by Paula Michelle Gillison
At an art gallery, a woman stands in complete awe of the art before her. The colors are breathtaking, the textures feel otherworldly, and the truth painted into the work is completely undeniable. She is a true believer of this art and the artist. Her singular goal now becomes meeting the artist who has captivated her heart with his work and is somewhere amongst the crowd. As she makes her way from one exhibit to the other, admiring the work but hoping simply for a glimpse of the creator, she finds it difficult to focus on the masterpieces before her when the other patrons are loud and obnoxious. She hears glasses clinking with drunken merry, the roar of an auctioneer bargaining away ancient art, and the commotion of outsiders trying to pay their way inside. Eventually, one patron stops her and ask “How does this art feel to you?” When she explains, she’s told she’s wrong. The next person tries to convince her that she isn’t artistically inclined enough to interpret this art on her own. Then another accuses her of being too obsessed with the thrill off the gallery and not the art itself. One after one, patrons and fellow art lovers bombard her with suggestions and questions all making it increasingly difficult to focus on the art. She quickly becomes overwhelmed, discouraged, and eventually, angry. She wants to see the artist, meet him for herself, and exclaim to him the wonders of his work. “I’ve met the artist you know?” someone whispers in her ear. She turns to see a strikingly handsome man, so tall his face seems to disappear from her view. “Take me to him?” she begs. “Not wearing that,” that gentleman replies. Looking down at her modest attire, she suddenly doesn’t feel worthy. She hadn’t noticed until this moment the sheer luxury of the gallery and how everyone in it wore their most expensive jewels and garments. She couldn’t remember how she had even gotten into this gallery and why no one had prepped her on all the prerequisites. Ashamed and embarrassed, she begin pushing her way thru the crowd, pass all the gnashing patrons, desperate for the door. Before she could step into the revolving wheel the would allow her to exit, a forceful grip grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the doorway and into their embrace. Startled, she looked to see who had interrupted her exit. To her surprise, she was in the arms of the artist. They looked nothing like she imagined but like everything she had hoped. Immediately she began to sob. Her frustrations had mounted into monsters and though she once yearned for this moment, she still only wanted to escape. The artist said nothing, simply relaxed the grip on her arm and cleared way to the door. She looked back at the artist, expecting them to beg her to stay or fight for her attention. Instead, in her hands was a business card. The name of the gallery, the location, and the artist name. By habit, she turned the card over to see a handwritten note “I’ll give you a private showing whenever you’re ready.” With that, she found herself back out on the street, the gallery behind her and the whole world in front of her. She put the business card in her pocket. It would be there should she ever need it. But for now, she was content with finding the beauty in everything around her.