns out his concern was walking through a bad neighborhood.
5) The Cavalier is a British restaurant. When Mine Host first suggested it I thought "Oh . . . does that mean boiled internal organs or curried internal organs?" In fact, it was just perfect, but I had to wonder if they were really just adding tea sandwiches to an appetizer menu. We enjoyed ham and cheese soldiers with Hollandaise, and then I had a burger (daintily sliced in half before being served).
6) The vibe in the room (all red leather and black walnut) felt just right. One multi-generational party of Japanese businessmen was later offset by a party of eight thirtysomethings.
7) The afternoon carried me off to the beach. Sunny, but brisk. I earned my tenderfoot badge clambering down infinite steps and over less infinite rocks. Stayed a bit over an hour.
8) In the evening I fully expected to have dinner with a friend of a friend, who had only to confirm the time. Long story short, after some wide-spaced texting, I heard at 8:30 PM that "I am really sorry to do this . . . ", "worst headache . . . ", "a ton of work left to do for a meeting . . ." which meant that I wasted my last night in San Francisco because Nice Guys Finish Last.
8a) Men! Also, F**k spontaneity!
9) Instead of spraining my eyes in a hearty eyeroll, I saw red and slunk off to dine a seul at a little bar near the Civic Center. Alta Ca gives you a hearty (expensive) manhattan and a hearty (expensive) cheeseburger. And one reason it's so expensive is that it's a tip-free restaurant. Surprise!
10) Tomorrow I fly back to Reality - at least briefly, before ditching it all for Provincetown for a few days. I am aware of how blessed I am, and how many wonderful people there are in my corner. Certainly this trip has put a new filter on that, as I ponder the future less and begin to act on it more.