I am always surprised when I’m acknowledged by name at certain establishments. Today this occurred at the Columbia Museum of Art. I first became a member in 1998 and since then have seen staff come and go. And one of the staff near and dear to all, died a few years ago. I am a poet and active within the arts community so it shouldn’t surprise me when I’m recognized but it still does.

I came to the museum for some inspiration. I am always inspired when surrounded by beauty or knowledge. Here in the museum I get both. Visiting museums, specifically art museums are where moments of beauty captured into eternity give me energy. Today I have a work related task to complete and decided to do my thinking here.

Museums also make me think about my mom. We would often visit all types of museums in Chicago. We started with the Museum of Science and Industry but would visit all the major museums. Chicago has the Field Museum home of Sue the oldest dinosaur, the Chicago Aquarium, Planarian, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago History Museum (formerly Chicago Historical Society) and so many more. During my teenage years one of my favorite museums visited was the Peace Museum. The major exhibition was about the Holocaust and included 1,000 origami paper cranes. Even as a teenager I understood the significance and the depth of that particular exhibit; and I remember staring in awe at the cranes above our heads.

I don’t think of myself as a busy person. But when I stop and list the things I’m active doing, it does make me step back. My life is always moving and there is always some activity happening or scheduled on my calendar. Even though I have dialed back in volunteer activities I am still fairly busy. However, I am never to busy to take moments to exhale and reflect.

Today is a day of reflection that includes looking back and then looking forward. Understanding what I need to do to be successful in various aspects of my life. I am fortunate to be paid to do something I love and am passionate about but I balance that with my creative side. Writing poetry and creating mixed media artwork are moments that bring balance.

We all need balance and moments of reflection. When we don’t stop to take in what surrounds us we create the chance of burning out. You may not be a poet or painter but maybe baking or knitting is your thing. Or maybe sports is the way you bring focus into your life. Whatever your thing is dust it off and rediscover what moments bring balance to your every day.


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