in which i learn something that everyone else already knew

I took the day off from work yesterday, because, well, I wanted to, and that is a good enough reason. I decided on Thursday afternoon that I would head to Detroit and hang out in the art museum for the day, because looking at art is an activity that mellows me out, whereas going to work is an activity that (these days, at least) makes my eye twitch. They had a special exhibition of jewelry, eggs and whatnots by Fabergé, and, you know, why not? I thought I would find it at least mildly interesting, though I didn’t think I would be fascinated. But I was. Yes, there were the eggs, such as this one, which I saw in person and the photo doesn’t really do it justice:

But there were other things: enamel vases, flowers made of pearls, picture frames, cigarette cases, animals carved from things like obsidian and agate and quartz. My stupid revelation of the day was that you know, diamonds really are pretty. I’ve seen a lot of diamonds, usually in other women’s engagement rings, and while yes, they’re pretty, they’re just terribly dull. (I mean, yes, I think your engagement ring is very lovely, it’s just that everyone else’s is a total yawn, you know, darling?) But on the eggs, or in the center of a tiny, amazingly lifelike enamel-and-gold violet, they were just beautiful.

Perhaps it was because while walking through and looking at things, I knew that all of these things were people’s belongings. Many things in museums were once other people’s belongings, true, but knowing the story of Nicholas II and his family lent a sense of melancholy to it all, since this was their stuff, and they were all executed.

Anyway, it was unexpectedly fascinating. What ridiculous opulence and amazing craftsmanship.

After the museum, I went to Dearborn to eat, because I never pass up a chance for good Middle Eastern food, and I have SO MANY LEFTOVERS in my fridge right now. Is it lunchtime yet?

It was a good day, and it didn’t make my eye twitch, not even once. That’s a win in my book. Also it was educational, because for real, diamonds are pretty. In case you were wondering.

2 thoughts on “in which i learn something that everyone else already knew

  1. My comment is: hooray! Absolutely wonderful that you grabbed that day and got yourself to a museum with beautiful things to tingle your mind. I am so very very envious. I keep talking about doing such a reasonable thing and have yet to actually do it (it’s been ages). So thank you! I shall grab the inspiration and activate my truancy gene.

    thanks!
    – judih

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  2. I wonder if it could have something to do with lighting as well, that museums have lighting that is designed to show off diamonds at their best, while you’re usually looking at engagement rings in offices, restaurants, etc.

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