I had not thought about this weekend ritual in ages, but there was this tiny art museum located in a park in the town I grew up in. Mom would always drag us in every time there was a new exhibit. At one point they started charging a nominal admission fee (like a buck or two) and I remember Dad grumbling under his breath.
Dad loved certain forms of art with a quiet passion, such as classic films, music from the crooners like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and literary works. Visual art was not his cup of tea. I remember Dad high-tailing it as quickly as he could through the several small exhibit rooms before hitting the door with relief and heading for a long cigarette break under a shady tree. Mom would linger on and on, to the point where the museum staff (usually a retiree) would start flickering the lights to politely shoo us out.
I was somewhere in-between the extremes of my parents. I was not into the abstract modern art as much as I was into portraits. I liked inventing stories behind the faces painted on the canvas.
As an adult, I go occasionally to the big city museum and enjoy the exhibits. But I do feel that impatience of my Dad stir within me. Not because I need a cigarette, since I don’t smoke, but just the pull of work demands and life. There’s always somewhere to rush to, something that has to be done. We rush so much that we barely see the beauty before our eyes, even when we are standing still in front of a piece of art.