The Gifts of Kind Letters and a New Artwork

This is such an interesting image. One of the girls I gave some of my own artwork to at the craft shop rather than take it back home gave me small framed work of her own as a gift the other day. It is graphite and charcoal.  Off to the side a little girl sits in a tub of water. I think she is me. I was bathed in a galvanized tub like this when I was about her age. She stares out at the viewer and waits for someone to come back and take care of her.

Actually I just love this image. The fact that it is tones of grey and a bit blurry make it all the more mysterious. I like how she looks capable of handling her needs all by herself if someone would just give her the soap, cloth and towel. She just sits there waiting with almost the enigmatic smile of Mona Lisa.

When I photographed it to write about I noticed that my own image is superimposed over the little girl. So now I love the photo even as much as the artwork. She hangs in the hall filling a space that always bothered me between two composite drawings I did of Lee and I….our life in all the parts of importance at the time…..maybe ten years ago.

I chose to draw pictures of all the things we felt were important to our identity at the time. Here I am with all the steps of making earth pigment paints, my favorite scotch and glass that Lee made me from a wine bottle, my tai chi and yoga practice, trees, the influences of Australia, weaving, actually twining with an emphasis on shaped first letters of my family’s names, dinner parties, writing, drawing.

And Lee.

His favorite cat, Spooky, his garden, stone work around his black bamboo, bee hives, cooking eggs Benedict, building shelves where needed, making his own beer, feeding the deer, wood turning, collecting honey.

These were fun to do. A way of saying, “Here we are!” Now they say to me, “There we were.” And aren’t we lucky to have done so much, so many things that have brought us so much joy. We still have many jars of his honey stashed in the storage room that I kept forgetting to give away. The art group was the main recipient of that honey and now even they have gone….but leaving some very good memories behind.

And as to the kind letters. My Australian friends have been so wonderful taking the time to keep in touch and lift me up with kindness. I will remember their words when I next have to heft a battery charger, clean out a scuzzy pond filter, retrace Lee’s steps to find a tool or his sunglasses. Their words come at an especially needed time as so many of us have had to say goodbye to a long time friend down under.

And the emails from friends here in the States who say they think I am doing a good job dealing with the changes that Lee and I are going through. Thank you.

And Adele is right, it is hard being “it” when there is no one else to talk to.

So I just talk here. Kind people are listening.

Now back to Lee who is short of weeder eater cord by now….and a cleaned studio waiting for that collograph plate to be put together.

Til later when I have something to show for those efforts.