Although a flight may sound as if it leaves at a reasonable hour by the time one factors in making oneself presentable enough to leave the house, getting to the airport and surviving the increasing rigors of actually getting on the plane, in some instances one may find oneself rising several hours before the sun in order to get to the airplane on time. Even with a mid afternoon nap, necessitated by my no longer being capable of coherent speech, I still found myself in bed absurdly early. This meant, of course, that I was awake, at least for a vacation, absurdly early. One friend was at work, the other running early morning errands, so I found myself watching the Arizona sun rays as they journeyed across the back yard. It was just me, their dog, coffee and my spiral bound notebook. Were I home at this same hour and going to work I would be shaving, showering and donning a suit and tie as opposed to sitting at the kitchen island in sleep shorts and a sleeveless tee shirt drinking coffee and writing.
Our plan on this day was to visit the Phoenix Art Museum. An exhibition of Warhol portraits was opening which I had looked forward to during this visit. The Chicago Art Institute, voted the number one museum in the world by tripadvisor, contains an almost embarrassment of riches and world treasures in it's holdings. But travel always offers me a broader experience. I think back on viewing the Gainsborough's in St. Louis, which I credit with creating my appreciation for his almost miraculous technique. There were also the masterpieces, both ancient and modern, at Houston's Menil Galleries. I have been allowed to come within inches of Diego Riviera's monumental mural in Mexico City's city hall. On trips to Europe I have had the good fortune to marvel at Michelangelo's David. In Amsterdam I have had my soul renewed by the strokes of Rembrandt and Van Gogh. I have wandered through the Louve, where we purchased a plaster cherubs head ornament, carefully unwrapped and hung each Christmas reminding of us that day.
For me art has always been able to touch a place deep inside me. Art is, at least for me, both viewed and felt.