A Downtown Day

Today the stars collided and all of our family members were free, so we went downtown. The first stop was the National Archives, which we hadn’t seen for a decade. It has hugely upgraded in the meantime. Our reason for going was a traveling exhibit on the Civil War, told through documents. I was struck, once again, by how painful our country’s history is, and how important it is to own up to mistakes. I believe that we can know more, as a people, about what is right, over time. That is not a belief in some easy upward spiral, just a belief that people of good conscience can feel their way into deeper truths, led by the Spirit of God. But it ain’t easy.

We also took our turns peering at the actual founding documents of our nation: Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. After a couple hours at the archives, I was very grateful for our freedoms. I was also grateful for the invention of typeface.

After a nice, cool respite at Clyde’s, we went to the Portrait Gallery to see the traveling exhibit on Norman Rockwell. I have always dismissed his work as being nostalgic, sentimental, and trivial. I prefer art that is real, gripping and authentic. Today I saw that I have created an artificial divide. The stories behind the Rockwell pieces are evident, as is the humanity of the characters in those stories. In short, I was surprisingly touched. He also had an amazing volume of output. That I could be so prolific!

There were lots of other families downtown seeing the sights today. I am grateful for them. Of all the places they could go on vacation, they chose to make the pilgrimage to see our nation’s capital. I hope they stay cool, have fun and don’t miss the Lincoln monument.

What’s your favorite DC sight/site?


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