Wednesday, September 22, 2010


("I Won't Do It and You Can't Make Me"  Emoting Child by Gustav Vigeland, Oslo, Norway)

"We need to get off this ship as soon as possible," I said to Bob during breakfast.

I hastily added: "It's going to take us awhile to get out to Vigeland Sculpture Park and we don't have any time to waste today."

Bob glances at me and says: "We'll have plenty of time to do everything on our schedule if we are ready to go around 8 a.m."

We leave the Star Princess promptly at 7:15 a.m. (hey, we're burning daylight here!) and walk from the dock to the nearest taxi stand a few minutes away.

The taxi will take us to the center of Oslo where we will catch the trolley out to Vigeland Park.

But Bob, my strapping Viking for the day, boldly tells the taxi driver to take us directly to the sculpture park.

I nearly scream with joy!

There will be no "have we got the right trolley" worries on this glorious morning!

There will be no "this is taking forever" trolley transferring today!

My Viking has just hired a taxi for a DIRECT ride to the park, for goodness sake!

As a result of this noble, chivalrous decision I am going to experience a rare, blissful and stress-free sedan ride out to the "Oslo land of many sculptures."

I want to bow down and kiss Bob the Bold's filthy Viking boot!

On second thought.........


Vigeland Sculpture Park is a sight to behold in the early summer light.

Velvety green lawns blanket the entire area.

Blossoming roses in every color imaginable are scattered in flower beds too numerous to mention.

Stately trees and shimmering ponds round out this idyllic scene.

The park is dedicated to Gustav Vigeland - Norway's most beloved sculptor.

Fifty-eight bronzes of men, women and children flank the footbridge over the river that runs through the park.

These human forms are depicted going about their lives in its many dimensions - each figure as naked as a jaybird in June.

The sculptures are shown expressing feelings of joy, anger and sadness as they go about their everyday activities.

As we amble down the walkway into the sculpture gardens, Bob pauses and says to me, ""Do you want pictures of ALL of these sculptures?"

I gaze at him as if he has just arrived from Mars, "Yes, honey, of course, every single one of them!"

Stopping frequently to examine each sculpture in detail, I am delighted by these magnificent figures.

As usual, Bob is not wasting precious time.

He is busily engaged with his camera snapping pictures as quickly as his his nimble fingers will allow.

I turn to him and say, "Do you like these sculptures, honey?"

Stone faced, he slowly turns and glances at me and then returns to his camera.

That look can only mean one thing:

"These people/statues need to stop worrying about their emotional temperatures, put some clothes on and get busy doing something useful."

But, bless him, he doesn't say a word.

Instead, he waits for me to suck the very life out of him while I gush over the spectacular sculptures.

Let me be completely honest here - naked people emoting has never been Bob's thing.

So I reluctantly decide that my long suffering Viking has suffered long enough.

I look at Bob and say, "We'd better get moving if we want to see everything on our schedule."

He smiles and says, "Yes, dear."

We catch the trolley at the entrance to the park, leaving our clothes-free friends behind.


I'm pretty sure that the inhabitants of Hell don't wear clothes either.

Why would they?

The temperature there is off the charts and the humidity?

Literally, unbearable.

Besides, I don't think modesty has a high priority in Hell.

It was time for me to admit the cold, hard truth.

I saw Bob enter the Third Circle of Hell the moment he laid eyes on those bare bottomed bronzes.

And I, unwittingly, had been his guide.

Just call me "Virgil."

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