Last weekend we went to this exhibition at the Met. Ever since I first laid eyes on the manuscript, my mind has been filled with the tiny, superb images. Looking at them truly gave me a feeling of peace and focus. I must have been ready to be amazed, a mental state that gets constant and immense satisfaction in a museum. Indeed, everywhere I looked, I felt inspired and awed by the beauty, hard work and attention put into the creation of practically every item on display, as well as its presentation, conservation, and care by everyone in their path through history.

At last, with this weekend just rolling in, and ‘assisted’ by the insomnia that has been a constant reality of late, I took out my childish tools and began copying some of the simplest designs on the manuscript.

Remembering my art history lessons, and the basic principle of learning through copying from the masters, I also wondered about the thoughts that may have crossed the minds of those whose work I copied. I have no drawing skills myself, but copying helped me look closer, and understand the flow of the design much better than I ‘d ever have done by just looking.  And of course, it was fun playing with paper and my coloring pencils, drawing whimsical little swirls almost as if they appeared suddenly off the stems of the vine design. I am not sure I will have the time to fill a whole book (those guys had the financial backing of a Duke and 3 years at their disposal), but I can still try to imagine the joy of generating so much patience, so much perseverance in order to complete even a page of such a masterpiece!

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