Walking along the river Laak this afternoon, where the river and city on the left is on higher ground than the water and the fields of the polder on the right. A somewhat typical Dutch occurrence, seeing water flow higher than surrounding land.
We went to the theater tonight. E had received tickets as birthday present from cousin S, who sits on the board of the local chamber music festival September Me.
It was of course a socially distanced seating arrangement.
A beautiful opening concert by the Ragazze Quartet with compositions by Caroline Shaw, specifically written for and premiered at this festival tonight.
The local museum Kunsthal Kade for the past 6 months had an exhibit of some 150 works by almost 50 African American artists spanning from the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance to today, titled TELL ME YOUR STORY. 100 years of storytelling in African American art.
Beautiful, compelling, and sometimes confronting works. All the more so given the renewed civil rights struggle in the USA in the past months.
The collages by Romare Bearden (1911-1988) jumped out at me. Apparently he created them in 1960’s and 70’s while listening to jazz and blues, “My hands sing the blues.”
The Kitchen Table series by Carrie Mae Weems I thought striking photography. Her 1990’s round red images from From here I saw what happened and I cried tells of so much pain, dehumanisation, cruelty, slavery, and injustice, tying it to the faces of individual humans, looking them into their eyes.
The powerful fragment shown in the exhibit comes from the end of that video, and started with a statement that, while not the key message, rings as personally true for me since my mid-twenties “I can’t be a pessimist, because I’m alive. […] So I’m forced to be an optimist.”
For lunch today we cycled to the old Soestdduin railway station, about 14km from our house. It was around 30C, but with a little wind, and it was a pleasant ride, we were in no hurry.
Ater a fine three course Italian meal al fresco, we skipped the dolce, sipped an espresso, and cycled back. This time a slightly different route, taking us along the railway line through the woods, entering the city near the zoo again, and from there onwards home.
A good first day of our staycation.