Do we each hold within us the source of our own problems? Buried beneath our self-knowledge are there two conflicting perspectives rambling through the depths of our subconscious minds? Are many of us self-aware?
Certainly we are all, to some degree self-destructive. It runs us headlong into career, familial and social problems. We are a mix, deep down, of the noble and the ignoble, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. Self-awareness seems something that to be developed in most of us.
But with such tumbles, I think the suffering can refine us, by the grace of God. To feel anguish can enhance our empathy and humble us in a way that is remarkable.
I like to call this process growing up. At 77, I still have miles to travel down that road.
The beautiful Walters Art Gallery opened in Baltimore in 1934, bequeathed by the Walters family. My parents had yet to meet in 1934; that occurred in 1938 in Detroit.
In 1977, I met Kristine just before leaving an open house at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where Kris was a student. We talked, facing her work of intriguing art.
To perhaps buy it and to get her name and phone number, I explained I needed her name and number if I bought the piece. She placed them on a Walters Art Gallery card with an exquisite dark green and white, medieval design. Today, the card sits in a Lucite frame on the mantle above our fireplace.
You won’t find the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. They changed its name to the Walters Art Museum at the turn of this century, reflecting its role as a cultural institution.
Places and people change. Kris and I, with our changes, in God’s hands, have remained together nearly a half-century since that God-ordained meeting.