"To send light into the darkness of men's hearts -
such is the duty of an artist."
I'll be the first one to admit that I've been on the sad train lately. Chugging in and out of Melancholy Land, with a bandanna full of Kleenex tied on a stick that I carry over my shoulder. The good news is that I'm not completely closed off to moments of joy or laughter. I think it is true that this wave of grief will end. Someday I will look back and say, well that stunk but I'm a stronger person for having lived through it. The thing about stinky things is that they, well ... stink. And sometimes it takes awhile to get the bad stuff from offending your nose. Grief, I've found, is like that.
Yesterday was a good day. One I'd looked forward to for a couple of weeks. Yvonne Lozano of yclart was coming back to finish up my family tree mural. Even though most of the tree was already done and Yvonne was just adding finishing touches, I was chomping at the bit to see how it was going to turn out. I wasn't/am not disappointed. Now when I walk out of my room I can look down the hall and see the tree on the far wall. It has green and yellow and red leaves. It also sports a big gray cat curled up on a branch, and a black dog looking up at a yellow canary singing away near the top of the tree. As soon as Yvonne left, I stood on a step stool and hung the Patty Star at the tip top of the tree.
The Patty Star, as family lore goes, was put on a Christmas tree in a small Army field hospital in Germany where my mother was born two days before Christmas. It has adorned the family Christmas tree ever since. It just felt right that it should hang on this tree. As if the Universe was in agreement with my decision, I only had to reach inside one box and there it was, the first thing I touched. Now what are the chances of me even finding a box full of Christmas decorations in July, much less the one I want?
I have several pictures framed to go on the tree. I haven't quite decided how to do it. Should I be OCD about it, hanging them in some kind of order - by family, alphabetically, chronologically? Or should I put them in a bag and hang them as I grab them? Right now, I'm okay with enjoying the fresh beauty of the tree as my tears are carried away on a light breeze through the leaves.
Are you ready? Drum roll, please. Pretend there's a big black cloth that I just whipped off like David Copperfield so you can see .... Ta Da ....
It's hard to get the lighting right so you can't see how cool it really is.
Here's a picture of my new favorite artist, Yvonne.
I just love the fact that I asked her if she could paint a tree and she said sure and then she did. How cool is that? I also love her paint stained jeans.
Today I'm grateful for a kind of happiness that settled around my shoulders like a crocheted shawl.
I'm grateful for a silly ass dog that tried to make friends with the dog on the wall and when she heard wolves howling on the TV came to make sure everything was okay.
I'm grateful for the sweet taste of peanut M&M's.
Wishing for you an art-filled space that makes you smile,