Last week I ignored about a hundred things I really needed to do, and trundled the kiddies of to the Hirshhorn Museum to catch the Ai Weiwei exhibit before it closed. I'm so glad we did.

Ai Weiwei fills such an interesting space. He collaborated to design the famous(ly expensive) Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics, and was heavily courted by the local government in Shanghai before deciding to build his studio in their blossoming arts district. But then officials razed his new studio and threw the artist into prison.  Ai Weiwei was unable to attend this landmark retrospective, because they still haven't returned his passport.
Thousands of porcelain river crabs in a not-at-all thinly veiled protest of Chinese government censorship
Hettie was obsessed with this giant representation of the Chinese Zodiac -- for some reason she thought they were made out of chocolate, not bronze....
This marble construction helmet was Phinny's favorite -- maybe because he's grown up around so much home renovation!
Of his work, the artist has said, "I make the useful become not useful." These days, I feel that's a pretty spot-on commentary on my own life. Sometimes I look around at the chaos that all-too-often encompasses my little world, and am tempted to sink into despair. 
Some days, I would give almost anything for five peaceful minutes in a comfortable chair.

His art also put those thoughts pretty powerfully into perspective. 
This piece is made of rebar salvaged from collapsed schools in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake.
These giant rice bowls really touched me. Mundane simplicity, overflowing with beauty and abundance.
I'm trying to be a little more aware of the pearls littering my own quotidian life.
It's lovely.