Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
I saw Odilon Redon's painting Le Silence for the first time when I traveled through Europe after graduating from college in 1985. For more than two months, I wandered around with two college girlfriends and then at some point I left and went on alone. One of the towns I randomly visited was Nantes, a city in western France. The only thing I remember about that visit was this painting that I stumbled upon in a museum. I was immediately transfixed and stood in front of it for a long time, knowing nothing about it or the painter. I bought a postcard of the painting and carried that with me, stuffed into journals, taped to various apartment walls and then finally lost it.
I thought about Le Silence tonight as I read through my favorite blogs, noticing a bit of silence from everyone. There has been less traffic on my blog the last few days or so and fewer comments. I've hesitated to comment myself on many blogs and have been hard put to write, even, on my own. I wonder if it's the snow, blanketing much of the country, further isolating we Californians with our perpetual sunniness. As a native east coaster, I am struck every single day by the beauty of the weather here, but it never ceases to feel strange and unreal, either, especially in January and February. I understand the Santa Anas are coming in tonight, and the air was crisp today and edgy, colder than it has been. Sophie, who is finely tuned to environmental changes has had an uptick in seizures (but overall is much improved!!!) and when I look into her eyes I see silence.