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We made a bonzai trip up to San Francisco yesterday. Left early in the am, were at the De Young museum by eleven.

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Holy Crap!

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There was a show of Chicano art, mostly from the collection of Cheech Marin, that was the most powerful work I’ve seen in years. The colors were strong, vibrant, overblown, wild, cartoonish. The whole show was essentially cartoonish, but it packed a punch. The strength in the show came from the passion that leapt off the canvas in nearly every piece. It would have been easy for the whole thing to veer off into something like a freak show, but it didn’t. It just punched you in the gut, over and over.

My favorite piece from the show was John Valadez’s “Pool Party”

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Then upstairs was the Gee’s Bend quilts. A good-sized collection of quilts hand-pieced by these women from Gee’s Bend, near Selma. The power that these pieces held was palpable. Fabrics, old and worn, collected from family member’s work clothes, dishrags, whatever they could scrounge, and then hand-pieced in improvised patterns based very loosely on traditional quilting patterns.

My way quilts, they called them.

The hardworn life these women lived was evident in each piece. Hope and despair in some crazy balance, acted out in these weird fields of color.

They kicked Diebenkorn’s ass all over the place.

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Upstairs in the De Young’s tower you can see the whole city laid out below you.

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On Columbus we sat in front of Calzone’s and had a rustic bruchetta and some wine and mojitos. Went to City Lights. Aria was closed for the fourth time in a row we’ve tried to go. Yolie got another wonderful sweater at this very strange hole in the wall joint run by a woman who evidently won’t let anyone touch the merchandise and chases potential customers out of the store at every opportunity. At the pier we had crab sandwiches and smoked salmon and more wine and some Scharfenberger bitter chocolates and then we drove home and were in our own bed by midnight.

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Today we are both feeling a little hammered, so we’re putzing around in the garden and lounging in the hammock and doing artwork and I’ve got to wash the dogs and then I’m so taking a nap it isn’t even funny.

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My gratitude is measureless.

Wide and deep and wild as the sea.

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