My children are the masterpieces I suspend on the walls of the museum I curate on a daily basis. The museum is our family life that we create together through the shared affect all the paintings together emanate.
I cringe though as people try to attribute their beauty or detail, their colors, shapes or swirls to me. I am the curator. I was given these to display. I can attempt to find the best corner, where the light is streaming in, catching their glistening drama just as it should, lightening the whites and darkening the shade.
But I did not select their colors. I chose the caption perhaps, in choosing their name. I chose which museum I accepted a position in, joining in with my husband to send for these paintings. But the artist selected the mood, the shade, the textures, layers, dabs and dots covering the canvas.
I am the curator. I can describe the paintings to you. I can tell you where to stand to admire them, whether from near or afar. I have seen them on gloomy days and sunny, in the cold and in the heat. I know when the light hits just right for fullest effect.
But I am not the artist. I am the curator.
I do not reach out with my own paint brush and dust across the surface. I would only mar the design. The masterpiece was complete when it passed into my hands. I washed and scrubbed, took a breath and touched them for the first time as they entered these halls, glorying in the beauty each design would add, unique additions our museum would never be the same without.
They are mine for display only though. Eventually they will be called to other museums. I will no longer be their curator. I can visit them though. Perhaps they will even visit me, we can put on a memorabilia display, a short show explaining the works we have had here in the past, one day only, come and see it, enjoy!
I enjoy being the curator. But sometimes I forget to.
I wake up some mornings and enter the door of the museum ready with my own dreams at dawn. I take a white canvas in with me, ready my brushes and mix my paints, only to discover that the clock ticked forward already and my tasks have begun.
The gorgeous masterpieces are worth every precaution taken with them. But they do require frequent dusting. I must check the thermostats for the heat. The humidity must be just so for their proper maintenance.
There is a visiting group who eagerly await my guided tour, carefully chosen words to ensure the depths available in the paintings are thoroughly examined and enjoyed.
I am blessed to have been given this position. This museum is lovely. The tours always bring me joy as I see others eyes light up, seeing what I see in the paintings.
But I am the curator only.
Many nights as I close up, I feel the pleasant warmth of contentment swell within at a job well done.
But some nights, that blank white canvas left by the wayside and my abandoned mixed paints haunt me. My fingers twitch and my mind groans with the art left yet again for another day.
Will I remember my dream when it is my turn to paint?
I am afraid.
What if I no longer care enough to face the canvas on the morning that I can?