Thursday, November 28, 2013

In Love with Stories!

It is Thanksgiving day, and almost every blog I read today and yesterday is some one's list of what they are thankful for. It's getting to be a bit much. So, as some one who is thankful EVERY day, for so much! I won't bore you with my list.

Although, something happened yesterday that really blessed me.

I am showing about 60 of my paintings on silk and watercolors at the Vashon Community Care Center through January 30, 2014.

Looking at the World Through a Heart Shaped Hole
Yesterday I went in to hang a painting in the staff room. After all, the staff need cheering, too. Pam was pushing Kate down the hall in her wheel chair, and we stopped to chat. I think Kate may have had a stroke since I saw her last, as she was barely able to mumble, and her words were hard to understand. Some how, she was able to tell us that she loves one painting in particular. Pam wheeled her down the hall, until she indicated the piece I call "Looking at the World through a Heart Shaped Hole."

I told Kate the story, that this painting is about looking at the world through love, and that makes the world so beautiful! Kate just glowed as I told her!

Love Birds
Shiwa had been turned into a bird, and his beloved, 
Humei, was no where to be found. Finally he heard her
singing. She had been buried in the mountain.  Shiwa dug 
until he opened a hole big enough to go through--and there 
was Humei! She turned into a bird as well, and they flew
happily off, free!
And it gets even better.

On the way home, I stopped for tea at the Vashon Tea Shop. I mentioned to Boo, the proprietor, that I have a show of my paintings at the Care Center. "Oh, you are the artist!" exclaimed a young woman at the next table. "I LOVE those paintings!"

She went on to tell us she has been walking with her 94 year old grandmother down the halls of the Care Center. "My grandma stops at every painting and shows me the details she loves. When we walk by again, she stops and points out different details!"

And that's why I show my work.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Telling our Stories

Building Community through Stories
November 15th
7:00 PM
Vashon Community Care Center
15333 Vashon Hiway SW
Vashon, Wa 98070

Sail Away and over 50 other paintings
 will be on dispay at Vashon Community Care Center
November - December 2013
Sail Away 
The current runs swiftly through Dodd Narrows in Canada, changing direction with the tide. To get through on a small sailboat, one needs to wait for slack tide, when the tidal current is quiet before it changes direction. Coming into the Narrows, one cannot see what is on the other side. Major changes in life are like that: one needs to choose one's timing carefully, then proceed with faith that there is something good on the other side.

Getting married at age 66 is like that.

Stories connect us. When we know some one's story, that person becomes more than an aquaintance. We have more compassion for our neighbors and feel less alone. We are more able to meet each other's needs and our own needs are more easily met. When we tell each other our stories we are building community.

Paintings tell stories. I tell my stories on silk, in vibrant colors.  My silk paintings (now showing at Vashon Community Care Center) tell stories from China, stories from friends, and some of my own stories. The paintings will be on display November through December.

On November 15th at 7pm, I will be telling the stories in some of my paintings at Vashon Community Care Center, to celebrate a show of more than 50 of my paintings on silk hanging on the walls there. I will show slides of my paintings and will invite the audience to share short stories of their own experiences and memories which the paintings might bring up.

To tell our own stories—takes courage. Will we be judged? Will our friends cease to be friendly? And yet, we need to be heard. We need understanding, to be known by those who care about us.  Will you join me at the Vashon Community Care Center to hear some stories, and perhaps share some of your own? Or share your stories here on my stories page?

Golden Pathway

We had been sailing together on the boat Sea Change, in the Gulf Islands in July. The weather was perfect; sun for warmth but not too warm, wind for sailing but not too much wind. We had been married seven years, and were still very much in love. Life was perfect. We did not know this would be our last sailing trip together. Bob was diagnosed with lung cancer that winter and died the following July.

This painting has come to mean being someplace I love, being with one I love and being loved, and doing just the right thing in the world.