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  • Here, in the noise, is a rest, a restful place. Here is the hidden charm, the out of the way find. Here is the respite, the artist's retreat, here is a scrim lit view to the outside of green.

    Here is the cushioned alcove, the window seat, the veil, the green frame. Here is the momentary perfection, when the art museum visitor is sated with Picasso, sated with stain, in love with paint again in the flesh, in love with the brush strokes, the mauve seepings of gouache and oils, the brush tip scrape leaving ruts of black made white and green made pale green.

    Here is the place out of the lineups and strollers, the fierce supplications of the women's hands, the photographs of "Guernica" in progress, the pinkest of fleshly wings of the nude in the garden, the primitive eyes of the self-portrait, the eyeballs one living one blank, here is the place the visitor chanced upon, and that visitor was me.

    A chance encounter with an alcove, one minute away from the art throngs on a last-chance Sunday.

    And here the visiting eye did repose. How could life be so perfect, even just for one moment in life? A seat, a window, a pale screen, summer's end as a frame...?

    How could it be so?

    And it was so.

    The name of the moment was grace.

    You might get there by chance, but never by appointment.

    (Photo by Susan, at the Art Gallery of Ontario)
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