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The Met and my Oddly specific dentist

Went back to the dentist again today. He did another root canal.He says that if I had a pot of money he would like to give me a 'whole new mouth.' He says that it would make me '10% better looking.' A laudable goal I suppose.

I am sure he wants to fix lots of mouths that he cannot. He dreams of excavations and rebuilding. And my teeth need help. But it seems an oddly specific thing to say. He did not say it in a nasty way,  It was just weird. I think maybe I would rather he fix problems as they arise. Unless he can tell me what else having a new mouth would do for me.Not sure that being 10% better looking is the best use of my ( thus-far-imaginary) money.

The MET was splendid. We did the Greeks and Romans, Pacific Islands, and a little bit of European Middle ages. By then it had been 3.5 hours, and we had had all we could absorb. I took a few cool pictures, I will send them from my phone, that seems to work best. If I try and insert them here they get upside down.

They had a reproduction of a Roman bedroom, with wall frescoes and furniture. You could walk right in, and feel what it would have been like to sleep there. The wall art was a deep red, and very busy. Lots of swags of vines and naked people cavorting with sheep. Very pretty, but not exactly soothing. Husband liked that best.

There were a lot of Greek and Roman statues of men with the fun parts knocked off. More missing penis art than missing nose or fingers. I wonder who did that, and why. After a while that got oppressive and disturbing. The Pacific Islands art was refreshing after all that stone. It was appealing in a whole different way. You didn't have the feeling that it was leaning over you.

I find that what moves me the most are the little things that were made for personal use. There was some ancient cutlery, spoons for eating with, maybe Greek, maybe Roman, and you could see that they were a set. The spoons were meant to match, and they were just the same size as teaspoons today. Of course, hands and mouths are the same. Things like that appeal to me. Somebody handled them, ate with them, someone, (someone  else) washed them and put them away.

There was one of those sofas too, for reclining on while you ate. It looked as if it would be tricky to use without making a mess. Particularly if you were wearing clothing that was just pinned on here and there. I'm sure if I were living then I would have looked very untidy.

The very earliest things were small stone carvings of fat women. Venus figurines. I find that I could look at them for ages. I don't know, and I don't think anyone is sure, what they were for. Were they religious objects? Were they porn? Or maybe both at once. They look as if they would feel good to hold in your hand, and there is something cheerful and forthright about their fat nakedness. I think they must have made the people,  who were living cold and hungry,  feel safe. They wanted a world where women looked like that.

When we had had all the art we could take, we had only done a fraction of one floor. We headed out and got a couple of cart hot-dogs. (Reliably delicious.) and headed home. I can see that it is a place I will have to visit often.

And i did see the bed that the kids in the book slept in, and the fountain where they bathed! The book is:

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a novel by E. L. Konigsburg

Wonderful kids book where the kids are smart and funny. And as I recall, the adults are nice too. Nobody gets hurt or scared.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you had a fabulous day! I know exactly what you mean by being moved by personal artefacts. I can admire Egyptian statuary and funerary magnificence, but the objects that fascinate me most are the little makeup sets; tiny bottles and palettes and stylus for applying kohl. Not so different from the clutter in my own makeup bag.

I also love the Venus figurines. Isn't it fascinating that we know so little about what they were for, but down through all these centuries and millennia, they still appeal to us so powerfully? In some ways, people have changed very little.

PS If I could change 10% of anything about me, I suspect "10% better looking" is the last thing I would bother about. What a strange dentist!
May. 6th, 2014 09:38 am (UTC)
It's like on Time Team when they have no idea about something and say "ritual!"

May. 5th, 2014 11:03 pm (UTC)
oh... the Met.
so much envy.

and Oh, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I loved that book.
May. 6th, 2014 09:39 am (UTC)
I sympathise teeth wise. Have I shared this with you?

May. 7th, 2014 12:14 pm (UTC)
I had never heard that. That is just how I feel. I do stare up his nose in despair! Pure delightful genius. Rhyming poems are becoming a lost art. This one is as good as Kipling.

May. 7th, 2014 12:17 pm (UTC)
The woman is a genius, without doubt.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )