A year ago I was sitting in The Art Institute of Chicago, staring at a painting, hoping I wouldn’t have to go home. I’d miss my flight, start a new life, and fall in love with a boy who rooted for the Cubs.
The peacefulness of Gallery 240 was eerie, yet comforting, and I
couldn’t imagine life without art. I had already stood, soaking in every dot of Georges Seurat’s Oil Sketch for “La Grande Jatte”, for at least 30 minutes, every second finding something new to admire. I’m quite positive there was never
a time where art didn’t exist, yet schools were trying to cut back on
the teachings of painting, music, and dance. Tragic. A rant for another day
but truthfully, how were we supposed to love without learning about passion?
In that moment, lost in thought, I felt you take a seat. I literally
felt your presence collapse next to mine, almost in silence. Your hand
lightly brushed my pinky without thought or care. I stiffened like a
woman on a canvas. So present yet so entirely out of my own body.
As you slowly took back all touch, retrieving your hand from my
personal bubble, I fought myself. I didn’t want to look over. I knew
in my heart of hearts I would fall in love with a stranger if I even
caught a mere glance. In my peripheral I could see how handsome you were. A towering height, a 5 o’clock shadow and a grey henley that perfectly set off your olive skin tone. I had settled with keeping the cat alive and not allowing curiosity to kill it. It was enough to both be admiring Monet in solitude.
Instead, I sat silently painting my own picture of us in France, strolling the
streets in search for wine and cheese. You were perfect, and I wanted to imagine you just as such. Paris was again, a place I wanted to go and never leave.
Have you ever seen Claude Monet’s painting of the woman with the umbrella shading her young child from the sun? I feel like the young child. My life being shaded by someone else while being surrounded by the lushness of life. My return, my flight home, that meant returning under the umbrella. I so desperately want to keep the sun on my forehead.
Snap out of it.
My flight leaves in 2 hours and while I’m sad to hear, not see, you go, I am happy to have shared this brief moment of appreciation for an artist who shared their passion. I stood and walked towards the exit. If I had to leave I didn’t want to know exactly what I was strutting away from. And boy did I strut, just in case. Who knows, maybe you even played for the Cubs, Short stop? It was all I could do not to glance back.
A little more of what I am working on…
Pic found here.