Thursday, June 23, 2016

Munich has heart

I decided to skip the run today and save my energy for sight seeing, and boy am I glad I did!  Our first task, after shopping at the farmers market, was to pick up our rental car.  We walked to the agency, only about 10 minutes away, and Greg was ecstatic to learn we would be driving a BMW for the next couple of weeks.

We drove into the countryside to visit the beautiful monastery at Andechs.  For those readers who don't know our usual dietary habits, at home we are mostly vegetarians and nearly gluten free.  However when we travel, we have learned to be flexible, eat regional food, and not be so rigid with our diets.  We have tried some unusual dishes this week and frequently stepped outside our comfort zone.  Of those meals,  the most notably large and foreign, was the pork knuckle at Andechs.  Honestly it was tasty, but we needed a green salad for dinner to compensate for all of that abundance.  Climbing the 195 steps to the bell tower did help burn off some of that food, and the view  from the top was breathtaking! (Another surprise that instantly raised our heart rates was the deafening toll of the two o'clock bells experienced from inside the tower!)

While I merely  tasted the famous beer at Andechs, I let Greg enjoy the large mug pictured and deemed myself the designated driver for the way home.  Driving on the autobahn was fine, but negotiating the traffic filled streets of Munich was stressful.  (My first time driving in a foreign country!)

Back in the city, we headed over to see our host’s art opening.  We had some idea of what to expect because there are a few scaled models around the house and we had peeked in the church earlier and seen the giant 3D heart-shaped sculpture that seems to be made of grids of pvc.. Greg who knows more about these things explained it was actually welded pipe.  The sculpture was huge and suspended in the center of the church from the ceiling so it appears to hover in the center of the space.  When we arrived at the opening, visitors were taking plants and placing around the base of the sculpture, some were writing on flags inserted into the plant with a skewer.  We are guessing the plants symbolize loved ones in need of prayers, or someone you wanted to receive loving energy, or even to commemorate people you love who have passed.  As the presentation began, the crowd hushed.  Beautiful music played, setting the theme, as lights of various colors flashed from all around the chapel changing the mood, pulsing and beating with the music. At one point water showered down from the sculpture perhaps representing tears, and blood (red dyed liquid?) pulsed through clear tubes. There was also the incorporation of the element; earth, air, fire, and water.   Michael’s art was truly something moving to behold.  We marveled at the creativity to invent the concept, the talent and patience to construct the sculpture, then the vision and collaboration to compile the music, the lighting, and all the details that made this a seamless integration of the complexity of the heart.

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