I mourn that I was unable to see all the works in the Louvre and appreciate them. It would require a lifetime studying each piece from every possible angle. I would have to make my home in the halls of the museum: each piece of art offers hours of contemplation.
I cannot live in the museum; this is the reason that art books exist, so that we can take the pieces home with us, in a sense.
However, books do not give us chills in the same way as the real works. Gazing at an original painting, we imagine the artist before his canvas, working to shade an eyelid or smile, or chiseling the look of agony on a statue’s face.
Books will not give us the same connection with the creator. Museums have this power: walking from frame to frame, statue to statue, goosebumps rise on our skin.
We feel mixed emotions. First comes hope—because such beauty is possible and can come from the human imagination, can be created by human hands.
Then follows a sense of despair, because to create such glorious pieces, we must dedicate our lives to practice. Most of us give up too easily.
But there is another despair: many of these artists had no way of predicting their work would be loved centuries later. They died in obscurity.
Does this not also give us hope? Art is not about fame, but fulfillment.
I choose to hold onto the positive feelings that gave me chills at the Louvre. My writing might seem scarce at this moment. I sense I am not doing enough to create something immortal. Fame is not the point. Perhaps my words will become famous after I have left this world.
What to do in the meanwhile? I will continue to create—because it heals me and fulfills me. I will not worry about fame.
In peace and in love, I will live a life of creating and learning.