I am blogging from the Copa Club at the airport in Panama City on the way to Santiago de Cali, Colombia. With a 7-hour layover on a beautiful sunny day, even after a red-eye flight from San Francisco, I am too excited to try to sleep.
I know that some of you do not know that we live in the middle of a grove of ancient redwoods on the north coast of California. The trade-off for this good fortune is that one cannot count on flights actually leaving at the right time, sometimes even the right day, so I always plan a stopover in San Francisco with old friends.
ASIAN ART MUSEUM, SAN FRANCISCO
We take advantage of visiting art exhibits in the city. This time it was “How Japan inspired Monet, Van Gogh, and other Western artists” at the Asian Art Museum.
There are more than 170 artworks drawn from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with masterpieces by the great impressionist and post-impressionist painters Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Paul Gauguin, among others.
Years ago I did a study/copy of this painting of a haystack by Monet and was so pleased to be able to see it up close, and to photograph his remarkable brush work. I am more interested in learning painterly styles like this than photo-real oil painting. So I study the details of great works of art wherever possible.
There was even an area where visitors were invited to do studies of a selection of the Japanese pieces. Helen and I each did one very quickly as it was almost closing time. What a perfect end of a museum visit.
FAMILY CONVERSING WITH NO IPHONES
There is one more thing I would like to share with you before signing off.
Last week, in the coffee shop in our village, I noticed that there seemed to be something unique about a family having breakfast together. I kept watching them, trying to figure out what it was.
Suddenly it hit me! They were actually talking to each other, listening, laughing; and no iphones or ipads were in sight—shades of the past! I don’t know them but asked if they would mind if I shared their picture on Facebook. They were pleased and so was. A reminder for all of us.
Signing off, running out of battery on my laptop here at the airport.
PS On January 21 I received an email from a Swedish friend who lives in Thailand. She wrote in response to the “iphone” bit of this blog:
I want to share with you a similar experience in my house. We had a boy just 6 years old visiting us with his uncle and aunt from Bangkok. I noticed when he arrived how polite he was saying in English “Good Morning Doctor Kolmodin”. He had no toys with him, no books or anything to amuse him. He spend 3 hours in the car, talking and looking out at the traffic, fields, and so on. He helped us in the kitchen and talked with us. He ate in peace together with us in the dining room. I was so impressed of this calm boy with no Ipad or toys and, as you realized that this was for us a few years ago normal.