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A Joyful Experience

A college professor once told me that he visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to view only one painting, a particular favorite, and then he would leave. The Met is the largest museum in the United States with more than 1.5 million art works on display.

How could he have resisted the impulse to wander through at least one or two other galleries with paintings by some of the world's greatest artists? His answer was that he wanted to enjoy his favorite painting to the fullest without any distractions and could always return. Why spoil a singular moment of enjoyment?

That's how I came to select only one 10-second video for this post to showcase a waterfall with colorful fish lazily sliding their way around a pond at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. I had taken many other photos during my recent visit but I was captivated by the beauty of this singular image. 

As I sat on a bench alone with my thoughts and my senses alive to the splendor before me, I realized I didn't need more now. I could always come back another time.

Art Moves Us

Viewing art is an emotional experience if we allow ourselves to live in the moment. It's also a physical experience. At the World Economic Forum in 2016 artist Olafur Eliasson wrote:

"Most of us know the feeling of being moved by a work of art, whether it is a song, a play, a poem, a novel, a painting…When we are touched, we are moved; we are transported to a new place that is, nevertheless, strongly rooted in a physical experience, in our bodies. We become aware of a feeling that may not be unfamiliar to us but which we did not actively focus on before. This transformative experience is what art is constantly seeking."

That moving experience, sitting by the pond and enjoying the riot of color around me, took me to another place, at least for the moment. That's the real beauty of art. 

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