Friday, July 22, 2016

Caution, slow down, curves ahead....

I have just returned from a wonderful workshop Dying to Rust with Pam Nichols. My mind is filled with so many new ideas to incorporate into my repertoire of creating. I forget that the learning curve can throw you for a loop big time! I expected to "get it" all right away, and when trying to implement the new techniques back at my studio, I felt a bit defeated, like I had failed. I needed to slow down and take my time with this, like it or not.

Today, I awakened with a nagging headache and the wind outside was not making using my blowtorch an easy task. That said, I was determined to resolve the piece I was working on. It was a battle I was determined to win. When I looked at the progress of the piece yesterday, I saw what I thought I might need to do to make it work. Headache or not I was determined. 

Whether the piece feels successful right now, is not the issue that I feel inspired to write about though. There is a bigger picture that I was gifted with. 

Fighting the headache and the wind, I worked on it till it felt as resolved as it could be for today, possibly finished, but time will tell. I walked away from the piece and my torch, and decided to take a stroll. I thought it would possibly clear my head a bit.

I happened upon Mrs. "B", a bit up the road on my walk. I was not up for conversation, but she is so lovely and kind, I could not possibly not engage. She began to remind me of her story, which I have heard many times. I listened as attentively as if I were hearing it for the first time. She is 93, an avid gardener, and a widow after over 60 years of marriage. She re-told me her story of the love of her life, losing him, how she tries to stay active and young through her gardening, and daily walks, and how she cherishes it when her family comes to visit. She had just returned from her high school reunion with her older sister, and was excited to share this with me!

Mrs. B also reminded me that her late husband had both his legs blown off to below the knees, walking on a landmine, as he served in WWII. She told me of their meeting in high school, her childbirths, her loss of him a few years ago, and how over 200 servicemen came to the memorial she had at her house. Her husband would water ski, garden and share their wonderful life together. Clearly, she misses him deeply.

She asked me if I liked rhubarb, since she has a bumper crop of it. Mrs. B graciously invited me to come by and cut as much as I would like. I have never used it before and only know that it can be quite sour. She enticed me though, and I am up for the challenge! Another curve, with the opportunity to learn.

Later today or tomorrow, I plan to go and harvest some rhubarb from Mrs. B's garden and see if I can create something wonderful. I know it needs a lot of sweetening, but with the right attitude, a sour vegetable, like a day with a headache and challenging art creation, can be made into something creative and palatable.
My 15 minute chat today with Mrs. B, changed my outlook on my day, put things in perspective and sweetened it up for sure. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit more sugar. I trust in this. It is all in the way you look at things, and for that I am grateful to her!  

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