An afternoon at the CMA

“Roses” by Vincent Van Gogh

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Life after my grandpa’s passing has not been slow. In a way I’m glad it hasn’t been. I know myself and if I were having a slow day at the office or a lazy day at home, I’d be ruminating in my feelings and nothing productive would get done. Grandpa was a doer, and his voice in my head would be asking me why I’m not making money or cleaning up the wad of cat hair Marina scratched off herself and left in the living room.

So in the past week and a half it’s been back to work, taking note of the developments there that should affect my future for the better, and keeping my head down. There’s also been a day off for my yearly optometrist visit and getting my dental cleaning. I’m pleased to report my eyes are doing great and surprisingly enough, I didn’t have any cavities. I have been living on more coffee than normal over the last month, and hot cocoa is my winter staple. While delicious, neither one of those are good for avoiding yellow stains on teeth.

I finally have my Christmas tree and decorations down. I never realized how much stuff I actually own until I had to look for the storage containers, then play Jenga to get those all stacked just right in the storage closet. Marina was fascinated by all this.

Yesterday I got my roots touched up. I know it’s normal for blonde hair to darken in the winter, but frankly – normal is overrated as hell. In 30 years I can prioritize looking normal or natural, but at age 30, I’m still a vibrant bombshell and I’m going to look the part.

So slowly but surely, a part of my life is moving forward. I don’t want to say I’m moving on because I don’t think that’s ever really possible. I’m moving forward, trying to find joy and pinpoint meaning in each day, and carrying Grandpa’s voice and spirit within me. His voice was really talking to me yesterday.

One of my favorite spots in Columbus is the Columbus Museum of Art. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to the CMA. I want to say it was right before the pandemic shut the world down. The museum is free on Sunday, so during cold weather season I used to go on day dates there and take in the art.

I was vaguely aware of a Van Gogh exhibit at the museum and told myself I’d go there sometime this month, since the exhibit is ending on Feb. 6th. Yesterday evening into the early morning hours we were supposed to have snow roll in, so if I was going to the museum it pretty much had to be Sunday afternoon after my hair appointment.

I just happened to make it to the CMA in perfect time, getting into the last tour group of the day.

“Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources” was more than I could have imagined. I’m addition to 17 pieces of Van Gogh’s work, the exhibit included the art of his sources, such as Camille Pissarro, Edouard Manet and Ary Scheffer.

I’m a sucker for flowers, and fell in love with “Roses” by Van Gogh. The light, delicate swirls of green remind me of peridot, which happens to be both my mom and Grandpa’s birthstone. I thought of him when I saw the painting and felt he was present with me in the gallery.

“Poppies” by Vincent Van Gogh

“Poppies” reminded me of the days ahead – sunny, vibrant, fun again. I sent that picture to Mom and she loved it.

Actually, there wasn’t a piece there that I didn’t love. Van Gogh’s paintings remind me of the area I grew up in – rural, just outside of a small town, with a field that backs up to my folks’ place. Off in the distance of the field is a small patch of woods. On clear nights you can hear coyotes out there, and during the daylight you’ll occasionally see a Cooper’s hawk fly overhead. My folks sometimes go out in the field with their little dog Buddy, although they can never wander too far. Buddy’s legs are pretty short and he never really stopped being the baby, so his adventures never go too far away from the house.

Walking through the gallery and seeing the rustic landscapes made me nostalgic. I thought about my family, both my parents and my grandparents. Grandpa planted numerous trees on their property and created The Weedy Patch. Walking through the Patch or even the side yard wasn’t too far off from the woods Van Gogh painted.

Undergrowth with Two Figures” by Vincent Van Gogh

Overall, “Through Vincent’s Eyes” was extraordinary. I didn’t plan on writing a true “review” per se, but if I could give you all a quick recommendation: 10/10, five stars and two thumbs very up.

It was magical, it was moving and it transported me to a place in my own mind I didn’t think I would go. It transported someplace warm, comforting and heartwarming. Beauty is a fine thing, but when you feel art in your soul, that’s a completely different, wonderful experience.

So to my Columbus locals – do whatever you need to do to see “Through Vincent’s Eyes.” The exhibit’s last weekend is Feb. 4th – 6th. I’ve included the museum’s website here so you can find more visitors information.

To everyone else – I appreciate you all waiting for me to come back. I hope you all have a great week ahead and experience joy in whatever form in your own life.

Yours in writing and running,


“Wheat Fields” by Vincent Van Gogh

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