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  • So much of my time is spent focused on the tasks at hand.
    I had resolved one year to ask more, and better questions but I still need to work at remembering to do this.


    We had a lot of holes to fill.
    There were 200 boards and each one had been torn open where they had been pried up, along their edges. At 4-6 holes per board it was a task.

    Part of good management is being Tom Sawyer. You start something up, get a system going , pass it off to someone else, and then you check back with them to see how it is going.

    We laid out the boards, in batches, in a large unused gallery in the museum.
    It was a beautiful space, high ceilinged with natural light coming through the lay lights.
    They called it the Spanish Portal Gallery so we did too.

    I set up my assistant and left to do other things.
    When I came back to check in he was busy filling boards.
    “How’s it going?” I asked.

    “You have to look behind that door,” he said, nodding to a thin plywood door that I had assumed was locked and none of my business.
    I might have been angry if I felt he was over stepping his bounds but he was clearly excited.

    I opened the door. The space was dark and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust. There was doorway behind a door.
    I realized then why the room was called The Spanish Portal Gallery, it was there, fully installed in a closet.
    The Portal was a massive, arched, cut and carved stone doorway with a wood plank door and wrought iron, strap hinges. The little plaque at the base said it was from 1150-1200c.
    It was beautiful.

    All I had to do was ask, “Where did the name came from”, or “What is behind that door?” but I had been focused on filling holes and deadlines.

    I had almost missed it.
    That is why it helps to have an assistant.
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