From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul

Visions of Art

I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.

Henry Ward Beecher

One afternoon I toured an art museum while waiting for my husband to finish a business meeting. I was looking forward to a quiet view of the masterpieces.

A young couple viewing the paintings ahead of me chattered nonstop between themselves. I watched them a moment and decided she was doing all the talking. I admired his patience for putting up with her constant parade of words. Distracted by their noise, I moved on.

I encountered them several times as I moved through the various rooms of art. Each time I heard her constant gush of words, I moved away quickly.

I was standing at the counter of the museum gift shop making a purchase when the couple approached the exit. Before they left, the man reached into his pocket and pulled out a white object. He extended it into a long cane and then tapped his way into the coatroom to get his wife’s jacket.

“He’s a brave man,” the clerk at the counter said. “Most of us would give up if we were blinded at such a young age. During his recovery, he made a vow his life wouldn’t change. So, as before, he and his wife come in whenever there’s a new art show.”

“But what does he get out of the art?” I asked. “He can’t see.”

“Can’t see! You’re wrong. He sees a lot. More than you or I do, the clerk said. “His wife describes each painting so he can see it in his head.”

I learned something about patience, courage and love that day. I saw the patience of a young wife describing paintings to a person without sight and the courage of a husband who would not allow blindness to alter his life. And I saw the love shared by two people as I watched this couple walk away with their arms intertwined.

Jeanne Knape

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