I walked through the small gallery of medieval art. One glass case held three illuminated books propped open on stands. I had to remind myself that the writing and art were not printed but hand drawn. The smallest book, about the size of the little sketch pad that Emily gave me for Christmas, had writing on one side and a drawing of a sheep on the other.
By the time I got home, I would have an idea about how to use that little sketchbook that Emily gave me. It would begin with the words, “Somehow I became a shepherd” on one page and a drawing of a sheep on the page opposite.
Something about wandering around the Williams College Museum yesterday brought back to me the feeling of the first art museums that I ever went to by myself.
The excitement of seeing something that had a history or was significant enough to be in a museum, even if I didn’t understand it or even like it. The feeling of independence that comes with being able to look at a piece of art for as long as I chose without anyone telling me what I should be thinking about it. The cathedral-like hush as if everything in that space was revered enough to be seen, but not touched.
And the feeling that not only did I have a right to be there, but that this was where I belonged.