Several years ago Craig and I took the three children then born to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Rodin exhibition. It was crowded; guards had already corrected Craig holding the youngest up to see a sketch. Children were in various stages of decline. This outing came prior to my aha moment that really only one child enjoys art as much as I do, and the others can learn to appreciate beauty in creation and the created in a variety of ways. Because we were attempting to corral our three kids, fun may not describe the emotional state of the outing as it proceeded. Then the youngest needed the washroom, so I took him as a beleaguered break. After he washed his hands, we entered the galleries in reverse, and after just three or four steps, he shouted, “LOOK!’ and pointed at this:
Auguste Rodin’s Flying Figure at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The previously quiet but packed gallery paused and then looked where the toddler was pointing. They weren’t as impressed. He wonderingly stepped closer and delighted. Now he was just learning to talk, certainly had no art education, but he experienced powerful delight. More than anyone in the space – this wee one fully engaged in the power of the image before him, no reserve, no need to sound knowledgable, no reading of the descriptor – just wonder and delight.
The ability to fully delight seems like it maybe a part of childlike faith, and children’s company renews my delight and wonder. Powerful delight – so much to be delighted in and so easy to be distracted from it. The earth began in delight; we’ll end in delight. When powerful delight comes over me, it’s part of taking a bath in what it means to be fully human. The hard parts, the grief, frustration part is before us, but powerful delight reminds me that we are experiencing the shadows of what is to come. (Colossians 2:17)
And out of the earth the Lord made every tree to come, delighting the eye and good for food; and in the middle of the garden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9
All these came to their end in faith, not having had the heritage; but having seen it with delight far away, they gave witness that they were wanderers and not of the earth. Hebrews 11:13