My Heart-to-Heart with The Thinker

My Heart-to-Heart with The Thinker

On Sunday, my mom took me to the Baltimore Art Museum. And it felt quite wonderful, even magical, to be back at one of my favorite high-school haunts for the first time in over 20 years.

As a teenager, when I was feeling very down about this or that, I would cry copious tears and pour out my heart to a certain gigantic painting of a French king. Maybe Louis XV? In a kind of warped, clueless way, I guess it was my pintelle yid’s first attempt to daven.

And maybe that’s why, when this Sunday I saw another one of my favorite works of art from those angst-ridden teenage visits, Rodin’s The Thinker, I felt a personal connection. Like I was running into an old classmate I hadn’t seen since high school.

And my reaction to seeing my long, lost buddy was something like, “OMG, I can’t believe you are still here! Still stuck deep down in your existential funk, trapped motionless in your tortured mind!”

Rabbi Nivin recently taught us that marriage and motherhood are a human being’s main weapons to free him or herself from the claws and jaws of ego and self-obsession.

And that was what I was thinking as I looked over my old buddy. I thought how I am WAY too busy being a wife and mother and B-minus household manager to remain that bogged down within my mind, as I once was.

And I wanted to whisper in his ear, “My 2 cents, Mr. Thinker. Get married, have a few kids, move out of this museum and into your own home… If you do, good chance the world will start looking a lot brighter. I think it’s about time, don’t you?”


  1. What an amazing perspective! I grappled with the major issue of trying to figure out how to not think to much- then I finally got married and had kids B”H and its no longer an issue at all!!

  2. Love it! Spot on!

  3. Love it! I so relate to that

  4. Great post. Love the wise thought told by Rabbi Nivin! I work at the Uni surrounded by egocentric, self-obsessed people. I’ve noticed that I am becoming egocentric too (I guess, it is a way to survive in highly competitive environment), but I don’t want to be. It is not my core nature – I have 3 lovely kids (twin boys and girl) and husband. It is the most important thing. Thanks for LOVELY post.

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