Oh dear Reader, where do I even start?
I am sure other authors would just say things like “I’ve been really busy!” and “The book is going great!”. I am sure there are some crazy ‘thou shalt not say anything’ laws for authors I am violating by talking about reality. Honestly? My life has been a soap opera for the last two months where I am (for the most part) just the witness to everyone else’ crisis.
For instance I learned the real difference between a peace bond (yes, you can go to jail if you violate it) and a restraining order (oh, they just call the police if you show up threatening to kill someone but you are just warned by them–trust me, reader, when in doubt, go with the peace bond). It has been overwhelming and not in a good way. There have been politics at school, politics at home and politics at church and I’ve been writing politics in the manuscript.
Maybe the experience has been useful. Maybe not.
A couple of weeks ago my husband’s elderly aunt fell. After five days of pain she was finally admitted to the hospital with ‘ambulatory cervical fractures’ after an MRI revealed she had compound fractures of C1. She was still walking and talking and feeding herself, dear Reader. Unfortunately the bone fragments shifted and by the end of the week she was non-responsive and medicated for end of life care. It was a blessing that it was fast and painful at the same time. Life is short. We had celebrations and music and sorrow. She gave me the ability to laugh and the willingness to sing when watching her leave this life made me want to cry.
But the thing that makes me most want to cry, dear Reader, is that she chose to live a life where everyone else was more important than her own gift of Art. She was a gifted artist. Her paintings made others feel joy. But in her twenties she was a good girl and she gave up her own dreams to support the lives of her family. And the bottom line, dear Readers, is that when you give up your dream it is super hard to crawl out of the hole and get it back. I have paintings and drawing she did, but the honest truth is that she never did. She never did Art the way her gift should have opened doors. There isn’t a magic formula but there is the real gift of art. That gift matters.
So today I raise a glass to my husband’s aunt.
May the fire of Art burn bright enough to let you break free of the chains of duty. May your gift become your calling into the world.