Knowing Better


I stood in front of the massive piece of work.

Its dark colors and many dimensions were mesmerizing. I didn’t know what I was looking at. The mystery lured me in.

My family and I were visiting the Kansas City Art Museum. It was the first time in 2017 we were spending time together since dad passed. We were filling the time with good food, walks, games, and films. On Sunday, there was just enough time to visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

I’d never been to an art museum with my mother. It was sweet to see how intently she looked at everything. Her comments about several of the pieces were simultaneously childlike and profound. She’d point out minor details. She’d ask how we thought something was made. She awed at anything gold. She loves gold.

When we entered the modern wing, I wandered on my own. I found myself captured by this massive, mysterious piece.

Then, I heard my mom’s quiet voice behind me: “Unbelievable.”

I looked at her, surprised that she admired it. I had no idea my mother would appreciate such a modern piece. She could tell I was surprised.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”  She quietly said in her soft, Middle-Eastern accent.

I nodded my head in agreement, mouth slightly opened.

A few minutes later, I asked her about it. She went on to tell me how much she loved art and history as a child. She asked me if I knew various artists and if I liked their work. And though neither of us are experts, we talked about Pollock, Rothko, Seurat, Degas, etc.

I was floored.

How have I been my mother’s son for so long and not known about her appreciation for art? I felt ashamed and inspired all at once. My heart did something I didn’t know it could do: I respected Issis Saad even more.

I’m sure you know a lot about the people around you. But there are probably things you don’t know. There’s a question you haven’t asked or a story you’ve never heard. It can seem odd to ask seemingly random questions at various points of a relationship, but the conversations will lead you to new and meaningful places.

Because the real power in all of our relationships isn’t just knowing one another, it’s learning that we are all in motion. Always growing. Always changing. Always learning.

There is magic in that.

So get to know someone you know. Better.

And see what happens next…