At night, after working all day and then tending to my little one and organizing dinner and cleanup, I pose for my husband, classical figurative sculptor Sabin Howard. This entails sitting and holding a particular expression and gesture while he sculpts.
It’s work, not play, trust me. And it takes forever. We’ve been working on this head for almost a year.
Whiling away the hours has turned me into a Netflix aficionado. I started with 24, and watched all 8 seasons. I went through Grey’s Anatomy (really gets lame as the seasons wind on) and The X Files (despite my obsession in the 1990’s, some episodes are tedious).
Recently, I watched The 4400 and White Collar, both fun shows. White Collar features an art thief/con man who works with an FBI agent to solve crimes. Since I secretly want to be an art thief when I grow up, I got hooked on this show immediately. Sabin stopped sculpting to watch an episode with me about sculpture forgery. There was some chitchat about Bernini while authenticating a sculpture that had Sabin grinning.
Then last night I stumbled upon an intelligent, suspenseful British historical crime drama called Foyle’s War. It’s set in England during WW2. After two years of research for novels I am writing set during that period, I can tell you: this show gets the details right!
It’s an impressive show. It’s fascinating to see how the moral complexity of individual lives plays out against the larger backdrop of the war, which was a war without any moral complexity at all: Nazi murderous, racist, unbounded aggression was simply wrong.
But individuals can seldom be depicted this way, strictly as saints or as demons. And so the people of that era who lived, who didn’t die one way or the other in the war, lived their lives with the richness and fullness of humanity–not with any false purity. They committed crimes, made mistakes, turned blind eyes, gave in to their worst impulses, took advantage, lied, cheated, and stole, the way people do, and have done since Cain and Abel, and always will do.
At the heart of this series is Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, a quiet man with a sterling moral center and a dedication to fly fishing. Other characters are also engaging: Sam, his girl Friday/chauffeur, and Foyle’s son, who has enlisted.
I recommend this show, and I look forward to watching more episodes as I perch on the small seat of a ladder and hold a lopsided smile, all for my husband’s sculpting.