A few days ago I read that an Italian scholar thinks he’s found a new Michelangelo sculpture–that is, rediscovered an old one. I looked at the picture and thought, Eh, okay, very nice:

But then I saw a close-up which made me sit up:

This is stone, and the sculptor has made it look like skin and muscle and bone. I am astonished. I want it.

I love sculpture, but I’ve never been able to afford it. Years ago, I came across a lovely squat little carving of two people entwined in a dance–at the Frick? the Henry? somewhere local–and I saw it in my mind’s eye for weeks afterwards. Similarly, the first time I saw a Butterfield horse–life-size bronze made to look like driftwood–I lusted after it. But sculpture, good sculpture, is mind-bogglingly expensive. (I think those Butterfields go for about half a million now–though when I saw them it was only–only!–about $20,000. I’m guessing: even then it was way outside my price range so I wasn’t really paying attention.)

Why am I thinking about all this today? I went out onto the deck to footle about with my Perbs and was struck by how delicious the morning is: damp, grey, cool, absolutely alive, smelling of dirt and breathing leaves. A bird swooped right by my ear. (Birds use the gravelled walkway by the back fence as a kind of protected flight path to the ravine: Bird Alley. In the evenings, it’s Beast Alley: raccoons, marmots, cats…) Today I feel graced by the world, very happy.

Oh, and here’s another gratuitous Perb shot. They’re growing…