Saturday, May 30, 2009

New American Wing at the Met

Today is Shavuot, a Jewish holiday commemorating the anniversary of Moses receiving the Torah from God at Mount Sinai. Since I'm starting to have more Jewish people in my life (Polina, Lori, Linda, Leon) it's nice to feel a connection with them through their spiritual beliefs.

Tara and I had a wonderful visit to the Metropolitan Museum today, where the New American Wing was recently opened with a ribbon-cutting by First Lady Michelle Obama. This wing has been closed for most of the past two years, which has been hard on us because it's the room where Tara and I first met on October 14, 2005. Now we are finally able to celebrate the anniversary of that event properly, in the place that it happened.

The New American Wing at the Met

Here's a picture of me standing in the exact spot where Tara was standing on that night when she first saw me come into the room:

Me in the balcony of the American Wing

We saw three special exhibits this trip, starting with Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom, which I found to be reminiscent of a work I saw on my first trip to the Guggenheim that had a tremendous influence on my love of modern art:


We also toured an exhibit called Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective, an artist who influenced one of Tara's favorite artists, Clive Barker. We saw Barker's work last year at a private gallery downtown ("A busy weekend" - May 12, 2008) and it's easy to see the relationship between these two artists. Finally, we saw The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion which was about how models over the years influence the fashion industry and our perceptions of feminine beauty.

During our visit, Tara and I had a long talk about our different perspectives on artistic intent, on authentic identity, on living in the moment and our expressions of love. It was a little difficult at times, but not as much as such talks have been in the past. It's confusing when you love someone who wants something very different than what you want out of the love you share with them. I tend to celebrate differences and learn from them; Tara tends to celebrate affinity and enjoy the peace that comes with it. Without any easy answers for what to do, I put our fate in the hands of the goddess and just try to enjoy the moment for what it is without thinking about what it might lead to.

In the evening, I watched American Masters: Hollywood Chinese on PBS - it's about how Chinese and Asian-Americans have been portrayed in the movies over the years. It stirred up a lot of thoughts about my quixotic identity as a pansexual, transgender woman of Chinese ancestry who is both pagan and polyamorous. In talking with Penny on the phone about it this evening, I realized that having all these overlapping identities makes me feel even more like a teenager than she actually is, because I'm trying to internalize so much in a relatively short period of time - shorter than an average adolescence, at least. I'm not confused about who I am or why I believe in what I believe. But I do feel like there is a lot of growth ahead for me, not growing up so much as growing into the person I aspire to be.