Museum Happiness

I have a new favorite, quiet place in Seattle.

Stuck downtown by a three-hour break between coaching clients, I headed to the downtown library. On the way there, I happened to see a sign for the Frye Museum. On a whim, I changed my plan and drove to the Frye. I’d always meant to go.

Opening the doors to the museum, I had a sense I was in a foreign city. I felt thrown back to my twenties, when I wandered museums in Europe.

The Frye Museum was exhibiting the works of a Gabriel von Max, a 19th century Austrian painter I’d never heard of. (His painting, The Anatomist, looked vaguely familiar.) Mr. Max had some decidedly necrophiliac tendencies, as far as I can tell.

Comfortably tired from looking at paintings of saintly ecstasies and, oddly, monkeys, I discovered an outdoor courtyard screened from traffic, full of plants, with a giant, moss-covered boulder in the middle. Every once in a while, little sprinklers on the boulder spritz on and mist me (and my laptop) with moss water. Above me, the sky is bright blue, and the air is warm and soft. I feel like the city has given me a gift, a new, secret, favorite spot.

I’m thinking about spontaneity, about the pleasure of diverging from a plan and exploring something new.  Makes me wonder what other plans I could step away from.

I wonder what I will find when I do.