Tag Archives: art

Angels in the Midst of Us

21 Jul

So yesterday I was out doing my fundraising/art thang. Yep, that’s what I call it these days. And I met this lady who was just fabulous with her long sweeping black summer dress and her dangling earrings and her huge designer looking sunglasses and her short fierce haircut…I literally approach people to present art and then I ask for donations when I’m really, really broke and desperate. Like now.  So anyhoos, I approach this fabulous looking woman and immediately as she turns around to face me I see it. She has no hand on one arm. Suddenly I feel like uber crap, like a poor, ugly, sinister artist type who’s so desperate and poverty stricken lately that she’s resorted to asking total strangers to take a look-see at her art and hey, why not give a donation to the arts–ME?

See, I have a rule: No approaching/fundraising anyone who appears to be downtrodden themselves. Read: obviously handicapped, mentally ill or elderly. And of course no children. (Even though a lot of kids convince their parents to purchase art, especially the more colorful clay pendant pieces.)

Wellll, it was far too late to turn back; I had already approached her and I didn’t want to shrink back and make her feel bad that I felt bad that I had approached someone clearly  “handicapped.” Well, let me tell you, this woman was no handicapped woman. Within minutes she was motivating me with her Tony Robbins, super positive, glass-is-half-full outlook on life. I was mesmerized by her. Mes.Mer.Rized. In the course of the conversation she informed me that she has lupus and just three years ago began losing her very hands. WOW. With my glass-is-half-empty outlook on life, I cannot imagine going through such a thing AND having such a positive attitude about it. Me, I wouldn’t even be in a fabulous floor sweeping black dress, no; I would be in frumpy clothes pissed at God that I had a disease that was literally taking my hands from me. But not her. She was an angel, pure and real. I even asked her if she was real. (We entertain angels all the time, you know.) And she laughed. “Yeah, right.”

Long story short, she told me to keep pushing, keep moving, keep tackling my goals and don’t give up, period.

It was so motivational hearing it from someone with no hands. Without hands. Someone without  hands who had fabulousness oozing from her. Her lack of hands almost became a second thought. While she was yet talking I could sense the neurons in my brain being rewired. I was truly inspired by her words, her energy, her outtake on life. Her life. It was like discovering a diamond on a bumpy path. I saw light.

I ended up giving her two gorgeous pieces of clay which she exclaimed at with excitement and genuine admiration. I told her she had blessed me with her existence. Unbeknownst to her, just that morning I was thinking of throwing in the towel. I was crying in my redundant frugal oatmeal (it took me 45 minutes to eat it between sobbing and blowing my nose on disintegrating tissues) trying to figure out how to just give up, forget about everything, the bills, the depression, the hair woes, the homelessness, the lack of stability, the being near 40-ness, the everything that hurts and then on top of that being a right-brain, hard to assimilate into a cubicle, suddenly poverty stricken, ditch digging ball of a mess. I was toying with the idea of…well…figuring out how to end the pain.

Then I met Fabulous Lupus and she shone her light on my pitiful self.

The Year I Lost My Mind

24 May

Well, actually I’ve lost it plenty of years but we’ll just talk about 2006.

I moved from home (D.C. area) to North Carolina in search of…well, in search of happiness. I always thought moving from one familiar place (read: expensive, congested, expensive) to a new, exciting place would solve all most some of my problems, quell the angst brewing in me.  North Carolina, particularly the Raleigh area, was becoming a boom place. A lot of folks were moving there and oohing and aahing over it like it was Mecca. Or Nirvana. Or the closest east coast form of heaven on Earth. So after much hestitation and analysis paralysis I jumped. I had big money saved. The house flipping craze was in full effect (there were, like, 50,000 TV flip shows airing then) and I had auspicious giddiness at making a ton of money locating shacks and turning them into–ahem–cottages. 

So I moved there after two visits where I drove through most of the state, minus the mountains. Didn’t know a soul. Got an apartment for like $650. The last time I had an apartment in D.C. costing that it was 1997, it was an efficiency with noisy neighbors and I think Clinton was president.

I sat in my empty apartment with my stuff still back in D.C. in storage.  Soon my floor looked like this:

Have you ever been so far into a thing, an idea, that you can’t pull yourself out of it even when it’s a dead-end, a closed door, a sinking ship? I had no crew. I had no carpentry skills. I had no job. I just had equity from my recently sold home and those darn flip shows playing in my head. I saw people with zilch experience flipping houses and making $25K over two months. That kind of money. I blinked dollar signs. It was my true “If you build it they will come” moment. Only problem is, I was just thinking it. There was no building, no paper signing, no “here are the keys to your–ahem-shack, Miss Artist.”

It also didn’t help that I picked up a book about Samuel Mockbee and his Rural Studio deliciousness.

2006 became 2007 and 2008 and 2009 and…Here I am still running from a return to CubicleVille. No flip having occured. No grand $25K payday in one month’s turn around. Back in D.C. Back to the beginning of me. Doing art. Struggling. Hoping. Cringing every time I think of those flip-a-house! shows.

I think I’m depressed now.


19 May

I’ll be heading back to NYC this summer to sell some art and raise some funds so that I can eventually buy The Compound.  That’s what I call my ultimate place to live and settle down: The Compound. It just sounds appropriate for someone who hates noise and neighbor drama and sharing property lines and seeing beaters sitting in nearby yards and PACK RAT thingamajiggies. This right-brain needs solace like water. I’m planning on kissing apartment life and all former vexing residential lifestyles (rented rooms,  longterm broken down Artist couch guest, mortgage terror) good-bye.

In The Compound there will be a huge gate with state-of-the-art security. There’ll be dogs (Weimeranders, Labs, miniature pinscher) for comfort and protection. There’ll be a recording studio for poetry and spontaneous combustions. There’ll be an in-house art studio. There’ll be an exercise room with a Bowflex to work off all of the starchy foods housed in my stainless steel behemoth with built-in ice maker. 

There will be bliss before I die, dang-it.