Da Vinci’s Muse

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Feature January 2011

January 8th, 2011 · No Comments · Featured Musings, Home


Mostly my birthday falling on January 3rd being so close to the Christmas and New Year’s festivities, has always been rather low key. In celebration of my 50th, I decided to visit San Francisco, the place of my birth, for a four day celebration of exquisite food, museums and art. While I was there I reflected upon the beauty of the city and its multicultural heritage. I had some very nice meals, San Francisco is known for their culinary arts. A few of the restaurants/cafe’s were one’s that I had been to before like the sumptuous vegetarian restaurant Greens in Fort Mason with it’s beautiful view overlooking the Bay and the Victoria Bakery for their St. Honore cake Italian style with a mixture of sponge cake soaked in rum, creme patisserie, a thin layer of chocolate, pastry and whipped cream. Yummy!

Some other restaurants and experiences: Gary Danko for my celebratory dinner, Cafe de la Presse, walking the streets of Chinatown for some goodies as well as acquiring a pink lotus candle holder in honor of the book “The Feminine Light” which I completed as a birthday present to myself. I also caught the ferry for Sausalito at the port with it’s amazing food mart to have brunch at Murray Circle in Fort Baker, an ex officer’s barracks now converted into a hotel with an incredible view of The Golden Gate Bridge and then visiting long time family friends while I was in Sausalito. The last day of my adventure I went to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, a restaurant where my mother had always wanted to dine. In her remembrance as she was from Maryland, I had fresh crab, one of her favorite foods.

With the San Francisco CityPass, traveling around the city was made easy and the museums and galleries I visited included: the De Young Museum to see the Post-Impressionist Materpieces from the Musee D’Orsay: Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cezanne and Beyond. I particularly enjoyed the work of Paul Signac and specifically Maurice Denis’ “The Muses” painted in 1893.

I went to The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to view the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson, a French photographer who is considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. Then visiting the Weinstein Gallery at Union Square, I was introduced to the works of artist Leonor Fini, an Italian-Argentinian Surrealist painter, who had left Italy for Paris in 1937 and had her first solo exhibition in New York in 1939. “It has been said about her that she is the only artist to paint women without apology.” And like myself, she loved cats, living with up to 23 at one time. Here is a photo of my 17 year old love of my life, Yuri:

I arrived in San Francisco on New Year’s Day and to spend that day at the California Academy of Sciences, visiting the various rain forests, seeing the reindeer and the penguins feeding and going to the Planetarium which was all an incredible experience to have on the birth of a New Year. The Morrison Planetarium is the largest all-digital dome in the world and it was there that I watched the latest amazing digital planetarium show: “Life: A Cosmic Story’, approaches the tantalizing question – How did life on Earth begin? This tantalizing question forms the basis of the second all-digital planetarium show produced by the Academy. Starting with the first stars and ending with the tremendous biological diversity on Earth today, Life will tell the story of life, more than 13.7 billion years in the making! Narrated by two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster, Life: A Cosmic Story will give audiences a new appreciation for the connectedness of all living things on Earth.”

How do we all begin, I was wondering… Under what circumstances are we conceived? How does our conception influence our spiritual beginnings? Are we conceived in love or through fear? Does our conception matter and how does it affect our lives? Do you know how you were conceived? How has your conception affected your life? My mother told me where where I was conceived… at The Algonquin Hotel in New York City, a hotel rich in history. “In 1987, The Algonquin was designated a New York City landmark, and in 1996 it was designated a literary landmark.” Though I do not know the emotional state of my mother and father at my conception, I do know that the early 60’s was an exciting time for artists.

Then, while at the Academy of Sciences’ Bookstore I bought the book “What We Believe But Cannot Prove” edited by John Brockman in which more than 100 hundred of the world’s leading thinkers write about things they believe in, despite the absence of concrete proof.

What do you believe despite proof?

The foundation of my work begins with my book The Feminine Light which is a combination of a practical philosophy about the nature of women, a woman’s book for discovery and self-empowerment and the first translation written by and for women of The Tao Te Ching in over 2,500 years. The Tao Te Ching is 81 verses speaking to the laws of nature governing the cosmos and all of life. In line with The Tao, “The Way” doesn’t need proof, it just is.

If you have any questions, thoughts or opinions, please comment… and Happy New Year!


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