Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 37 - 7/14/16 Park Ridge - Day Off

Even though this was a day off, I ended up back in downtown Chicago.  But I took the train so I didn't do any riding, just a lot of walking.  I've had my heart set on visiting the Art Institute of Chicago since before I even got here.  

After some helpful advice on taking the train into the city, I was off on an adventure within my adventure.  All good adventures should start with coffee and donuts so that's what I did.  

Riding the buzz from the caffeine and sugar, I got to the front of the museum and could almost hear the music playing from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  Before I go on and recount my experience piece by piece, I saw hundreds of beautiful works of art of the course of 7 hours.  I am still digesting as I write this.  

The trouble with museums is you pay a lot of money to see a massive collection of art and you try to absorb it all in one sitting which becomes some overwhelming gauntlet of artwork.  I've seen many of these pieces from TV and computer screens and books but, never in person.  

Can you imagine visiting a world class museum without ever seeing any of the artwork before?  A person's head might explode off their shoulders.  It would be kind of cool to jump right into this olympic size pool of art without knowing what the water feels like.  

The museum would be a totally new experience but, you might exhaust your ability to view art before getting to everything.  Going in, knowing which pieces I specifically wanted to see was kind of intimidating.  

I wanted to see it all but I wanted to have energy left to view the pieces I was aching to see.  You could spend an entire year hear, in any museum for that matter.  Go in and spend a couple hours in front of each piece.  

Stare at it, get close, step back, squint, draw it over and over again.  But it's not easy or cheap to do this.  You must move quick, but not too quick because there's no running in the museums.  

But a few minutes in front of those really special pieces, maybe tale a quick photo (if they let you) to remind yourself later what you saw and hopefully how you felt when you were standing in front of something so beautiful.  
I think this is one of the things we struggle with in life: spending enough time to actually sit and contemplate what's in front of us but not dwelling too much.  And also being aware that looking at a photo or video is not a way to relive an experience.  

So be sure to take a moment to feel your feelings when they're happening, photos are not a replacement for the real thing so, slow down and just enjoy.

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