It was an overcast day. We spent it at the Art Museum where there was a whole Japanese teahouse from 1235. The doors were very small, indicating a tiny people. We then went into medieval armor, and I was equally stunned at the tiny outfits. The enormous exploits of the medieval error seem to have been largely accomplished by midgets. One important thing: the olfactory sense of the European medieval error was much worse than in the Japanese error. The artifacts from the European medieval error stink. Not so with the Japanese error. Why is this?
We went to see the toilet by Duchamp. As errors go, this would seem to have been the greatest mistake of the 20th century. Now the toilet (it's actually a urinal sans the urine cake) is canonical. I explained to the children that art has become something for the chattering classes to talk about, and so it has to in a sense question or undermine what is art itself, since that's a fun and endlessly interesting question. It's fun to say, the toilet is beautiful, more beautiful than Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, in which it in many ways resembles... The three children who could understand this thought that this was probably an error of our era.
Then it was over to see the Mendel exhibit at the Institute of Art & Science (mostly science). This was the highlight of my trip, but there was a lot of complaining from the family that the exhibit was too dark. You had to be able to read to appreciate that exhibit. I had an equation trip off my mental provocation-maker: "Mendel plus Engels = Mengele." I wondered if readers of my blog would object, or agree, based on the Duchampian toilet model of phrases instantiated to elicit further phrases, it still seemed important to jot it down.
Better in the Franklin Institute to stare at the funny mirrors if you're a three year old I suppose, or to walk through the giant heart. I went through that giant heart when I was 6 in 1962, and the exhibit has since become a perennial favorite. The children went through it twenty times each, and then were suddenly bored.
Now back home, where I've just mowed the yard. My friend Jake's yard turned out to be enormous. I thought it was just one circle and I'd have to go around it twice. I did. I noticed hummingbirds landing on Brown Susans, which I didn't think they would do. I wondered if butterflies and hummingbirds would be able to step up and take the place of bees in terms of pollination-duties. I don't know what pollination is, exactly. It seems to be when you take the gunk from one flower's STAMEN (male or female), and transfer it to the goop from another flower's PISTIL (male or female?) and from that something happens that is good. What is it that happens? I don't know. What is grass? There was sure a lot of it. Jake's mower didn't have forward propulsion except that which initiated in my calves and shoulders.
Now I'm going to put up my feet and think about the dream I had last night that pretended to tell the difference between poetry and science.
The gray pony is a red giraffe. (In imagism however the gray pony remains a gray pony, unless you're British, in which case it's a grey pony.)
Strictly speaking there are several different kinds of pony. (An exhibit in the Franklin Institute talked about the difference between ponies and horses, which I didn't understand. There were also miniature horses, and other odd forms of equine horseplay in the scientific vocabulary.)
It seems to depend on size, but there are other qualifying factors. I understood nothing of this because I had only seconds to read, and then was pulled hither and yon by four tots, hell-bent on pushing any button they could find, and asking for cookies amid complaints that they hadn't had ice cream for hours.
We got home to our real house last night for a brief respite and I checked the cucumbers. The cucumbers had grown to seven or eight inches in the space of this sunny week. I pulled one out, and pulled off a tomato, and had a salad with Balsamic vinegar that another friend had left in the refrigerator two months back. I reflected that food is weird: all food is grown by someone either for their own benefit, or for the benefit of others.
The woodchuck who is now immensely fat looked at me from the back hill of scrub vegetation on which he subsists.
There is probably something outside the human (commercial) exploitation of nature, but I doubt if I've ever eaten anything that wasn't specifically and commercially grown outside of a few raspberries I found once in the woods. Tomorrow we will pick blueberries from the bushes of a blueberry farm.