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  • Friday, December 5, 2014

    Victoria and Albert Museum

    This is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design.

    It houses more than 4.5 million objects.
    My favorite of those objects was The Bed of Ware, built around 1590, a bed so famous that Shakespeare mentioned it in his play, Twelfth Night, and knew his audience would understand the reference. This sealed it for me. When I have a home again, I'm getting a four-poster. Even if it's the only thing that fits in my house.


    Actually, I changed my mind. This is my favorite. "The Sleep of Sorrow and the Dream of Joy" carved in 1861 by Raffaelle Monti

    Admittedly, this wasn't my favorite museum in London, but I think I discovered one reason I enjoy museums so much. Like most of them in London, it's a gorgeous building to slowly wander around in. And like the other museums, it's free, so why not go in and have a look.

    Maybe find a bench in a nice room and take a seat, because regardless of what they contain, museums are places to slow down. 

    Have you ever seen anyone frustrated or rushing in a museum? (Who didn't have children with them, I mean.)

    On the street, there is that hustle and bustle. When you walk into a museum the world puts on its brakes. 

    You are like a roller coaster coming to a halt and easing back into the loading station.
    Regardless of my own schedule, in a city I eventually share the feeling of urgency with the people around me. I start rushing with them. I speed-walk along side them in the tube to catch the next train.

    When I leave a museum and go back into that hustle and bustle, I stroll down the street on a busy workday or walk through the London Underground like it's a Sunday in the park, because the slowness of the museum, and it's contrast to the busy street, reminds me of when I was just like those people. Having a job. Needing to be somewhere else. People expecting me. It reminds me that I'm not those people right now, so they'll just have to wait or go around me. There will be a time for deadlines and schedules some other day, but not today.