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Shifting Sideways: 13 Nekkid Ladies

First off, mind out of the gutter. This is fine art, folks!

Nymphaum by William-Adolph Bouguereau

Nymphaum by William-Adolph Bouguereau

Shifting Sideways: 13 Nekkid Ladies

“One naked lady, two naked ladies, three naked ladies, more. Four Naked ladies, five naked ladies….” My son cooed in his sleep, snuggling into his stroller. Sunday afternoon, and it was time for The Haggin Museum, where we were sitting, and sleeping (respectively), in front of the Nymphaeum by William-Adolphoe Bouguereau. (For the record, there are 13 of them, along with a boy peeping at them and a satyr. Yes, I’ve seen this picture. A lot. If you follow the link, the boy and satyr are on the far right, but are not really visible. Hidden.)

Back then, the Haggin was my refuge. Me time away from my crazy life, moving from place to place. No worries about roommates, a crazy husband or what to do with my life. Instead, it was my infant son, me and the quiet of the museum.

Being surrounded by art allowed me to breathe again. My weird, shift to the side mentality started kicking back in. Some mothers count blocks, some sheep. We counted (almost) naked ladies.

I probably should not have been doing it out loud.

The Princeling and I came to the museum so often that the security guard knew us. At the time, the elevator was operated by Ray, the security guard. I ended up buying a year pass, because we were in there so often.

Now, not so much. Instead of cooing softly from his stroller, my boy has grown into a rambunctious nine year old boy. He’ll tolerate the large machinery, the jeep, the boat… But his heart was captured by the hall of swords. That’s what he calls it now. He thinks the life sized dioramas are creepy, the paintings are boring.

My meandering days are over.

I miss them.

Once again, my life is in turmoil. My mind is scattered, thoughts being tossed like litter in the wind. Art calms the windstorm, settles the thoughts. Whether it’s the Nymphaeum, a storm tossed sea, a piece of porcelain… it reminds me of the beauty in life. Even the potato farmer painting hanging in the same room as my nymphs. They are care worn, they are trying hard… but there is beauty in that struggle.

Walking through the halls, my heart start to slow. My breaths deepen. The soul relearns that it can fly.

##The End##

Shifting Sideways: Tree Watching

Shifting sideways is my own little experiment. They are all fairly short— and fairy odd. They capture my quirkiness completely. I hope you enjoy.

Because you’ll have one every Sunday!

Shifting Sideways: Creativity, Life and Love

Tree Watching

Most people have memories of laying on the grass, picking out shapes in clouds. It’s an activity that explores the boundaries of imagination and creativity. My son? He has never done this particular activity. Instead, he will have memories of picking shapes out of trees.

We drive a lot of country roads. A lot. The joke is that it takes 30 minutes to get almost anywhere, and 20 of those minutes are getting out of the country. California doesn’t have a whole lot of clouds right now, thanks to the draught. But trees? Trees we still have.

It started about four years ago. On Highway 88, between Eight Mile Road and Harney Lane, is a lovely tree that overhangs the pavement. Once I saw a dragon head in it, I could never unsee it. Quickly, it began providing entertainment on the drive home. The moment we drove near our new landmark, the Princeling would shout “Dragon!” He fought that dragon, conquered it, rode it across the mountains to visit Auntie in Reno. We drove through its fiery breath (“ewww… stinky!”), engaged it in battle all in an effort to stay out of it’s belly.

None of the other trees are quite as magical as that first one. However, it’s still exciting every time we add a new one to the mix. There’s a chicken on Austin Road, larger than life and ready to cross the road. On Harney Lane, there are two trees that look exactly like a cow, right in front of… a cow farm. On Jack Tone Road, a magical portal awaits us, ready to take us to another land. One filled with dragons, and knights, no doubt.

Cloud watching is dependent on the weather. Tree watching just requires a tree and a small shift sideways. No shapes in your trees? Find all the shades of brown, of green, how the light dapples through the leaves.

Your inner child will squeal in delight.

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Copyright 2015 Wynelda Ann Deaver