Alternate Panes Through Which I View

Paris through the window guggenheim museum marc chagall

Paris Through The Window ~ Marc Chagall

Quite the Happy Discovery!

I didn’t even know this piece existed – I didn’t study this Chagall work in my art classes. By accident, I stumbled upon it during my visit to the Guggenheim nearly five and a half years ago. At first sight, I felt a jolt as if electric currents coursed through my body. Instant shivers.

Enthralled, taken aback, and instantly drawn and connected I was to this wonderment before me. I immediately understood the imagery. I felt as if Chagall, nearly a century earlier, painted this scene just for me, knowing that one day (and on a day that I would be open to and need to witness), I would see it. And I would not only feel but I would experience it. As if the entire time this energy, this story would patiently wait for me, just waiting for me to come. Waiting for me to be ready, waiting for me to receive the message.

I had one of those moments when a person is truly affected and emotionally connects with an artist’s vision. And in this painting, there’s a sense of the mystical. No one or thing is quite as they appear to be as each symbol contains something more, something far deeper than on the surface.

Recently, I had a very personal experience transporting me right back to that mid Monday morning — December 6, 2004. An experience to take me back to the delight and positively electric excitement I felt at my discovery. The awe and fantasy something I didn’t before know existed might have been designed for me. Incredibly, I remember the exact day in vibrant and sharp memory for the significance of events immediately following my life. This was one of the final days that I thought I was so happy, confident, and sure of my future. I remember receiving a phone call from my then significant other, in the Guggenheim I missed his call (just before falling upon this piece that I would adopt as my crest). While happy to see he called, I was confused as he never made a practice of calling me when I traveled (and never traveled with me).

That was an uncharacteristic display of attention toward me.

I found out a few weeks later that there was an impetus to the call that was so out of character for him. The coward took several more weeks before fully disclosing the reason. But for my present desire to honor this day, of my moments, on this day I was so happy.  I was in my favorite city with two of my favorite people — my mom (who was participating in a work conference during the business day) and my best friend. On this day, that which I didn’t know made me happy, and that which I did know made me happy. I was in the company of someone who genuinely loved me and  wanted to spend her time with me (made me happy). And, that which I learned on this day – Paris Through the Window – made me happy.

I believe I know how Chagall felt when he painted this picture. I know the yearning and longing simultaneously for both what was lost (knowing it needs to remain lost but still missing) and what has yet to come. Of missing the sense of what I know as home and of that safety and comfort. What I don’t yet even know if going to happen to me, but know that something lays in wait…. I know what it is like to be in a place – physically, emotionally – that I don’t want to be, but must be, must experience for me to receive the experience and exposure for me to have a chance to bring my dreams to fruition. And I know what it feels like to have a dream….

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