I visited an art gallery on Wednesday.   On Thursday I spent time in a museum. It’s all part of the renewal process. I found similar experiences at both spots—my imagination kicked into gear. I began to imagine the story behind the image…the characters, the events, the feelings, the potentialities, the interplay, the surprises, the disappointments. It was invigorating.  It was good.The pictures that inspired me most were “story” pictures.  By that I mean, I could see a story in the painting.  All due respect to still lifes, and portraits, and sculpture and abstract art…I prefer pieces that usually have several characters in them.  I look at their eyes, their placing in the picture, their posture, their attitude.  I look for whatever else is in the drawing–furniture, buildings, animals, flowers, books etc.  And my mind tries to put together the story.  Who is thinking what?  I know it’s all speculation but there is great energy in trying to recreate what’s going on in the drawing.

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn: The Return of the Prodigal Son (1668)

I like museums too–especially historical museums.  I like the more recent exhibits rather than ancient stuff.  I can’t really relate to what it was like in the time so Nero.  But I can speculate as to what was going on during the war of 1812….the Civil War…World War I/II…Viet Nam…Iraq.  Funny how much of the museum we visited was full of war remembrances.  The interpreter presented all kinds of noble explanations of each of the dustups.  Like any story, there are two sides to any war story.  I heard the US understanding of each of the events but it felt kind of funny as I stood as a Canadian listening from the other side to the explanation.  Interestingly, I checked some stuff  later on and found out that the Brits (as we were in 1812) weren’t as noble as I thought we were.  Hmmm, really.

Anyway, I talk about all this to talk about renewal of my spirit.   Exercise invigorates my body, but creativity inspires my spirit.