Above my desk hang four postcards, all of pieces of art that I have had the blessing to see in person. One is Henri Rousseau’s “Carnival Evening.”
Henri Rousseau's Carnival Evening

The other three are pieces I saw when I was in Italy a few years ago.
The Mocking of Christ by Fra Angelico – “The Mocking of Christ” by Fra Angelico

David's Hand by Michelangelo – the right hand of “David” by Michelangelo

– “St. Jerome” by Caravaggio

These are the pieces I can get lost in for hours. When I saw the Caravaggio hanging in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, I wept a few tears. The light that this man put into his paintings dazzled me; it still does, even in a postcard.

Few things transport me like great art – these paintings and sculpture, Bach’s “Cello Suites,” an Amish quilt draped over someone’s bed, the first few lines of Lolita – they elevate me above myself and above the mire that is so often life.

How sad that people do not get to see these things. How sad that we remove them ever more from schools in favor of things that help us “compete” with other countries or with each other. When will beauty be realized for what it is – the thing that keeps us alive and keeps us from killing each other?