I know it's Bead Table Wednesday, so quickly, here is a shot of my ever-crowded bead table (jewelry table, wire table, sewing table, mixed media table....):
What? Doesn't everyone sew and work metal and make jewelry on their ironing board??
The bathroom remodel this summer has rendered the garage workbench a little inaccessible for the moment, and I haven't had time to clean it off as yet, so that is why some of my metals stuff is in front of my (poor neglected) sewing machine.
But BTW is not what this post is about....no.
Most of you know that I was accepted into the training program to become a docent at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It is a prestigious and comprehensive training program that lasts a whole year, and includes art history lectures, gallery exercises, training in basic museum education, and programs on the collections and holdings in the museum. It's a volunteer position, and I am undergoing this extensive training willingly, and without financial compensation. The rewards are much greater than that for me.
So far, we are three weeks into the training, and have completed lectures on ancient art and the ancient art collection in the museum. To say that I am happy is an understatement.
The first week, we were allowed into a gallery with our instructor and a security guard after the museum was closed. It was quiet and cool, and the halls were lit and the marble gleamed and outside it was dusk. It's an amazing experience to be so quietly surrounded by works of art created by countless hands and minds from across the centuries -- and millennia. All those people and all that creating....people we can identify and have images of, and people we only know as "the Virginia painter" or "R", or people we have no idea about at all, whose identities are lost in the passage of time. I was overwhelmed by the existence of these people and what they have left behind, by the magnitude of what we do creatively as humans, and by the seeming enormity of the task before me.
But now I see why it is that this appeals to me. Oh, it always has, the history and the concept of a museum, and the reading and learning. But for the first time in....years?....I sincerely feel that this is what I'm meant to be doing.
On some levels, it's intensely frightening.
On another level, it fills me with a joy I can't describe, and that has spilled over into the rest of my life in these last few weeks. Even in the midst of the chaos of three children starting school, husband in college, and work and family life activities. 'Go placidly amidst the noise and haste' has never been so applicable to my days.
I have a couple of years to spend working at the museum in this capacity, but my mind has already started to wander to "what's next?" as I find myself idly surfing the course listings for Virginia Commonwealth University's Art History department.
We'll see; I have plenty to do and to think about before I go get all fired up about any further schooling for myself. But for now, I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing, and looking forward to the future eagerly.