I envy artists I know, they always seem to have something up their sleeve. Call it creative genius if you like. Mostly it befuddles me, although I’ve grown to appreciate art more as I grow older. Heck, I’ve even developed an appreciation for some ‘modern’ art, whatever that is…even sculpture.
Long ago, when I was an undergraduate, I got an A for a paper I wrote about one of Van Gogh’s paintings. The professor told me I should major in art history, but being pragmatic, I stuck to coursework I thought would offer employment. I don’t think I made a mistake, because I discovered later that to break into the field and actually work for a museum or gallery, you must “know” someone. The closest I came was volunteer work locally.
A puddle of rain water near the front step
My mother, who dreamed of becoming a poet when she was younger, once wrote a poem about a puddle of rain water. Where I find puddles wet, she found them mysterious When I went through her papers after she died at age 56, I discovered many things along with the poem:
1/ carbon copies of letters to movie stars, some with return letters and photos;
2/ letters to the local police chief explaining her movements (the police brought her home when she rambled off);
3/ copies of letters to her brothers to whom she expressed the fear my Dad was trying to kill her;
4/ rejection letters for unpublished stories;
5/ copies of letters to various editors complaining about one political issue or another, some attached to clippings containing the printed letters.
Written when she was a teen, Mom kept her childhood poem for 40 years through dozens of moves around the US. The closest she got to becoming a poet was to write pulp fiction on an old Royal typewriter, under an assumed name.
Because the puddle poem reminded me of the sadness and frustration of her life, lived with a dictatorial husband, before women believed they had choices, it made me sad.
Shortly after my Mom died, I divorced my first husband. Clearing out the house, in my grief, I tossed the poem out with many other papers, much to the chagrin of one of my aunts who read mom’s last story and “thought it a gem.”
Hold onto dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged butterfly that cannot fly. anon.