This Valentine’s Day marks ten years since I first laid eyes on John Govaert.
Leaving the details aside, it was a monumental yet not altogether abnormal day…any other; but predestined.
What forces orchestrate, I ask myself looking back, the just-right circumstances that put two people in any one same place at the same time, altering life thereafter, entirely?
I believe birthdays, anniversaries, dates of importance are not there for the celebration they elicit-granted that is a good thing and humans born, anniversaries met and milestones conquered are utterly, wondrously worthy and important to revel in in our current day and age…in any day and age.
But for me these dates are most valuable in their reminding.
My own, this ten year for instance~
Ten years ago I had four boys ages 11, 13, 15, 17.
I was separated; not yet divorced.
I lived in a grand home on five acres north of Seattle, Washington.
I felt 13 again; facing a huge, marvelous, terrifying new life unfolding in front of me, yet wildly invincible and immortal. So much opportunity and whole-wide-world-opening-up was standing in front of me; I near-daily not catch my full breath for the wonder of it.
Naive. Tremendously, terrifically naive.
Don’t get me wrong; there was so much pain. So much heartache. So many tears and fits, and hands held and hearts tenderly enfolded….
yet so much naivety. I was living raw; so close to the bone; back to the self that was there before-so long before-that I was swept off my feet and into a brain-space I knew nothing of, yet existed, had rested latent, inside me for so long…
Thank God this naive was not so much so as as to be reckless; perhaps aforementioned boys, or simply the staunch, practical Catholic upbringing is to thank, but nonetheless naivety cautiously cushioned by practicality.
Then John. Not so much looking for him, or the purpose for which ‘him’ came to be, but simply sitting in that wide open space that had just opened in front of me and wondering, with wonder eyes, at all that filled it.
Ten years ago Valentine’s Day this man came into my life and drastically altered the course of every one of my days, my breaths, from that point on.
A me that was there, yet nearly unrecognizable began to reshape,
grow and live from all that was falling away from the before years of masks and costumes and all the right things, in all the right ways, with just the right portion to keep living…right.
What can be said of one person’s ability to simply be in another person’s life, and allow so much of that person, that me-ness, to be?
There is nothing like it. There are no words
It is grace.
We confirmed the crazy-trust that together our ‘next’ would be better than alone nearly 7 years ago.
I’d lie if I said it was all easy; always the right tries to poke in and stir me up to put on an old mask and behave as if…
yet it never gets in-
A gift from God for sure, that just-right person who not only stands by your side, but pushes you forward, not fearing seeing you disappear far ahead….
this person, makes a life worth living, and changes the course of time.
There is another world, and it is this one. Paul Eluard
The noisy song we make all together
this is my idea of prayer~
I can’t get all of WinterWax and the time out of my thoughts-this is not a problem, but a gift.
Merton spoke to me this morning, ‘There is living and then there is living.’
Such a simple phrase, but mighty powerful in my brain this week.
I have been experiencing mini panic attacks since WinterWax concluded. Moments that seize my brain, squish it tight, take my throat and lungs along with it and even try to grab my heart in its clenches as well.
Am I being asked to notice something, or am I weakened to not notice?!
I haven’t had this happen since my first son was born and I, in my sleep deprived state, wondered into the night at his bedside how I was ever going to go back to work and leave him! (Then there was the boarding flight to AU the first time…but I’ll leave that moment sit to the airline personnel and my wise son who so graciously helped me over that mountain…)
Just as then, I am now facing a huge life-altering state of being. I have something rich and rewarding and beautiful and fragile before me and I have to decide if I am going to pick it up, hold it close and nurse it to its full strength, or settle on doing the necessary, the daily, to just get by until I die…
It seems so easy when stated this way but it’s deeper. I wont die unsatisfied; I’ve lived rich and would continue to paint, run this castle, host workshops as I have. I would have EncaustiCamp each summer and never mind the lives of four precious gingerangas to follow and enfold myself in…
There is more.
And God help me, I keep on asking for more.
There is living, and then there is living.
And that brings me to the post title: Resonance.
It is this that happened at WinterWax, that keeps reverberating through my brain and not letting me go; a gift of remembering.
This is what was felt, perhaps what was created, at WinterWax. It is what is created each year at EncaustiCamp. It is what happens in a space where people find their people and become one unit, if not only for a short time.
We resonate. The air between us resonates. We become resonance. We carry it within, and carry it in-
and take it back out.
It is in this spirit that good things are created, and good things take on life of their own-
This resonance; whether it built as we gathered or waited in the wings already established for us to enter and it to invade, was deep and pervading and real at WinterWax. And it is still in the swoosh of its peaceful departure, resettling into the walls of this house and my mind, that I realize my anxieties.
I want more.
We, I, can not live without this melody that sings when we gather together around like minds, shared ventures, similar hoped-for’s~
There is living, and then there is living. says Merton.
So it is to this resonance, realized, still pulsating in the walls of this house and the walls of my mind, that I acknowledge, bow graciously, and let go of anxiety. I have realized from what it manifest, and turned it down to the gift it is meant to be. Spur me on, resonance, to do the more, to ask for the more, and offer it back to those who will come.
Carry what it is you are further, farther, faster, so that not only I, but all those others whomever they be, will hear the melody and come be in the presence as well~
Anything good in your past is a harbinger of what is to come in greater quantities~
This is the necessity the other side of my anxiety~
Now, if I build it, will they come? Will they really, really, really come?
In our today world this kind of support is unheard of. It has been replaced by the hard working artist; giving to their art the moments around the edges of their 9-5.
In some cases these artists get the amazing gift of an endowment, grant, or residency that affords them a little more investment in the beauty, skill and integrity that their art manifests.
In fleeting but necessary cases as well, there is the government institutions of arts support. But I must leave this for another conversation.
Art patrons are a by-gone support system that used to be a part in parcel to the bringing to life of the art, beauty, value and worth of creative endeavoring.
No longer a by-gone support system, Patreon is answering the call to the immediate and necessary need for more art and creative practice in the world.
As most of you know I have been building a place for the past two years.
It is an amazing place; some say, a magical place. In the heart of the growing NoLi district of Lexington, Kentucky our 1880 Victorian home, dubbed the EncaustiCastle, is coming to be the place for rich, rewarding, enlivening engagement in the arts. With guest instructor workshops from modes and methods far reaching the arts spectrum, to more intensive dives into the fine art of encaustic which is my passion, the EncaustiCastle holds space for them all.
This fantastic platform is affording me a way to continue to host the life-changing retreats I do here in the EncaustiCastle, but also to grow and enrich these retreats.
With investment through patron support, Patreon will open more doors, provide way for more space, and support the betterment of the space already in place that is the EncaustiCastle. In short, Patreon is my art and place-makings patron.
Just like Michelangelo, DaVinci, Rilke, this place, my space, my art, will grow and be made all the better through your support.
It is my greatest hope that you realize the value of the collaborative effort Patreon affords artist and invest in my art, my EncaustiCastle.
Not one to be still, lie down on the job or subjugate my doing in any way, I hold up my part to reach more, teach more, inspire more. With Patreon, and your coming on as patron, I am joined in force with you, to do so, more~ Join me. There are many ways in which you can.
Visit Patreon and decide how you can add value and worth to our today world~