Art As Her Beacon.
Today marked one year since I lost my sister in law Patti. I agreed with my brother Glenn, that we wouldn’t have some long painful day of remembrance constantly dwelling on the life she lived, that would be ultimately be snuffed out by the cancer she endured for three difficult years. The plan would be to do something that felt normal, that left me feeling good. I decided to head down to New Haven with Kate and her friend Maddy, to explore the Yale Museum of Art. For those who have never been there, the museum reminds me of a miniaturized version of the much more grandiose New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The experience is no less grand however as it houses many works by the world’s most famous artist to have ever graced this earth. It’s a special museum because you can get very close to the art, so close that you can virtually breathe in the fumes of the oiled paint covering each canvas. What I love most about art museums is that in just a few paces, you can pass through different worlds and different eras that mark the most poignant memories of humankind. In one room I would see a laurel wreath adorning the marble bust of one of the world’s very first Greek Olympians, then travel through the great impressionist movement and end up perplexing my brain over the works of modern times. While I traveled through the rooms, I wore Patti’s long necklace, a gift my brother had given me recently. I wear it when I need something tangible to connect to her in my mind. The memory of her becomes clear as I realize that she, along with the many subjects in the paintings, are all part of a very large puzzle that somehow fits into human history. Being here was good for my heart, because I didn’t feel sad for her loss. The very thought of her fit in well here among this population of beautiful creations. The museum was a reminder that she had a beauty all her own, one that somehow is passed down in the lives she touched. Like these art works, she left an indelible mark to everyone who knew and loved her. Each artist told the human story so perfectly in the genre each knew so well. I found a connection to her around each corner. I saw it realistically, abstractly and even somewhere in-between, through the blurry paintings of the impressionist. Each of these artist proved that life and death isn’t so easy to put your finger on, it’s best seen as a compilation of different efforts telling the human story. Leaving the building, I breathed in the cold air, almost like cruelly being awaken from a blissful dream. Within this building, the colors, textures, emotions and very essence of life had swept me away during the visit, much like Patti had successfully done to those she knew in her lifetime. The truth is that while her loss is profound, we can still experience her friendship in the things we see and experience. Maybe, you too can see something that reminds you of the girl we loved so much, in some of these masterpieces. So let today, every day and every place be a beacon of her beauty. XXOO