Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Picasso Exhibit

One of the many things I love about living in New York, not far from the city, is easy access to Manhattan. I love museums, most especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has great art collections and the building itself is awesome. On a recent afternoon, I was happy my family accompanied me to the museum. Some extended family members came as well, so we were a big group.  The main purpose of the outing was to see the Picasso Exhibit. It is a landmark exhibition by the Spanish artist and genius, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). It features 300 works of art-paintings, drawings, sculptures and ceramics. Picasso was a "multi-sided genius." He had a long and successful career as an artist. 
 The museum was very crowded and so we each viewed the exhibit at our own pace. While waiting right outside the exhibit for everyone to finish viewing it, I found myself surrounded by magnificent works of biblical art. The Annunciation, the Assumption, the suffering Christ (a personal devotion piece), all deeply moving pieces of religious art. The museum has a stunning collection of religious art. Just sitting, waiting for the others, surrounded by magnificent works of art.....a great aspect of living in New York. (I didn't sit for very long, naturally religious art interests me too!)
A book I'm reading about the craft of writing suggests that self-enrichment is important for writers (and everyone else too).  Julia Cameron, the author, suggests you make an "artist date" with yourself. (You can bring others along as I did.) Making time to view good art, or visiting a new park, or a cathedral,  listening to a good piece of music or walking on the beach,  helps creativity to flourish.  What's interesting is that it doesn't have to relate to a project or writing piece you are working on. A variety of cultural or natural experiences is good for the soul and good for developing creativity. This is obviously something I'm very curious about.
I'm spending a few days on retreat. I love being on retreat, praying more, focusing on being calm and relaxing more. It's also nice being around people who are looking for the same thing, people who are willing to spend the time to grow closer to God, to get priorities in order, to reflect on what's really important in life.
Family time, viewing art masterpieces, The MET, self-enrichment, prayer, Mass, walking in nature, going on retreat, eating frozen yogurt, charity work, meeting friends for lunch, reading and writing....these are the things that make my life fulfilled. Having a spiritual life has made all the difference in the world.