I wanted to write about beauty because I live within it every day and I don’t want to ever take that for granted. I just watched a poignant film by director Terence Davies called, Of Time and the City. It is, as he puts it, a “visual poem” about his growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s and 1960s.
I wept through much of this film because he painted such a visceral picture of poverty and hard work, of a cessation of hope, with glimpses of relief here and there, particularly in the children.
My parents worked as hard as that, day in and day out, and their parents before them, to bring each of us, each generation, up just a bit.
They worked in the steel mills and the furniture factories and knew hunger so that I would not. They understood well enough that dreams held no place in their lives, that yearning belonged to other social classes.
And yet my mom and dad allowed me to be a Painting and Drawing major with a Printmaking minor at the University of Oregon. They scrimped and saved, literally every penny, so that my sister and I could go to college. They went without to give us an education. And, still, they did not demand a “practical” choice for me.
For all of their lack of perspective, having had no direct experience within their circumstances, and no point of reference, I think they saw the artist in their child and they offered ME the chance to dream.
So here I am, finally, an artist. I live my days in the mountains of northern New Mexico, surrounded by beauty. I get to create.
And for that I want to recognize my mom and dad, who knew poverty enough to deaden the spirit, to kick dreams to dust, who found within themselves, whether they understood it or not, the capacity to give me the seed of this life I am privileged, now, to live.
And I will not take it for granted.
I just took another new painting over to Hand Artes Gallery and Bill and I hung it in the piano room among many of my other pieces. It is quite different from others of my recent works and yet I think it may just express the profound joy I find in the beauty of this place more than any of them.
And now I have a huge canvas on my easel, pencil marks sparking my imagination. Can’t wait to see what is born of that…
So to all of us I wish the pursuit of our dreams and the blessing of parents who grant them; to BE the parents who grant them, and the friends who support them. May we all live within our greatest possibilities and trust the process of life.
Love to you all,