Did I forget that art exists?
You know, I think I nearly did.
YESTERDAY-was a terrific day-part of the reason I didn’t get to my desk. I was busy living my life, I guess. An eternally late riser, everything starts 2 hours later for me than the rest of society. I’ll start with my mother was an art teacher for most of my childhood. Packing my brother and I up and hanging gallery shows, working with children of all different backgrounds and always, ALWAYS finding a way to give back to her community. The community must run in our blood because my Grandmother, although not a creative, has also dedicated her life to helping others.
Anyway, it’s very important to me that Shine be raised to explore. To create, to try things out, and to truly find his own path. It’s my job as his mother to make sure that he has access to those many different things he can grow up interested in. He’s young-but the time is so fleeting, it seems a waste to me to wait for him to be old enough to “get things”–he gets them now even if they aren’t yet forming long term memories.
So we took him to the Joslyn Art Museum and spent a couple of hours traipsing through their exquisite collection. I used to be a guard there, when I was a teenager. That makes me laugh now. I owe them apologies. Mom, of course, talked through the whole thing, pushing Shine in his stroller. God, he got it. He was pointing at everything, looking up wide eyed. He painted on this paint simulator for kids. He tossed coins into the fountains for his little wishes and yelled when it was time to leave. He truly didn’t want to go and we didn’t either. I was surprised at how wistful the whole trip made me. Watching them together, feeling like it was yesterday the little baby in my moms arms at the museum was me-or my brother. And now it’s my son. (I love my mother to no end.)
“I am a creator because my mother was a creature.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
My love of art used to define me. I used to spend hours there, alone, in the familiar galleries, in these worlds of oil and acrylic, getting lost, daydreaming–how much BIGGER life seemed then. More vast and so magical.
I haven’t been to this museum in years. Too many years. And I forgot that it was there for me.
I try to make a museum trip every time we go to a new city, see what their collections are like, The architecture of their buildings. It’s still one of my favorite things to do. But, there’s nothing like the home museum. The one with all the memories. The one with all the secret passageways you know. The ghosts you know.
I forgot there is this hometown peaceful respite where nothing exists but whatever painted world you’re looking into for that moment. And I’m sad it’s taken me being happy again to discover something I’ve needed so many other times before and didn’t seek out.
But, moreover, I’m so grateful to have it back now. I’ll never take so long a break from it again. It helped me remember my roots–and see just how far away from those I’d gotten. There are somedays I’m really down about being back in Omaha-but I realize that I needed to come back here to start all over again. Shine belongs with his grandmother in a museum, throwing pennies into a wishing well. And a big part of me does too.