Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Museum of Modern Art

On Sunday I received one of my favorite birthday presents of all time, hands down.  My incredible, amazing, wonderful man brought me to MoMA.

I really don't know how I have went my entire 45 years without having experienced MoMA. I've always wanted to go, but never had anyone to go with me, which was part of my excuse. To say it was worth the wait would be a huge understatement.

I have always loved art.  I love to sketch and paint, and also love to take pictures, though I am a mere amateur and lack the talent to ever consider doing it for a living.  I'll leave that to others far more talented than me.  Like my other favorite Dutch guy, van Gogh.

As I entered the hall where van Gogh is displayed, I told Billy I didn't want to go in.  I wanted to savor the moment,  like one savors the last bite of something yummy. I could see the swirls and colors out of the corner of my eye, but still I waited.

Once I entered the room, I looked at all the other amazing works surrounding the work I most wanted to see.  Knowing it was so close gave me chills. I am sure that sounds crazy to some people, but it's the truth. I felt the same way when I walked through the Sistine Chapel.. feelings of surreality and  awe overtaking me.

Finally we made our way to Starry Night.  I stood a mere inch from the frame. I could see every detail; every brush stroke, each swirl. The yellows were oh so much more vivid in person; no mere copy could ever do the real thing justice.  I felt the tears start to come, and was embarrassed that I was crying. I mean, it's just a picture, right?

No, not to me.  To me, van Gogh symbolizes true  beauty. His view of life, his ability to empathize through his art, to see the beauty in the simplicity of things, and his appreciation of what others take for granted is what likely caused him such pain;  to be able to paint love, and yet feel emptiness and anger at the world for taking for granted all the gifts we are given, that is what I also feel at times.  So many times I hear people complaining about the silliest things, and I have to wonder what happens when you stop seeing the beauty in the simple? Is that when you give up your life essence? Is that when happiness eludes?

I will always find the joy in the simple around me;  right now I look out and see the bay, the waves are foamy and tumbling over one another like puppies as the wind carries them to shore.  I'm thankful I still see the beauty in simple gifts, and that I am happy within and without.

Take time to find the exquisite in the simplistic. I promise you it will bring you peace, even if only for a moment.

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