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My Constant Companion

Still in the process on the window projects. They are both turning into another of those pieces that I put far too much into with no hope of ever selling them and paying myself anything for my time.

I decided tonight to return to doing a little fine art for a project to post. A solitary figure in watercolor based on a rather out of focus photo of my son Brian’s performance as the town drunk in a high school production of “Our Time”. I think I was inspired by a conversation that Dan and I had earlier this evening. We talked about ourselves now that we are officially “empty nesters”, and are now alone. I had been talking to my Dad. He is eighty-one and living in an independent living home. It has been nearly seven years since my Mom died, and in those seven years my Dad has been desperately lonely. He made a few half-hearted attempts at seeing other women, but it never felt right to him. I call him every night, and have done so for the last seven years. I hate the idea of his loneliness. He is in Chicago and I am in California, the phone calls are the best way I can help him. He has often said that for him loneliness is the worst disease a person can have. I have to agree. I have spent a great deal of time alone in my life. The difference in my Dad and myself is that while he is a very social person, I am the opposite. I am a very solitary person, someone who enjoys quiet, and doesn’t mind being alone. I have always said that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. The truth is that I’m never really alone, I always have one companion, my art. I quit work twenty-four years ago to stay home and raise my children, and yes there have been times when I’ve been very, very lonely, but my salvation has always been my creativity. Without art, without creative expression, I think I might have lost my mind. I never really worked on my art, on the kind of art I wanted to do, but I used the gifts I have to do things for my children, to design my home, and to do the occasional craft show to contribute to our holiday spending. I’ll never regret spending the time with my kids (who are by the way, two pretty spectacular human beings), I do regret not giving myself a little love and attention along the way. I will always be grateful for the lifeline that kept me sane, gave me personal moments of joy, and I think gave my kids a rather special childhood. Art and creativity is so much a part of who I am, it’s been my place to hide, my place to express happiness, and my best friend when I had no friends. Now as I near the end of this year-long project I realize that I need to work a little harder to honor my companion, my talent, and continue to push myself to go far beyond this year, to realize my potential while I still can.2 17 14

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