Eating Art

maurice sendak

So, I just read a story of Maurice Sendak, the great children’s author/illustrator. He talked about the highest compliment he was ever paid as an author. A little boy had sent him a very thoughtful letter. It was particularly wonderful, and so Mr. Sendak drew him a picture, and sent it.

His mother sent back a thank you, gushing about how much it meant to her son. Her words, “He carried the picture with him everywhere he went. But, eventually, he just couldn’t stand it, and he ATE the picture. He loved it THAT much.”

Maurice marveled at how much that hand-drawn picture could have fetched if the family had decided to sell it. At the very least, it could have been framed and kept forever. But the very act of what this boy did showed his love and appreciation better than any of those more “normal” reactions.

I seriously love this more than I’ve loved any story in a long time. As I drink my morning coffee this morning, I pondered it. WHAT do I love about this so much? Which part?

Passion.

I think that’s it. This little Art-Eater is ON FIRE about life. ON FIRE. When I walked the road this morning, I think I can understand, or at least come close to the feeling of ON FIRE. I understand loving what you see SO much….you want it to be inside of your body…you want to join with it.

If I could, I would eat the blue sky with the wispy clouds that make me think of a fancy dress. I would devour the tall wildflowers, and gobble up the rich earth that smells like God.

It’s how I want to live my life. Eating the ART that is everywhere I look.

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