Taking A Break With Rodin

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IMG_0081Up to our armpits in work, and always catching up on one thing or another, we decided to get out of here for the day last Saturday. Due to Bill’s recovery from knee surgery and the preceding months of pain and staying put, we haven’t been anywhere that takes being on our feet for a long time. Now that spring is on it’s way and Bill is feeling good we decided to take ourselves on a little adventure.

Our destination was Richmond, only an hour away. With the end of the Rodin IMG_0112exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, in just a week, we decided to make a day of it and included time for a luscious lunch with a friend we haven’t seen in a couple of years. I was excited days ahead of time, eager to let everything I had to do go, breaking the ties that bind me to my desk.

I’m a home body at heart and have gotten more so over the past few years. But after a year of being tied down I’m ready to travel. Bill will be going on one of his greatly missed theatre binges later this month to New York City, where he’ll get to see seven on and Off-Broadways shows in four short days and nights. Don’t ask. I don’t know how he does it. I can’t take sitting in the dark for that long.

I’ll stay put until May and then head off to Chicago for Book Expo America, an event I promised myself I’d neverIMG_0115 attend. But it’s about getting used to the fact that I have a book coming out in September and learning how the world of publishing works. I’ll get to meet the team of great women at She Writes Press who are my partners in getting my book out, and other SWP authors whose books will also be released in the fall. I’ve heard that Book Expo is a real zoo with crowds belly-button to belly-button. But hey, you only get to live once. So why not. I’ll be taking a gallon of Rescue Remedy with me to soothe my anxiety in big crowds and plan on spending only a few hours at a time, navigating the sea of publishers, authors, and other publishing resources. I also plan on visiting with friends I haven’t seen in way too many years and take in some exhibits at The Art Institute of Chicago to muster up inspiration for my next visual art masterpieces :-)! And we’re planning more travel/vacation time during the summer.

IMG_0110 (1)But back to the Rodin exhibit. We are so lucky to have a museum that brings in exhibitions of this caliber so close to home. Though I’ve been really busy and thought I didn’t have time to see it, I’m so glad I took the time. I learned so much about Rodin, including the fact that he never got to see any of his sculptures cast in bronze. That didn’t happen until after he died. I also didn’t realize that he had a kind of factory going on with 50 studio assistants who did a lot of the work. His sculptures of feet and hands are amazing. There is such detail in the musculature of every body part he worked on. The attached photos don’t really do the work justice but they can give you an idea of what I mean.IMG_0119

When was the last time you got out of town for a day and away from what takes up all of your time? What did you do and what did you learn?


  1. Joan — “I’ll stay put until May and then head off to Chicago for Book Expo America, an event I promised myself I’d neverIMG_0115 attend. But it’s about getting used to the fact that I have a book coming out in September and learning how the world of publishing works.”

    My hat is off to YOU for stepping out of your comfort zone. If I weren’t going to be in Europe during the event, I’d be right there beside you! I’m definitely going to want to hear all about it.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Laurie, I’d much rather go to Europe with you but I’ll imagine you standing next to me wandering through the crowds at Book Expo. It is going to be way out of my comfort zone, but the way I’m feeling right now and the ability to say yes or no to exactly what I do there, I believe I’ll handle it well.

  2. It sounds like a fabulous day. I love going to museums (I would also happily sit through lots of Broadway shows). We have excellent museums nearby in the Philadelphia area–and one is the Rodin Museum.

    The Book Expo sounds–well, I don’t know. 🙂 But I’m with Laurie in that I’ll be interested in hearing all about it.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Being at Book Expo should be very interesting and I’ll let you know all about it. For me it’ll be getting in the mindset and moving through it as just another challenging event. I just need to bring my inner coach along with me and to take it one moment at a time.

      Thanks for stopping by, Merril.

  3. Your images of curled feet and fingers remind me of Ananda’s suggestion in our Pilates class today. To maintain balance, she says , strengthen your feet by curling the toes of both feet IN like an eagle on a tree branch. Then curl them OUT like a frog on a lily pad, alternating back and forth.

    Come to think of it, a great metaphor for staying balanced in other ways too.

    I’m glad to hear you are getting your groove on and traveling soon. Since the children have moved to Jacksonville, we don’t visit Chicago anymore. However, on Sunday evening we did attend the Downton Abbey finale in St. Augustine. Like Richmond for you, the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine is less than an hour away.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Marian, Yes, it’s trying to stay balanced all the way and in every aspect of my life. Sometimes it’s difficult and other times it seems easy. Right now it feels easy as I’ve been cooped up for so long. Once I get to Chicago and do Book expo I could have a complete turn around.

  4. What a fantastic exhibit! Would love to see it! May just have to do that. I’ve been itching to travel. I’m still recovering from our trip west in September. My knees have never recovered and all my woo woo people tell me to stay put. Plus May is my son’s wedding in KC – I still want to put my toes in the ocean before then. I, like you, have succumbed to the writer’s house bound disease – I travel so far in my mind that there’s just no time and energy to take my body elsewhere. Not sure it’s such a good thing. I too, will be anxious to hear about the BookExpo. I used to do the ABA and CBA back in the day when I worked in publishing. I enjoyed it then, but a different kind of thing. Conventions always seem to have energy about them that are contagious. It will probably carry you along nicely. Keep us posted!

    • Joan Rough says:

      Dorothy, I’m counting on the contagion to get me through Book Expo. And as another feather in my cap, if I really make it, I’ll feel more powerful than ever. Sounds like you’ve got a full plate going on. If you get to the ocean please dip a toe in for me. Besides getting to beach I also have a yen to get my hands in the dirt and make things grow. This is an amazing time of year. Just bought a big pot of pansies today and look forward to the coming greening.

  5. I love museums, Joan and am enjoying your excursion vicariously since I’m headed into some homebound time for a bit. I can relate to your need to take off after being cooped up for so long. So glad to hear Bill is back in theatre-going form. I’ve heard Book Expo is a total zoo but also very exciting, especially with your pending launch date. Fly free , my friend and enjoy!

    • Joan Rough says:

      Thanks so much Kathy. I shall fly free and high. And I’ll tell you all about it if I come back in one piece! 🙂

  6. I too can so relate to the “homebody at heart, more so lately” idea. That’s just how I’ve been feeling lately. I want to plant my feet solidly in one spot and let the roots dig down deep. Alas, Life has other plans for me. And I enjoy that too. At the moment I’m with Nancy McBride in her little sanctuary in Massachusetts. This morning she took me to water aerobics class — the first time I’ve been in a pool in four years, then a lovely lunch with a fellow writer with lots to share. And tonight we are going to throw pots! I’ve never thrown a pot i my life (except maybe the one I threw at the basement wall once upon a time; that was fun). I do love meeting new people and, as you know, will be back in Chincoteague soon with another set of “new” folks to get to know better. Sometimes Life knows best. I wish you well in Chicago, Joan. My thinking is: if it were in almost any other month, I’d be there in a flash. I’m actually looking for a book fair to attend. But, after a Vermont winter, May is a real gift and I stay home as much as possible to soak it all in.

  7. Joan Rough says:

    Janet, It sounds like you are having a blast! You can’t be a homebody because you enjoy your adventures so much. And yes, I can envision you dancing through the crowds at Book Expo. I’m sorry I won’t make it for the gathering this spring at your place, but will be there in spirit and remembering the wonderful time I had with you last year.