Tag Archives: magritte

Sublime and Surreal; A Birthday Vocabulary Lesson.

I walked to my car a few nights ago on my birthday and was stopped in my tracks by something in the atmosphere there on the street. It was twilight; the sky an electric blue and the trees and houses nearly black silhouettes against the sky. The street light stood as a golden guardian. The only sound out there in those few moments was a rustling of the leaves in those dark trees caused by a gentle breeze.

It was distinctly dreamlike. Surreal even. It was exactly as if I were standing in Magritte’s painting The Empire of Light II.

Earlier in the day I had been hiking on the bluffs over the ocean with two friends. At one point along the trail we paused. They were chatting, I was breathing. I looked up to see the most fabulous sky. There is no other way to put it but to say it was “sky blue”. That bright light blue that can be bought in a tube. There were fluffy clouds in cartoon-character shapes floating by. Standing there I again felt I could  have been standing in a painting: Magritte’s The False Mirror. It transformed my hike into a sublime experience.

These moments began a vocabulary lesson at dinner last night.


marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream


of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe

The rest of my birthday weekend continued the theme. A spa massage: sublime. Practicing the massage techniques I had “learned” on my 10 year old and savoring the feel of his strong little body: sublime. Apricot almond birthday cake: sublime. Fighting an hour-long, block-wide nerf war, girls against boys, with my kids and their friends: surreal.

Yes, having the ultra-pacifist mom shoot her kids repeatedly aiming to “kill” was indeed surreal. But, it was also such a sublimely fun hour capping off an at times dreamlike weekend.