Saturday, September 27, 2008


Sometimes the intensity of my anxiety surprises even me. For instance, did you know that for the past ten years, I have been worried that something was going to happen to the Standard of Ur and its companion pieces, The Ram in a Thicket and the Queen's (Golden) Lyre of Ur? I know this fear is crazy--what possible difference could it make in my life if the Standard of Ur somehow was destroyed? But I ran over the to British Museum today just to make sure they were there. At first I was completely disoriented by the renovations made since the removal of the British Library to its own site (the British Museum now seems more like an over-sized gift shop than a museum, I think). Once oriented, however, I went straight to the Mesopotamia rooms to make sure the Standard and friends were okay. Even as I got closer, my anxiety grew more acute. At two galleries away, I was panicked that they were gone. At one gallery away, I had sweated completely through my shirt and jacket. At ten paces, I had to fight back tears of relief that everything was in place and as it should be.

For anyone else suffering from this particular anxiety, there is a small women's restroom just outside the north lift where you can recover from yourself in privacy.

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