Wednesday, August 8, 2018

MY OLD ARTIST

Staying with my theme of "meetings"....

Shortly before my eighth birthday I sat on the cement stoop of my step-grandmother's house on Fletcher Street in Chicago.   She was very pious and loved the saints. To please her I was drawing a picture of the Blessed Virgin with colored pencils.   When I looked up from my drawing, I saw an old man walking toward me.  He was wearing a baseball cap, carrying a green lunch bucket with a newspaper tucked under his arm.  He stopped and asked what I was doing and I showed him my drawing.  He said it was very good and asked me to stay right where I was - there was something special he wanted to give me.

Warned never to talk to strangers, I ran into the house and asked my dad if I could accept a gift from the stranger.  He knew the man and told me that he was once had been a well-known artist and his paintings were widely exhibited. Sadly he became an alcoholic and now painted lampshades at the factory around the block from my grandmother's house.

The old man returned with a battered wooden box and with some ceremony laid it down in front of me.  Opening the latch I breathed the wonderful scent of linseed oil and turpentine...the box contained all his brushes, his wooden palette and all his paints!  I sensed how precious this box was to him, but had no idea this little old man had just opened the door to my future!  A short time later my father told me that the old man had died.   It took me eight years to finally open the box and lay the still fresh colors on that palette to do my first oil painting! 

Today I am older than my benefactor was on the day he gave me his treasured wooden box. Since that time I have painted hundreds, perhaps a couple thousand canvases - an immense journey!  In less than an hour on a warm Chicago afternoon, that beautiful little man led me to my life's work.   We never met again.....

Taos - 8/7/18

Really strange dream this morning - Decided to write a Letter to the Editor Taos News and struggled with how to start.  Finally my beginning sentence was about how, as women, we were Mothers of the Moon!  The body of the letter was the call to unite women to scold their sons, fathers, brothers, husbands to stop their bad governmental behavior and start behaving like decent human beings!   Well, apparently someone posted it on social media and it went viral and  and Mothers of the Moon became a social movement.  A clarion call for women to unite and bring about world peace! Very interesting... then the man building a garage across the street started up his buzz saw......

Truth is I have struggled with how much I want to reveal in this blog.  What I know is that whenever one of my "war" stories is shared, it bubbles up from the distant past.  Usually it is just part of the conversation and there is a need for it to be shared....for my own sake or for that of someone else.  And there is my answer - this is a conversation.  Mainly I want to center the theme on "meetings" -some of the people or places we encounter that change our lives in a profound way....my firm belief that there are no accidents!  Even my meetings which did not end well resulted in some much needed life changes...I call them "life arrows".   

MEETINGS - "For there to be a meeting, it seems as though a third, a something else, is always present.  You may call it Love, or the Holy Spirit.  Jungians would say that it is the presence of the Self.  If this 'Other' is present, there cannot have failed to be a meeting....I have never forgotten the smile of a bus conductor as I alighted from a bus at the age of twenty.  It was a smile shared.  We never saw one another agai, nor needed to, but for a few seconds we really met"  Irene Claremont de Castellejo, Knowing Woman

 

WORD PAINTINGS #48 - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY Part VI - A DOLL'S HOUSE

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