When the Sunflowers Look Over You

Art is powerful. I'm so grateful we've been able to look at so much amazing art this trip.


This painting moved me to tears. I caught a glimpse of it as we moved through the rooms of the contemporary gallery in the Seattle Art Museum. I felt it immediately. I patiently weaved in and out of other collections taking in the incredible energy of the pieces, all the while the anticipation of what to come was building in the back of my heart and mind.


And then we came to this.


I stood and stared, my mouth hanging open. I couldn't tear myself away. I sat down on the floor as my legs grew tired from standing in one place. I sat for several minutes. And then I did it. I laid down. It changed everything. The sunflowers were now looking over me. I wasn't just looking at a painting, I was in it. I broke into tears. It was so much. It was so big. I was moved to a deeply vulnerable place and I stayed there the whole rest of the day.


I've always had the sense that art does something to me. I've always felt very present to art when I'm in a museum or gallery. But as I've worked to be more present to all of my life, I've learned this is a different kind of presence. It is completely receptive. It's like my whole being stops trying. I'm open, and I can feel the transmission of energy. I feel a direct communication from the artist, from the art itself, maybe even from the Universe. And it's this openness and receptivity that makes the art come alive; it sustains and transmits its power.


This experience is such a wonderful reminder of how I want to move about the world. Although it is an extreme example, it communicated to me an important lesson of what it is to surrender to God, to say yes to all that the Universe brings to me. This vulnerable and open place is not some place that's easy for me to get to or stay for any length of time. I know, though, that's where I need to go. I am so deeply grateful for this experience and this reminder. Here's to moving into this uncharted territory.