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Friday, March 03, 2006

the sleeping gypsy

looking at art.
Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

i only learned about stendhal syndrome after the parthenon made me cry.

my boyfriend at the time and i were backpacking across italy and greece. it was the mid-nineties, when athens was a pit (still is, in my opinion). no cabs would pick us up - we tried for an hour. when they did stop and we told them our destination and they brushed us off. knowing how i would react, my boyfriend turned to me and said, "looks like we'll have to walk."

"how far is it?"

"about an hour."

"with all this shit?" i palmiculated at our backpacks.

"it won't be that bad..." he said.

i bet you didn't know athens was a hilly city.

we were walking - uphill - for about 45 minutes when i started to meltdown. how much did i love my boyfriend when he took my backpack and carried it on the front of his body?

we continued to walk up very steep hills to his friend's place. despite our backpack disparity, he was still a good 30 feet ahead of me. i saw him stop, point between two apartment buildings, and say, "you can see the parthenon."

when i finally reached the area and looked between the two big ugly buildings i saw the parthenon looking absolutely huge, grey, lit-up, and non-textbook-like. i burst into tears. it was the first time that ever happened. AND i've been to florence.

yesterday i went to see the munch exhibition at the moma with a friend. it was prolific and beautiful and sad. my friend went home and i went on to visit the permanent collection.

i walked down a flight of stairs and entered the first room i saw. i took a few steps in and became overwhelmed. a weight was placed on my chest and i, again, burst into tears. i was confronted by - of all things - a rousseau.

i know that stendhal syndrome is not about crying, but instead about fainting. and i know it's not about smelly, dirty, grey new york or athens, but instead about pretty little florence. but i still had to walk out into the hallway to collect myself.

and i've been to the moma before.


At March 12, 2006, Blogger Kattia said...

Dear Krista: I know the overwhelming feeling.
Mine was Rembrandt's "The Nightwatch" at the Rijskmuseum. I saw it from the end of the hall and could barely breath wile walking towards it ... and yep: I've seen other Rembrandts before.

At March 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like "Boy With Lobster on Head" by Salvador Dali. But it didn't make me cry. Sometimes though when dogs wag their tails and lick me unconditionally I get all welled up because I just think it is really nice that they like me. Because sometimes deep inside I feel like That Girl and maybe dogs won't like me. -kjc

At March 22, 2006, Blogger sass said...

oh, that's so sad. dogs DO love you. so much. don't you remember toby?


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