Amanda and I visited the Denver Art Museum on Saturday. It was a free day, but even so, it was not an overly busy day at the museum, most likely because it was possibly the most perfect weather outside.
Everywhere in the museum, there were people looking at something. Of course they were; that's the nature of museums. You go to look. You go to see the Andy Warhol painting. You go to see the Renaissance art. You go to see the landscapes by Bierstadt.
Yet, other people hardly noticed it. It was as if the painting was stuck in some hidden corner, where only some people could see, but not others. Some people glanced at the painting, but moved on quickly. Only one other person I saw really took in the painting as I had, and even his partner seemed disinterested.
I think the lack of interest in this painting was indicative of something deeper. This painting caused a deep emotional feeling, it caused sadness. It was difficult to look at because of the agony in the painting, and I think that made people scared to really look at it and appreciate it, even if they didn't know it themselves.
This made me think, however, of how much we avoid because we are afraid of it. Something that is so large, and obvious, and fantastic in its creation, is often too scary to deal with, and so we ignore it. We stay in a relationship because it is too scary to imagine being alone. We stay alone because it is too scary to imagine caring deeply about someone. We stay in routine because it is too scary to try something new. We stay in a job because it is too scary to attempt our true passions.
Often, these things we are scared of are right in front of us, and are usually the answers to our questions, but we are too afraid to admit it. What should we do? What should we say? What should we hope for? What should we not do? We know the answers to all these questions, but so often the answers scare us, so we ignore them. We pretend they aren't there, even though they're right in front of us, and aren't going anywhere.