Tuesday, July 4, 2017

About the Odds

What are the odds that a 50’s Texas female would manage to create an art-life of 40 years, one that included the conventional markers, teaching, marriage, suburbia, children, illness, divorce, and some not so usual, a yearning to be an artist, a hopeful confidence-boosting beginning, a move to and continual pursuit of beauty in a beautiful state, daily decisions directed to following the art-path, with a like-wise, fully committed artist/partner.  He’s moved on now, but with July bringing a significant birthday marker this year, 75, it’s time to look at those odds from another perspective. 
Offerings to the Gods: Gratitude   36x48 Acrylic on Canvas
Many of you reading this met me in the last 12 years in downtown Santa Fe at an outdoor art show, or here in my home on an art tour.  When I showed with galleries, this happened rarely. We  began a conversation because you liked some aspect of what I was doing either with sculpture, or with painting. I learned enough about you to discover some of our commonality, and to maintain a positive view that we’ll emerge successfully from the challenging events of the present. My current commitment to presenting my work in these  more personal settings I attribute to you!  

In just the  past few weeks, I have had wonderful exchanges, one, with a Christian author who has written extensively about education, right vocation, moral behavior and most recently published Healing the Heart of Democracy, about what we can do as individuals, currently.  

 Last Saturday, I met two beautiful young African women, a Nigerian, and a South Sudanese, in Albuquerque for two weeks for a leadership conference, working back home in programs developing financial self-reliance with hands-on training and micro-financing, for the women of their countries . They themselves were part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders started in 2014 by the Obama administration.   

Two more favorites are two water engineers working in waste-water management who have created and are marketing an iPad application enabling a more efficient and cost-effective communication structure for building and improving  such facilities, for cities.  

I won’t go on and on, because there are many, but finally, a very creative woman my age, who has become a dear friend, and who is herself a fine example of how to live in the world as a successful business woman/clear thinker/contributor.  She gives back both financially, and personally, particularly to foundations that have impact specifically, non-governmentally, in other countries.  Her pet is an organization that sorts and repackages medical supplies, shipping them to clinics and hospitals in third world countries. She spends a day each week in a warehouse in her city, sorting and packaging. 

I would bet that many of you do similar things that I just didn’t have the good fortune or time to learn about when we briefly met. 

The thread I am seeing here is individual effort that impacts others both one-to-one, and one-to-many, in a meaningful way for the short time we have here on the planet. My part is that somehow, something I do in my work touches in a way that creates a dialogue. What are the odds of that? 
Offerings to the Gods:Now is the Time 16x16 Ac/Board


I sent an e-mail newsletter to many of these people just this week about the odds of my success in the brave new on-line world, and how I intend to approach it, which you can find here.  I am grateful to be here, in this place, at this time, as me, with you, on this particular 4th of July. As I said to the amazing young African women in my booth on Saturday, I think of it often and am most grateful to be a woman born in this country, at this time, despite the current climate.  In a future post, I’ll share my sense of Parker Palmer's Healing the Heart of Democracy, which I’m downloading today.  Thank you, Amazon (and isn’t that process amazing!) 

I’m meaning to replace my over-used “amazing” with “superlative”, sound good? 

In gratitude,
Marianne

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