I am crazy in love with this painting. It hangs in the home of one of my dearest friends, large and luminous...right over her piano. Whenever I visit her, I sneak off to that room, just so I can stand and stare at it in awe for awhile. Today, my son started lessons with her. I stood there thinking it was such an inspiration just to be in that room and that I really couldn't think of a nicer place to be surrounded by music. Before they started, she played a beautiful song for us called The Town I Loved So Well, by Phil Coulter. It was one of those moments when a lump forms in your throat and yet, you somehow welcome the feeling.
Beautiful melancholy... there is a place for you. The poet Mary Oliver said it profoundly well. "Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift."
I am learning that lesson well, of late.
The painting isn't signed and it is of little monetary value in the art world, but to me, it is priceless and it represents all the gorgeous things I love about art and about her. We've often wondered at the story behind the work, and I've been thinking about how I might bring one to light.
Sometimes, I think this world is too beautiful for mere words. Sometimes words alone are completely inadequate. Maybe that's why art and music are so important to me. Maybe it's why we search to connect with others by touch, both physical and emotional. And maybe, just maybe... when you look at this painting, or hear a lovely song like this one, it will stir your soul the way it does mine and make you glad not just to be, but to feel alive.