This evening, while strolling through Russell Square Gardens, I came across a tree dedicated to the writer, poet, playwright and rubbish husband, T.S. Eliot. Originally from Boston, Eliot spent most of his adult life in London. To do so he married a local lass, Vivienne – who, by all accounts, had a tenuous grip on reality.
Admitting he only married her to stay in the country, Elliot claimed the state of mind the marriage induced in him was his inspiration for his poem, The Waste Land. Eventually he ditched her, though not before he secured his British Citizenship. Poor old Viv couldn’t cope with the separation and ended up in a Mental Hospital, where she remained until her death. Although he remained married to her during her confinement, Eliot never visited.
Prior to my stroll in the park, I attended the Shabbat Shira Service at West London Synagogue and, prior to that, I had my last day at Summer School. Despite my Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony insomnia the night before, I really enjoyed the day’s lesson; mainly due to our tutor, Liz Rideal, who is very knowledgeable about art and is an excellent and expressive communicator of that knowledge.
Our task today was to make an abstract collage; I enjoyed the process (tired as I was), though I think the end result was more bits and pieces, than true abstraction (see header pic). Afterwards, we had what is known in art circles as the Crit – i.e. Critique – which is fancy for Show & Tell; wherein, we had to give a little talk about our work and the rest of the class told us what they thought of it, constructively of course. It was great to see what everyone had made, especially how different everyone’s work was, even though we’d all been given the same instructions. That’s the great thing about art as self expression: as each self is different, it stands to reason the expression of each self will be different.
All and all the course was brilliant. I highly recommend going to Summer School; most universities run summer programs, on all sorts of subjects. It‘s a great way to meet new people and learn something new. Personally, I’d much rather spend my summer holiday doing that than lying on a beach, but then I’m a nerd and look naff in a bikini.