Peace in an art gallery ?

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IN a doctor’s clinic a worried patient lay on the doctor’s couch, “What you need,” said the psychiatrist, “is to get away to a peaceful place, where you can enjoy beauty for awhile, like a…” “An art gallery?” asked his patient.

“A what?” exclaimed the doctor. “A roomful of exquisite paintings!” said the man on the couch. “No,” said the doctor stroking his beard, “I was thinking of a simple garden!”

As I slowly take you away from the doctor’s clinic, and from the patient who thought he could find rest in paintings, a question comes to my mind, “How often we look for peace in the wrong places!”

We buy tickets and invest in costly plays, in concerts, visits to museums and art galleries, and wonder why the headache of unease weighing heavily on us doesn’t disappear.

And then I remember a not very well off lady, telling me, “Bob, I have this huge neem tree outside my window, and when I am troubled, I pull up a chair, stare at it, watch each leaf that waves to me, their colour, their design! I smile at squirrels chasing each other and birds that nestle in the branches, and feel a sense of peace!”

Says mind doctor, Dr John Schindler, “How easy it is to live enjoyably, when the simple interminable blue sky, with its long wisps of white cloud, becomes a pleasant sight to behold, a thing of beauty that thrills you every time you care to look skyward!”He continues, saying, “I met this man, who enjoyed everything around him.

His only needs were eyes to see, ears to hear, nose to smell, and fingers to feel! And within a mile around, he found more wonder than most people find travelling ten thousand miles!”

A concert I remember so well, was in the Philippines where many international choirs were performing. Each tried to outdo the other, till we gave a standing ovation to a choir from Africa.

No, they didn’t sing Bach, Beethoven or Mozart, all they did was enthral the audience with the harmonious sounds of rain falling, crickets chirping and birds singing.
The music of nature outdid that of violin, harp or trumpet.

In the mornings as I walk among the trees that surround my home, I put away my earphones and start listening to the rustling peepul leaves, who have no conductor but the breeze, and what music they make. So also, the whistling birds and cuckoo calling across to another on another tree.

Let’s go back to the patient on his next visit to the psychiatrist, “I heard nature’s music doctor, and I got more peace than any art gallery could have given me!” And the good doctor knows there’s one more vacant seat in his waiting room, a patient healed by God’s own freely available therapy..!

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