Of French ivories and car-washes

12th century French ivory carvers developed this pose — a kind of left-twisting of the body of Christ. Some say the object was to create a sense of three dimensional depth; I say, it was simply discovered to be especially graceful.

No other French left-twisted ivory crucifixion which I have seen is as graceful as this one. Which is, of course, why it is the only one unmarked — legendless! — in the Gulbenkian collection. This is always the fate of things I like: my favorite paintings are not reproduced; my favorite movies are never screened (or sold, or fileshared); my favorite books are untranslated, long out of print, not to be found anywhere.

And, I am sure, what would have been my greatest favorites, of course, are not even published, which is why I am doomed not to even know them.

At the opposite end of the aesthetic spectrum locates a traumatic event about four years ago, when, obliged by the terms of a car-rental agreement, I went into a car-wash, my first ever.  It is hard for me to imagine a less aesthetically pleasing experience:  noise, ugly interior, ugly exterior composed of shaved lawn, cement and a large soft-drink hoarding, twenty minutes of my time wasted in agony so that someone else’s ugly car could emerge spotlessly shining.  I peeled away from the establishment with a screech of tires, as if chased by a banshee.  Behind me there was a long line of cars waiting their turn at beautification.

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