On occasion, when no one is looking, I will grab my keys and dash off to the museum for a full day of unimpeded contentment. It has always been this way you see; the museum is a haven of peace and gentility. My mind clears and my shoulders relax as I cross that great stone threshold; I can breathe, I can think. My brow un-furrows and my pace adjusts itself to reflect my ease.
I will get there early, before my living room is cluttered up with slow moving strangers and I will own the shop.- I will have breakfast under the Chihuly glass sculpture and as I sip my coffee I will cast a piquant glance at the Art of the Americas wing -I play it cool, but he knows he has me right where he wants me and it wont be long before I succumb to his charms.
I put very little planning into these trips. But I will instinctively know when it is time to step out of daily life and make a connection with the world. I am always seeking balance, even subconsciously, its the only way I stay upright. But the true self can be left to languish in the relentless drone of routine.
‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’ (Picasso)
There is something reaffirming about the presence of artistic achievement. It taps into a vital part of us that we don’t often use on a day to day basis, but which helps to define what it is that makes us human. Art is the actualization of the human spark. And when we can see it there, in front of us we are in effect refueling our creative furnace.
One can stand among ruins of preceding civilizations and acquire some understanding of how people once lived, but it is the art that shows us who they actually were. If we go to Giverny we can see the view of Monets garden, but when we look at his paintings we see the view into the man, a more direct and intimate revelation.
I am faithful to the Art of the Americas wing, but otherwise I wander freely, exploring at my leisure, stopping here and there to take a break and catch up on emails or simply enjoy the view. I am in no rush, on no schedule. I like to live with the paintings, not just stare at them. I can see them better that way. My favorite view of any painting is up close, with my little nose inches away so I can see the individual brushstrokes and imagine the artist putting them there.
Eventually I will head home, replenished and content, but if you turn your back I may be gone again
‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things,
but their inward significance’ (Aristotle)