Thoughts…

Finding art museums in my travels is almost like looking for book stores.  My visits always inspire me, sometimes surprise me, often intrigue me.  From the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Gardner Museum in Boston, and so many more. I have bookmarks and notecards from their gift shops, but, more importantly, I have memories I can call up anytime and vicariously revisit to feel better.  Since I cannot visit in person lately, those imagined visits can be a balm to earth-shattering reality.

One of my favorites is the National Gallery of Art, where I often sat in the garden alcove during my lunch hours, sipping expensive coffee and absorbing the tranquility of the surroundings. When I had time, I walked to the Capitol Building.  Although it is not known as a museum, it holds an astounding collection, from Trumball’s painting to the famous fresco on the ceiling.  Anytime I entered the Capitol, a feeling of awe came over me – as though I were in a museum or even a church.  Those around me spoke in hushed tones.

I told a good friend I had dreamed about having dinner with friends, talking about the art we has just visited in a museum.  She told me it was my mind taking a break from the insanity just seen on television, and she is right.  Images of the desecration of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. will remain in my mind and not be forgotten.  But, someday, hopefully soon, civilized behavior will return, and art, in person, will be the balm it always has been.

In the meantime, the word “base” keeps assaulting me on the news.  The word has a page of definitions in Merriam-Webster, some referring to the noun in mathematics, science, or architecture, but the one that seems to best fit the description of the rioters at the Capitol this week is the adjective: “lacking or indicating the lack of higher qualities of mind or spirit, {or} being of comparatively low value and having relatively inferior properties.”

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