4x4: The meme
Since Jeff expanded the list of questions from eight to ten, I don't feel too badly about making my own adjustments. And you can do the same.
Four places I'd like to go or things I'd like to do:
1) Visit the Angkor temple complex in Cambodia
2) Visit the Ajanta caves in India
3) Hike the length of Hadrian's Wall
4) Complete a short walk I began a few years ago, along the West Kennet Avenue from Avebury to the Sanctuary
Four places I've lived:
4) The Boston area, which leads to my own category of ...
Four places I've lived in the Boston area:
2) Brookline, whose no-overnight-parking regulations seemed intended to keep out the folks from ...
Four places I've been on vacation:
1) Split, Croatia. By the shimmering blue Adriatic Sea, in a hotel within the precincts of Diocletian's Palace. One of the places that has inspired me with a desire to live there.
2) 桂林 (Guilin, China.) Sweaty, hot, amid spotty air-conditioning and other trappings of a section of China making the uncertain transition to Western-style consumer capitalism. Also home of the near-hallucinogenic beauty of the sandstone natural spires, and the only place I have seen anyone playing a guitar while passenger on a bicycle.
3) Israel/Palestinian territories. Alas, it's not as easy as it once was to visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs to see blind old Muslim sage-like men praying at a site so fundamental to our sense of our own culture.
4) Istanbul, in particular Hagia Sophia, quite possibly the most influential building in the history of the world, and certainly one of the most beautiful. One can see the gallery mosaics up close, and there is something special about seeing and touching the rough, unfinished stone that lines the spiral stairways to the upper levels.
Four foods or drinks I have liked:
1) A nice, medium-rare steak
2) A good Brunello da Montalcino
3) Fresh raspberries
4) Deviled eggs
Four (with ties) books or movies I could read or watch again:
1) Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility
2) Roughing It
3) Any of books 7 through 16 of Bill James' Harpur and Iles novels
4) Seven Samurai, Stray Dog and, appropriately for repeated viewing, Rashomon
Four works of art before which I have stood (or sat) either in deep relaxation, as close as I get to a meditative state, or with a profound sense of receptiveness:
1) Piero della Francesca's Resurrection and Montefeltro Altarpiece (Scan by Mark Harden)
2) Velázquez's Las Meninas
3) Rembrandt's Bathsheba at Her Bath
4) Trajan's Column
Four literary, scientific, artistic or political figures from the past whom I'd like to watch at work or meet for dinner and drinks:
2) Jane Austen
3) Mark Twain
3a) Charles Darwin
4) Jawaharlal Nehru. Anyone who can write a book of world history from memory and addressed as a series of letters to his daughter is a man to be reckoned with. Anyone who can write a book about his own country and call it The Discovery of India has a passionate intellect that's worth anyone's interest. And the man had a few practical accomplishments as well, I think.
Answers have begun to arrive from four people I think might take it upon themselves to answer these questions:
1) Sucharita Sarkar (yet another evocative post from one of my favorite writers in blogland.)
2) Seana Graham (good reading!)
3) Adrian McKinty (good reading about bridges and food!)
4) Maxine Clarke
5) Kerrie, who stepped in graciously for Maxine and talks about her journey from Paradise to Hell and back. Thanks!
© Peter Rozovsky 2009
Labels: blogs, China, Croatia, Guilin, Hagia Sophia, Israel, Istanbul, Jawaharlal Nehru, megaliths, memes, miscellaneous, Palestinian territories, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Split, Turkey, Velázquez