...included a screening of "A Miracle in Milan" and "Umberto D." The latter is too heartbreaking to talk about. The former is a very gentle and complex meditation on poverty, and should be required viewing for the Occupy Wall Street Movement (does anyone know if there is a film series there in the park?) and its critics. It begins with a baby found in a cabbage patch and ends with a group of disenfranchised Milanese flying on broomsticks. I found this essay by director Vittorio de Sica illuminating. Especially this part:

[A Miracle in Milan's] content is humanist, but its inspiration, the climate in which the characters evolve their way of thinking and behaving, and their very fate itself, is more closely related to the legends of the North, to Andersen for example, than to the reality of our present-day Latin world. Here is no hymn in praise of poverty—as I read somewhere to my horror—nor any condemnation of riches...This is a fable, slightly wistful perhaps, but quietly optimistic within its poetic framework; if I may be allowed to give it such a name. Men and angels are to be found here, living on good terms together...Finally—to give life to this film of mine, I tried to find the meaning of a little word that likes to hide everywhere; it is goodness. I beg you to tell me if you find it here in these images, if you recognize it at least here and there.

While at the Hammer Museum we witnessed the painting over of Linn Meyers' labor-intensive exhibit (each swirl is composed of thousands of tiny lines) which closed this weekend. All of that work (14 hours a day for 12 days!), in minutes, vanished and hidden under a layer of white paint!

And then, a few days in San Diego with dear cousins, a hike to Torrey Pines, a soak in a hot tub and homemade oatmeal cookies. Genevieve, who is 7 years-old, has a very sophisticated sense of color and pattern. She whipped up an apron and headband.  The collages are especially dear. They are made on old envelopes that my mother-in-law gave her niece Tammy (and Genevieve's mother) when she was a little girl in Ohio. Tammy told me that, unlike her daughter, she was very conservative with and protective of her craft supplies, hoarding them and never using the special stuff. Which means now, 30 years later, her daughter has found a new use for them and blazes through the supply with abandon. Don't you remember that feeling of having "special paper"? Maybe the world can be divided into those who use and those who hoard it. I am definitely a hoarder. Which one are you?