Thursday, January 1, 2015

Fences and Genius on New Year's Eve

The last day of 2014 graced us with sunshine and coolish but pleasant temperatures.  In the afternoon, we rode our bikes, with Black Jack in her basket, over the Cambie Bridge to Caffè Cittadella. Bill, my best model ever, posed for me before we left the café. 
We stopped on the bridge on the way home.  The fence is quite ordinary..
but I'll share it with TexWisGirl's Good Fences because it is a good fence,
simple but serviceable, and because Bill and Black Jack in front of it, and the mountains behind it, were part of the good feeling of the ride.
Thanks, Theresa for hosting.  It is an eye-opener for me every week to see the variety of photos submitted.
This fence is at the front entrance to a neighbourhood school.  I have long admired the metal art on it..
 and though I couldn't find a single word about it on the school web site, thought..
you might enjoy the familiar activities portrayed with such vivid colours and realistic shapes.
A couple of hours before midnight, we rode over the Burrard Bridge to see a 10:45 p.m. showing of the movie, Mr. Turner, thus bringing in the new year as we sat in the theatre..  a first for me, but combined with our after-midnight bike ride home, it felt like an adventure, making me feel like we are living just enough on the edge to keep life exciting :)  But to get back to the movie, the story covered the last 25 years in the life of British painter, Joseph Mallard William Turner, (approximately1826 to 1851). Though close to two and a half hours long, it passed in a flash for me and would rate right up there with my all time favourite movies.  Bill didn't have the same experience though, so that is something to keep in mind before you rush out to see it. One thing I guarantee is that you will come as close to living through the time period as any movie could possibly take you.  The drawing room concerts,

Turner's excitement when Mary Somerville (Lesley Manville) arrives to demonstrate the magnetic properties of violet,
the physical effort of preparing paint colours barely touch the surface of ways you will begin to feel immersed in the time and culture.
I couldn't resist taking a couple of screen shots of fences while I was there :)
However, the shots that truly took my breath away couldn't be photographed.  I just didn't dare.  They were too exquisite to ruin with a poor imitation.  For the photography alone,
I would recommend this movie. One question that haunted me throughout, and actually has been in my mind for a while, is to what extent we should forgive geniuses their obsessions when they come at the expense of the feelings and sometimes, the very lives, of the people closest to them.  Mr. Turner was simultaneously a sweet, sensitive soul and an unfeeling, boorish cad.  Does genius excuse poor behaviour for you?  Or, do you simply put the genius in one category and the person in another.  Somehow, I've never quite been able to do that.  I'd sure love to know what you think.  Thank you so much for visiting.   


  1. Hello Carol, great series of fence scenes.. I like the one of Bill, Black jack and the mountains.. The metal art is cool too. Thanks for sharing your day! I wish you and your family a happy, healthy New Year!

  2. The metal art at the school is neat to see! Enjoyed the screen shots from the movie. I kind of think of it as a given that geniuses are a bit eccentric. Disney's "The Absent-Minded Professor" missed his own wedding 3 times, but was a very nice person at heart--and invented an awesome substance called Flubber. I would probably not want to be family with a genius like that, but I'm sure he made a pretty cool friend.

  3. a good question on genius' character flaws and cruelty. :)

    loved the fences and the colors!

  4. I think that even geniuses have to be held responsible for their behavior, but it is an interesting thought to ponder. I'll have to find that movie. Sounds so interesting!

  5. This is an interesting conundrum! I have never forgiven Scott Fitzgerald for plagiarizing Zelda's (his wife) writing after he put her in a mental institution. I cannot read "The Great Gatsby" again because of this. It seems to me that artist's who seek truth through art should also be held to a high standard of ethics in their personal lives!
    I love the art work on the school fence. Most elementary schools in Victoria and Vancouver seem to have a wave of fish which I enjoy very much!
    Hugs for you both! Phyllis

  6. I do think that geniuses are always a little bit eccentric. They are by nature more sensitive to the world and people around them and are often irritated by the fact that people can't see and understand the world like they do. Often they are misunderstood and feel different from others,-- which they are. It's an interesting study to see how many of our greatest artists, musicians, inventors, mathematicians and scientists were/are tormented by mental health problems.

  7. Bill and Blackjack are very handsome there in front of the mountains

    Happy New Year.

  8. Geniuses should be kind regardless. However, their ability to focus on their work to the point of being obsessive can lead to mistreatment of those around them. It's the flip side of "genius" -- which is often a misnomer. People who are brilliant but well balanced probably don't appear to be geniuses.

  9. So lovely, how trusting Blackjack is sitting in the basket (wish, my suspicious cat coult be do too - ) and nice photos of an interesting artwork fence.
    I don't know this film (will search, maybe it is in German too), but: peoples with an big talent have often a deficit in other sides. This is of course no excuse, but reality. And sometimes people are just a little different, but they find no tolerance for their nature, are not understood and rejected and then evil developed later. Thus, it may be.
    Happy New Year

  10. I think that anyone whose focus is dedicated to one narrow area tends to run the risk of being 'eccentric', 'rude' or anti-social. Genius is no different, in my mind, than the workaholic except the genius may have a more brilliant and unique talent. Still, it behooves both genius and workaholic to find balance in their lives or at least to find ways to live in their own world without mistreating those around them.