Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Another Year Older
This week I turn 60. Aging has never been as big a deal to me as it seems to be for some. I don’t search for new wrinkles or pluck grey hairs. If, like some do, I chose to ruminate the disappointments of my lifetime, I imagine it would feel similar to the time in my youth, when having ventured too far into the ocean; I was seized by a wave. It dominated me. My tender, naïve body, was tossed wildly about, and then repeatedly pummeled against the ocean floor. Just when I was sure I could hold my breath no longer, up I popped. Wobbling back to my blanket, attempting to look unscathed (not out of pride, but fear of punishment for venturing too far), I had my first “Ah-Hah” moment. With perfect clarity, I understood my own mortality. Remember the lesson, not the pain, move thankfully forward. Surviving another year is cause for celebration. Party on!
This year, I bought myself an En Plein Air Pro easel for my birthday. It is time to get out there. Last week I set it up in the studio so we could get to know each other, and I could save face when I venture out in public.
Even at this new, ripe, old age, it was quick and easy. YAY! If anyone is interested, I’ll write a review on it in a future blog. Just let me know.
Birthday blessings continued to rain down upon me. As I painted and puttered about the studio, tweaking drawings, deepening shadows, and mentally preparing for my future plein-air excursion, I glanced over at the computer screen. There, next to the message icon was one of those little red flags, I had a message. I did what any studio-bound, solitary artist does. Click.
Sharon Dodge: “Vicki and I will be at Oak Island Labor Day Craft show on Saturday. I have a bag ready for you.”
That simple message made my day brighter; actually it turned my week around! Sharon is a wildly talented potter. She started a tradition a few years ago, of presenting me with a bag of “goodies” from her kiln while I visit her stand at the yearly craft show. The show just happens to be held within a week of my birthday. I’m convinced she has no idea how much that little bag of ceramic treasures means to me. I can never open it in front of her, because I know I’ll cry.
Sharon’s thoughtfulness over the years graces my space. Little bowls hold the seeds and nuts I snack on while painting, wall vases keep my pencils, pens, and rulers, within easy reach and organize my kitchen tools. My prized handmade oatmeal soap rests on one of her little plates, and she created the perfect dish to keep my brushes wet, without ruining the hairs. No room in my home is untouched by her friendship.
My “goodies” this year include the PERFECT tiny dish to hold my evening teabag, another lovely nut cup (you can’t have enough of those!), and a bowl now designated as my yogurt and fruit bowl, destined to ease me into many creative days.
Thank you, Sharon. Your art fills my home; your generosity and thoughtfulness fill my heart. You are a gift to my spirit.
As for me, I’m ready for another trip around the sun. I’ll keep all the jewels of joy from the past year, and cherish those people that have made me feel loved. This year I’ll explore new opportunities whenever and wherever they arise. I’ll create new happy memories to reflect upon next September, and be thankful and excited about the new year to come. That little girl on the beach healed from her wounds, learned that life is fragile, and embraces each and every day.
Turning 60 is going to be a piece of cake, chocolate I hope, with ice cream!
Love from my studio,