An Outfit, Magritte and an Earthquake

Posted on 03.06.2015

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most beautiful museum so far!

most beautiful museum so far!

We went to the National Gallery in Roppongi two weeks ago to catch the Magritte show that’s currently up. This was a HUGE show: the largest I’ve seen of anyone’s work, EVER. It was great! I even saw some Magritte paintings I hadn’t seen before, including a series of large boulders existing in surreal places (go figure).

We’d wanted to check out the Louvre show that was happening, too, but decided against it once we got through the Magritte show. It would have been too much for one day, believe it or not. The museum was a lot larger than we’d expected, and it would have taken longer than we had to go through it all. So we decided Magritte was more than enough.

We also saw an amazing photo show that must have been a competition: there were easily 1,000 photos on the walls, in one large gallery, and most of the work was great. A lot of it made me wonder why I don’t enter more competitions. It was in the gallery space just next to the Magritte show, and we passed it on our way out. We thought we’d  have to pay an extra admission fee to see it, but a nice lady invited us in, since it was the last day and the show was actually in the middle of being packed up.

Castle in the Pyrenees

The boulders series in the Magritte show was actually really exciting to see, because they looked exactly like a recurring dream I used to have. In the dream, I’m always tasked to hold a single grain of sand. It’s very much like that almost-final scene in the Neverending Story. If I drop the grain of sand, the world will end. Of course, every time, it inevitably falls. In the amount of time it takes to go from my hand to the ground, the sand expands to be the size of the entire world, and the crash it makes is deafening. I always wake up as the crash comes. I haven’t had it in a long time, and I have no idea what it could mean.

Just around the time we were looking at the boulders series, a strange sound went off in the gallery. The space we were in was huge, and this was probably the largest room in the show. High ceilings, dark hardwood floor, and lovely, perfect dim lighting. My first thought was that someone forgot to put their phone to silent. Everything is eerily silent in Japan, so it was surprising. Then, 150+ phones started making the same noise. It was the National earthquake alarm, which we all get if we  happen to be in the vicinity of a very large earthquake that’s headed our way. It gives you about 10 seconds to seek cover.

Then, the walls and ceiling started to shake, and the lights were flickering on and off. It was easily the heaviest earthquake I’ve ever felt, and for the first few seconds I actually thought it was a part of the exhibit, and that the floor or ceiling was going to start moving, like a platform or something. That was, of course, before I remembered I was in Japan.

It was apparently a 5.5 or 6 earthquake. Astonishingly enough, it didn’t make the international news, even though an earthquake that happened a few days later did.

IMG_3809And this is what I wore:)

I’ve been getting into long skirts lately, so basically all I’m wearing on days off are skirts. They’re just too easy for summer. I’m not sure this photo really does the outfit justice, since the angle is a little high and my waist seems to have disappeared. But I appreciate that Mark takes the photos for me, since I actually smile in the photos he takes of me. AND because I have no place to take photos of myself with the camera and the tripod, since my neighbors are sweet, but nosy little old ladies .

I think this would have been perfect with a big hat, but didn’t go that far. It was, however, perfect for walking around a gallery.

At this point, I’ve just about given up on trying to incorporate lots of color in my wardrobe, since I naturally gravitate towards everything black and grey. This works for me, I’m ok with it, and I’ve got enough bronze jewelry now, thanks to honey’s gifts, to accent it properly.

And I really hate to admit where this ensemble came from, but I think it would be dishonest not to mention it.

IMG_4538It came from Forever 21, of all places.

I’d been looking for a NOT-JAPANESE kimono to wear for summer, and found a few nice-looking ones on the Forever 21 website. So I grudgingly went to their flagship store in Shibuya on my day off to find them, after an exhaustive online search proved their patterns to be my favorites. It appears, though, that the kimonos aren’t being sold over here, because duh, Japan, we have *real* kimonos.  I guess?

So ok, I went online to buy them, but they won’t ship to Japan. At the moment, I’m waiting for them to arrive in a package from a friend, who was ok with receiving them for me in the US. Ridiculous.

I walked though like 6 floors of women’s clothing looking for them, and only found one or two that were even close to what they’d shown on the website. But I found a LOT of other stuff, including the outfit I wore to the gallery in these photos.

I will say I’m not a fan of the quality of their clothes, or their manufacturing practices. But I feel like I can get away with buying from them ONCE (twice if you count the online order), since it’s the first time in, say, 10 years, at least, that I’ve set foot in one of their stores? I hope the fashion gods and industry gods can forgive me.