Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Vacation, Part 1

Over the Labor Day holiday, we went to St Paul/Minneapolis to visit with our Youngest and her husband.  There were two specific things we wanted to do while we were there and on Saturday, we went to the Science Museum of Minnesota for one of them--the exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

 The Dead Sea Scrolls have been hailed as the most important archaeological find of the 20th century.  These parchments date back 2000 years, or more, and are the earliest known texts of the Bible.  To say this exhibit was awe-inspiring, is an understatement.  Unfortunately--but perfectly understandable--there was no picture taking allowed.  To actually see bits of writing that was done so long ago left me completely speechless.  And that doesn't even address the way I feel about how this exhibit connected to me and my spirituality.  Just a wonderful, wonderful experience.  For more on the exhibit, you can go here.

At the conclusion of the Scrolls exhibit, there was an exhibition of The Saint John's Bible, which is a work-in-progress, hand-written, illustrated Bible.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Saint John's Abbey and University commissioned this in 1998, and the work continues today.  When it is done, it will be a total of seven volumes, completely hand-written in calligraphy.  Many original art works--as well as other illustrations--are featured throughout the volumes.  The beauty of each illustration and the magnitude of the work--some pages had as many as SEVEN different people work on them--was amazing.  I could have spent HOURS just looking at the illustrations that were on display, alone.  I wish the computer would do justice to the beauty of the artwork, but, unfortunately, only seeing it in person can give true meaning to these pages.  Follow the above link and spend some time reading and savoring The Saint John's Bible--it is an experience not to be missed.  (If you can't spend the time, click on the heading 'See The Bible' and then click on 'Explore Each Volume.'  Listed are the seven volumes and each has several pages you can look at.  You can see some of the artwork, as well as the amazing calligraphy.)

We also spent time wandering around the rest of the museum that day.  While it wouldn't rival the Field Museum in Chicago--but really, just how many museums are like the Field?--it was quite nice.  It had a lot of 'hands-on' stuff for kids, but there was enough to keep adults interested, as well.  I loved the dinosaur and fossil section, the mummy was quite interesting, and the questionable medical devices was fascinating, as well as very, very scary.  I thought the sound stairs--a musical staircase that made music as you walked up and down it--was a hoot.  And the seismofon was amazing--it is a sculpture that resembles a xylophone (at least to me) that hangs in the atrium and it plays music based on seismic data from around the world.  It was way cool.

Considering we were halfway there, we finished off the day with our trip to the Mall of America.  I have vowed to NEVER go anywhere during the Labor Day weekend, ever again, because of the amounts of people we had to elbow our way through, everywhere we went.  There were so many people at the MoA that we were just a level or two down from the roof when we finally found a parking spot.  (The Youngest and her husband said they have never seen so many people there.)  Thankfully, I really didn't want or need to go to any more than the two stores I managed to get to by clawing my way through the crowds.  And considering how tired we all were, we didn't make it to IKEA--which TOTALLY bums me out.

One last note:  I have mentioned that The Youngest has put one of her cats on anti-anxiety medication--and have kind of chuckled about it.  (It DOES seem rather silly.)  But, after spending time with the animals, I have to say it is well worth the effort it may take to medicate the cat.  We used to call him the 'imaginary cat' because we never saw him--the only proof that he ever existed were some pictures.  However, he is doing so well on his meds, that he came to me, climbed in my lap, and let me pet him!  And he is the SWEETEST cat I think I have ever met.  It was so good to see him happy.  :)


ccarlson said...

Thank you for your kind comments about The Saint John's Bible and the links to the site. If you ever find yourself in the Saint Cloud MN area (about 2 hours NW of Minneapolis/St.Paul) please come to Saint John's University. We always have original pages of the Saint John's Bible on exhibit here.


Constance Carlson
Program manager, Saint John's Bible

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh Wow! How totally super awesome to get to see the Dead Sea Scrolls like that.


I am also always very fond of the dinosaur and fossil sections in museums.

And, it's still too funny about the medicated cat! But hey, it seems to be working if she's socializing more now!

cmk said...

I absolutely LOVE museums. I wish we lived closer to some of the BIG ones--the Field, for example. But then, I probably would spend way too much time there. ;) And yes, the Scrolls were amazing. Just to imagine that someone wrote them 2000 years ago and I get a chance to see them. Mind boggling.

I do agree that a cat on anti-anxiety meds is chuckle-worthy. It could only be funnier if he was actually on Prozac. :D But yeah, he will live out his life in a much happier way now.

ordinaryjanet said...

wow, you had a nice time! I avoid going places on holiday weekends, too. But your experience was worth it.

Glad the cat is much better!

cmk said...

And I have to quit being so darn lazy and finish posting about the rest of the weekend. :)

ordinaryjanet said...

Sounds like you needed a vacation after your vacation-just reading about all you did made me tired!

cmk said...

That is SO true! I've always felt that way about leaving home--most of the time you are NOT relaxing in any way. I think the only way to have a truly relaxing vacation is by spending a week at a spa. ;)