Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Taking a fresh look

It was amazing what a little noise and brightness could do to a house and a life, how much the smallest bit of each could change everything.
~Sarah Dessen

I've talked about Naomi Shihab Nye before. This story about her from an article by Howard Kaplan is worth a read:
One day, after reading about a private museum founded by eccentric collector Marion Koogler McNay in San Antonio, she and her best friend Sally decide to visit. Not having the address, Nye assures her friend that she'll recognize the building from photos in the magazine (remember, we're pre-GPS here).

"There it is, pull in," Nye points out and the two women drive into the parking lot. The museum is free, and when they enter, there are only a few people seated inside. They stop talking and stare at the young women. There are no docents or staff to offer any guidance, which pleases the two visitors. They can look at what they want and not feel pressured to join a tour. Sally bounds up a set of stairs, and Naomi explores the ground floor, till arriving at a room with sculptures, a small couch, and a "radiant" print by Paul Klee, her favorite artist. Her reverie is broken when she realizes that the man from the lobby is now standing behind her.

"Where do you think you are?" he asks.

"The McNay Art Museum!" Naomi replies.

"Sorry to tell you. The McNay is three blocks over, on New Braunfels Street. Take a right when you go out of our driveway, then another right."

"What is this place?" she asks.

"Well, we thought it was our home."

Mortified and apologetic, Naomi runs to the staircase and tells Sally to come down immediately, it's an emergency! They hurry out the front door with Naomi saying, "Sorry, ohmygod, please forgive us, you have a really nice place." ...thirty years later something strange and wonderful happens, when a woman approaches her and asks if "by any chance [she entered] a residence, long ago, thinking it was the McNay Museum?"

"Yes. But how do you know? I never told anyone."

"That was my home," the woman replied. "I was a teenager sitting with my family talking in the living room. Before you came over, I never realized what a beautiful place I lived in. I never felt lucky before."
Lovely to hear about the people who were calm about strangers coming in and going around their house and the strangers who uncovered something beautiful by looking with fresh eyes. You just never know what's going to happen, do you?

One last quote:

Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
Matsuo Bashô


Ruth said...

Oh, I LOVE this so much. Thank you for sharing it on this ordinary beautiful morning.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Why does this not surprise me? Naomi Shihab Nye lives the most magical life of wonder and connections. Something to strive for, IMHO.

Pop said...

What a great story! Shows how much we take for granted the beauty we live with everyday.

Karen Edmisten said...

I love this so, so much!