Travel Serendipity: I Touched a Picasso

Well, sometimes things just exceed your expectations.

Like today.

I’m on business travel in London, planning to attend a very happy event in which my company has been nominated for two very prestigious awards. I’m part of the contingent for the ceremony.  (Fingers and toes crossed that we win!)  Today was a travel day and I arrived here in London at midday,  tired as all get-out.  (If you’re not familiar with this phrase, it means “to the extreme” or “big-time” in America lingo; click here for Miriam-Webster’s definition.)

This is not my first travel rodeo and I know how it works going from the U.S. to Europe – you HAVE to stay awake until the local bedtime, or you’ll NEVER get over the jet lag.  So I was not going to let the thought of a teeny little nap seduce me and ignored the tired-as-all-get-out feeling.

My London cabbie set the mood for me with his jaunty fedora festooned with a bright ribbon and feather; he took me from the airport express at the train station to my hotel and had the reggae booming.  He said that a sunny day in London in February just cried out for reggae.

The cabbie and I, we be jammin’.

After checking in at my hotel, finding a bottled water source, and hanging up that darn formal gown I’m wearing on Thursday at the awards gala, I set out to do some brisk walking and waking up.  I had a dinner planned with a software vendor company located here in London and needed to be sharp.

Hyde Park was my destination for the waking-up walk, and it did not disappoint.

IMG_1914And after that brisk walk on this chilly-sunny February day, the communal time with the nature on offer at Hyde Park and a yummy mocha coffee at a Cafe Nero with a dose of UK tabloid-reading, I was ready for the dinner.  It was a a great discussion and lots of ideas were born that will bear fruit.

On my walk back to the hotel, I passed a Christie’s Auction House.  And wouldn’t you know, they were having a reception and sale of impressionist and modern art.  Score!  Serendipity!  What a great way to extend my waking hours to at least the earliest edge of the local bedtime by viewing gorgeous and stimulating art.  Click here for info about the show.

Some of the most captivating and surprising art (for me) was a large collection of Picasso ceramics.  His humor and creativity really shine in these works.  I especially loved a plate with eggs and a fork, and the story behind them.  A friend of Picasso’s told of being served fried eggs with a fork on a plate, only to discover that the plate was the embodiment of the meal after it was eaten – Fried Eggs and a Fork.

I talked a security guard into letting me touch it while he looked on from about six inches away.  It may sound trite, but that was a transcendent moment for me.

IMG_1925.JPG

I. Touched. a. Picasso!

When I touched that ceramic plate that Picasso made, I felt a connection across cultures, generations, geographies, personalities, histories and humanities.  It was a translation of a lifetime of hero worship for this most famous and compelling of artists into a tactile experience – I touched his work!

Today exceeded my expectations: it was a travel day gone right.  And if you think I’m gushing too much about the little things, just remember that inside, I’m just a little girl from a small town in Southeast Texas who is constantly surprised by her life.

 

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