Wednesday, November 11, 2015

the question

"What do you want?"

The question was asked as I bit into my sandwich. I stiffened. I chewed awkwardly, reaching for my napkin, knowing I was getting mayo all over the corners of my mouth.

"What do you want?" He looked at me.

Why was I nervous all of a sudden? He was calm. I wasn't. Why? I knew the answer...but no one had ever asked me the question before. Who was this guy, really? A businessman? A consultant? A genie? A friend? What came out of my mouth surprised me: the answer, wrapped in excuses, doubts, "realistic" alternatives. Like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story" when the department store Santa posed his question, I was blowing it, blowing it. I stammered. Why was it so hard for me to verbalize? I was so used to years of being dismissed, of being told "yeah, but," or "it just doesn't work that way," or "too bad it's not practical." I found myself bracing for that familiar figurative slap. I looked at him. He waited. Something in his eyes told me that slap wouldn't be making an appearance. I took a deep breath. The real answer came out...and then, we were off and running.

There is a new moon today. They say that the new moon is a good time for putting your intentions out into the world. They also say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Allow me to squeak for a moment. If you've been reading my blog, you already know that I am an artist; you also know that I've been inspired by my recent surprise trip to San Francisco and the beautiful public art all around that magical city. You might even recall that people have said my artwork makes them smile- it makes them happy, it makes them feel good, it gives their spirits a lift. How do I combine all of these elements and *gasp!* manage to make a living doing it? How do I sell my work without selling my soul? How do I make a positive impact in my community and get paid at the same time? I suppose the first step is asking the, I'm asking. Where is the need? What are the possibilities? Here's a thought: I had a show at the Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Lewiston a few years ago, and it was incredibly gratifying...are there any hospitals/clinics/hospice houses/etc. out there who might be interested in purchasing uplifting artwork for their waiting rooms/lobbies/consultation rooms? Brainstorming can be very powerful. Anyone out there have a constructive suggestion they'd like to share with me? I would love to hear what you have to say!

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