Sunday, November 16, 2008


i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

--e. e. cummings, "i carry your heart with me"

I miss UCLA, but I think that I spend more time talking about missing UCLA than I actually spend missing the place. Besides, I make as many visits back as possible. My friend Kuan was in town this past week, just returned from being abroad in Japan for a year. And, partly because he studied art, we decided to attend an artist lecture at the Hammer Museum.

Artist Amy Sillman spoke about her working process for abstract painting. Often, she sketches people from life, then putting the drawings away to work from memory. After several generations of drawings and paintings, the finished works are about form and color. The "people" seem architectural--very similar to buildings, in fact--and there may be only one or two of the original defining details. For instance, a woman's uniquely-shaped eye may remain, and its lasting existence creates prominent importance.

After the lecture, Kuan and I went for a dinner of Japanese food at a restaurant on Sawtelle Boulevard, one of Los Angeles' "Japanese districts." Many UCLA students would tell you that the location of the campus, near many L.A. cultural spots, lends to its specialness. Not long ago, I was again in the UCLA area, to see a Japanese film made in 1965 called "Kwaidan." Besides being delighted with the film's use of Japanese folklore stories and backgrounds with skies that appear to be painted by hand in striking colors, I was impressed with the unique theater on Fairfax Avenue. "The Cinefamily" also shows silent movies, but you don't have to be a film follower to enjoy this theater's cozy clubhouse feeling.

These pictures of my sister were taken during yet another visit back to the university, at a couple of the great brick buildings on campus. Noticing the outfit's contemporary art appeal, we also took our camera to the sculpture garden. One of the pictures that did not make it into this post is when I told Autumn to stand in front of the "praying mantis." Although the sculpture that I was referring to is not necessarily representative of that type of insect, Autumn knew which one I meant, which shows that she and I think alike.

Autumn's dress is by half-Japanese-descent designer, Trina Turk, whose website aptly describes her fashions:
Inspired by the multicultural mix, architecture, and landscape of Los Angeles and California, The Trina Turk Collection is full of the Season’s most casually sophisticated and 'must have' silhouettes. Trina’s philosophy is to create wearable, optimistic fashion that incorporates the best aspects of classic American sportswear.
To me, Autumn's clothes' modern design makes my sister's dark eyes and brows seem even more distinct.

One last anecdote: Autumn asked my brother lately, "Do you think that my arm muscles are getting bigger?" as she gave a demonstration flex. "Why?" I interjected, somewhat confused. Autumn explained that she's been carrying two heavy school bags across the length and breadth of the hilly Westwood campus.

UCLA students only get stronger, it seems.


lifeinoleg said...

Autumn's lipstick in the brick window picture is alluring. I'm not sure if that's the right word, but I like it, so there it was.

p.s. - You should show some link love to Trina Turk's website, and Cinefamily.

p.p.s. - I like your compact reviews of the places you've been.

p.p.p.s. - I have to type in "dinimus" to post this comment. Isn't that weird?

p.p.p.p.s. - Just wanted to see what would happen if I put four p's before an s.

Ashley said...

Links added.

Ariel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

I like the poem you opened with. I had never heard it before, but it is lovely. Thank you for sharing it!

grannybabs said...

i'm not familiar with that poem either, but it was great.

i like e.e. cummings too - and am fond of telling my students that the only way they can get away with not capitalizing the first word in the sentence is if their name is e.e. cummings.

they usually don't get it!

Ashley said...

I actually only copied part of the e.e. cummings poem:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

I love your e.e. cummings-inspired grammar, grannybabs!

Rose said...

The yellow phone booth is such a wonderful backdrop for Autumn. The outfit is crisp and could be the new modern version of the classic trench coat.