So, onward and upward.
Friday night, we tried for that old Mage thing, and got to the pinnacle of completion, but I was so bone tired annoyed, I decided nope, we'll finish it later. So, I will now have to deal with the three remaining players in two groups. Went home and pouted for a while, finally fell asleep.
Saturday, T and I tried to get in touch with Jon to go see the Plague Paintings on display at the Worcester Art Museum. He was incommunicado, alas, so we just went. Some fascinating stuff there. My personal fav was Memento Mori (Death Comes to the Dinner Table), which featured a delightfully creepy scene of a fashionable dinner (circa the Renaissance) with a grisly surprise guest terrifying the richly dressed attendees. Absolutely gorgeous. Rich colors on the humans and delightful darkness draped over their grim visitor... Breathtaking.
Did you know that two common motifs found in plague paintings are (1) people with hands over their mouths (don't breathe in the contagion style) and (2) young children attempting to suckle from dead mothers' breasts? It's little details like this (and the great paintings themselves), which provide that little reward for seeking out fun art shows. Highly recommended. Of course, the display was arranged such that it began with grim horror and escalated to faithful response and ultimately salvation/resurrection (different rooms hold different sub-themes all relating to the overarching theme of the Bubonic Plague). The saint stuff was just not as good as the human bits... Still, I'm glad I went. In fact, the saint stuff had contextual humor for me. Allow me to elucidate:
In the period of many of the paintings, saints would petition to the Almighty or Mary or Jesu, imploring them for a release from the misery and death. Now, the favored expression of this imploring/petitioning is to hold the hands, palms outward toward the suffering earth below, while gazing heavenward.
Now, this look has changed in current times. No longer do we see this as an acceptance of responsibility, such that we plead a case to the powers that be. Nope, in my mind at least, this gesture is really a foisting off of responsibility. A selfish gesture often accompanied by the rapid-fire questions: "What do you want me to do with all these sick people? I mean, what did I do to deserve this? Why me, I ask you, why?" Or in the case of Saint Sebastian (the guy who survived being shot with wooden arrows), "Hey, Mary. Check this out. Went right through me. I've got a frigging arrow in my leg!" Of course, my first response was a dirty one (as is usually the case with my gutter humor mind, "Hey, Mary!" (Because he's imploring the Virgin Mary) "Have I got the wood or not? And with these little feathers on the end, too. Maybe would you like a little tickler?"