Smithsonian Castle

According to


art [ahrt] – n., the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance; the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; any field using the skills or techniques of art; illustrative or decorative material; the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning; skill in conducting any human activity; trickery; cunning; studied action




Steps of the Smithsonian Castle Little Flat Man on the Crosswalk

I hadn’t felt the sun in two weeks but for the daily walk between Metro Center and my new job.  Starved for fresh air on my first free day off, I embarked on an art adventure at the Smithsonian.  It had been over two months since my cross-country journey finally reached Washington, D. C. limits and I hadn’t yet been to a museum!  So I went, with a Subway sandwich that I ate on a sunny park bench outside, watching quietly, the castle at my back and open grass before me, Washington Monument left, Capitol Building right, and strangers, squirrels, and birds rustling all about me.

Twinkle Tree Lights


With the last bite and a deep breath, I stood up and took my first step toward adventure.  Like viewing a photograph, my eyes followed the scene as I walked, settling with fascination on tiny details that hide in the depths of life’s story.  And I captured them – the little flat man stenciled in yellow in the crosswalk; the fringe of my scarf in shadow on the steps of the museum; the twinkle of the light distorted by tree leaves on bare hallway walls.  My camera in constant use, I collected images that I hoped would paint memories I would one day put into words – these words.  My steps seem to take themselves as I wove through a maze of galleries and artwork with countless pathway possibilities.  I never even looked behind me, never had to choose a route; everything there was to take in made its way through my stream of consciousness and all I did was follow, eyes wide, at whichever pace felt right.

Mythological Scroll Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) Shrine of the Parshvanatha Bodhisattva White Avalokiteshvara Turkish Tile

The thing about the museum, and the rest of the world, is that ‘art’ is what connects us, creates us, is created by us in everything that we do.  We see ‘art’ in almost anything.  Imagine that.  One trip to the museum heightens my senses, enhances those tiny details, magnifies them in meaning, giving me a deeper understanding of beauty – of art.  It’s a natural process – art of visiting a museum.

Art Gazing 13 Window Light

I went home in the evening with aching feet, filled my body with food and sleep, and woke up newly inspired and reenergized.  And here I am, writing this to you: Go to a museum on your next day off.

Ocean Waves Architecture Crinkled Leaves Washington Monument

Next stop: Imax film, Flight of the Butterflies, “to experience the most incredible migration on Earth” and the Live Butterfly Pavilion, where I will “walk among nature’s flying canvases.”