Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh, Fiddle Sticks!

I’m going to tell this just like it happened. There I was sitting on the back porch steps with a bowl of homemade granola heaped high with blueberries and bananas. My cats, Frizz and Stitch were sitting next to me on our mossy perch. Between bites I surveyed the yard, thinking about my heroic efforts of last week. While not Sunset magazine quality it was still better than it had been.

Yee Owwww!!! What the #*!! I turned sharply to face Stitch who had just BITTEN me on the shoulder. It wasn’t a skin piercing bite, but hard enough to get my full attention! He stared at me as though I should have understood “the look.” I stared back hard, my lips puckered into a scrunch. In disgust he stalked off sitting a few feet away with his back to me. What? I asked him petulantly.

Then deep within, like a bubble rising up in a mud pot, unbidden this question popped into my mind. Could you be happy if you never became a ‘famous’ artist? I heard myself gasp at the question. Where the heck did that come from? Without hesitation a dark cynical voice quipped back. “Well, who thought you could ever become a famous artist anyway?” I stammered, nearly cut in two. But then heard the voice of the small child within answer a tiny little “me.” I realized the young me had dreamed it. She was the one who read all the adds for the Famous Artist School and how in 6 easy lessons you too could become a Famous Artist!

Oh, how sad. Guilt washed over me. Have I let her down? Cripes… my latest project was making marks on carved sticks. "Oh, how the mighty (dreams) have fallen," I said to myself and my other selves in attendance (sister, daughter, mother, MIL, grandmother, worker, friend and wife). I explained I don’t think you become famous by carving sticks and making sharpie marks on them. We all agreed. In my own defense I said that it wasn’t that I didn’t try. “I mean,” I said in my most convincing tone, “I have given it a good go every chance I got but becoming ‘human’ seemed more important than becoming famous.” While life was molding and crafting me I drew and painted, carved and knitted, pasted, cut, and folded, stitched, wove and spun back. I shrugged my shoulders to my other selves and explained, “I guess as the years passed it was less important to become famous and more important to become real.” I finally understood how important it was to nurture the creative, spontaneous, joyful child within me. In response, little me stepped out in front of my other selves with a great big smile. She did not appear to show dismay over our current play, crafting yard waste sticks into teabag banners and relay sticks with a message. Smiling out at me, she reminded me there is still hope. After all don’t forget Grandma Moses she shouted! Oh, we all had a good giggle at that. I ask what she thought about turning some of those sticks into a book like the ancient Chinese did? But with a turn she was gone. Last seen chasing the cat.