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I spent today in a museum.

I love museums, though I am not a collector. I could never be; I feel ensnared enough by the terrible beauty of even mundane things. Whereas some shop when stressed, or eat, I frantically unburden myself of all I’ve been tending, abandoning books and furniture and clothing and friends. I do not feel quite worthy of tending to the grandeur of the the material. I feel most comfortable when alone, against empty fields of white possibility, without the weight of the real.

Still, despite or because of this, I have a certain deep adoration of museums. Of course I love the glorious particularity of the wrought matter they contain, but more than this, I love the rightness of the institutions themselves. I love the way they honor the dumb adoring stuff surrounding us with the reverence due; I love how each pedestal invites awareness, how each frame forces a question of worth—a question that has, in the end, only one answer.

I spent today in a museum, and I loved how safe I felt, in a place in which those terrible objects in them were kept securely behind glass.

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