Sunday, July 15, 2012

Senses Inventory in the Museum

Earlier this week I was very fortunate to escape my daily routine 
and tour a few museums alone, with no hurrying and with no cell phone.
The experience refreshed me down to my bones.
Just when I needed it, the universe offered up 
a wider view and a long, cool drink of beauty.
As the first tendrils of inspiration began to wind around my heart, 
I found some paper and scribbled down a senses inventory.
This happened in the Trammel Crow Museum in downtown Dallas, Texas.

See: Filtered mid morning sunlight and small, quiet cones of artificial light glancing down from recessed bulbs in the ceiling... My anonymous purple silhouette against a pair of glass doors and glimpses of a small, exquisite garden through that door... Twenty or more displays of ancient jade carvings... a museum docent dressed in an orange golf shirt and plastic name badge necklace.

Hear: Gentle flute and harp music, like a bubbling brook, nearly inaudible and ticklish in my ears... Echos of two school field trips and the impatient docent who tried earnestly to teach them something... Air conditioning humming through the sealed building... Clicking heels descending the nearby stairs.

Touch: Cool, dry stillness of the perfectly maintained museum air... Smooth marble floors... Cushy leather bench beneath me... and denim on my arms. My sharp right elbow finally split through my favorite threadbare jacket, and the strings are pulling tight against me. They feel like the music sounds.

Smell:  Artificial air fragrances, leather cleaner, and my own perfume... This is all I can actually smell, but the thoroughly meditative environment has me imagining incense, lotus flowers, and maybe hot tea.

Taste: Cheap lip gloss. And a reminder to buy extra tooth paste and tooth brushes at a drugstore, because I forgot to pack them. Grody.

Think: What artifacts from our civilization will be preserved, either by design or by chance, and then studied  in 2,500 years? The Asian artisans a few thousand years ago worked and created beautiful things for their own lives and purposes; I wonder if they ever considered how much we would gaze, examine, and revere their work now? I wonder if Buddha ever considered how his spiritual revelations would impact interior design far into his future?

Feel: Completely humbled by history, intrigued by the spiritual aspects of design and beauty, and refreshed to take another look at our own home... Feeling more peaceful and motivated than I have in weeks. No, months.

The day I spent museum hopping was so meaningful, 
so surprising and worth remembering,
that I hope to share more of it with you this week.
For now, thanks for joining me on this little senses tour!

"Be careful how you interpret the world:
It is like that." ~Erich Heller


  1. Sorry that sleeve finally bit the dust. Something tells me "patches!"


  2. Sorry that sleeve finally bit the dust. Something tells me "patches!"


  3. Sorry that sleeve finally bit the dust. Something tells me "patches!"


  4. Marie, I loved this. I loved how you related it to your senses. You are one smart cookie. Thanks for the respite from the busy world.~~Dee

    1. Hi Dee!! Thank you, so glad you enjoyed this, it always helps me catch my breath. xo

  5. Just stopping by to tell you I love your blog! I am passing on to you the Versatile Blogger Award. For details go to my blog @ Congratulations!

  6. Dear sweet friend: I love five senses posts that you write. It's a great reprieve to sit back and absorb a perspective of another human being in another place in the cool. Thanks for that. ~ Kelly

    1. Thank you Kelly! You know, I think of that a lot, about how different each of our days are, from person to person, life to life. About how much beauty and difficulty we miss. I love hearing all about yours, too. xo


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