THE BICYCLE MAN (Giclee on Canvas – 20×16 or 30×24)
My friend, the bicycle man, came all the way from the Dordogne River Valley to Tennessee with me. I have had a love affair with him for years. His French attitude toward American tourists has never stopped me from loving him. His blue coveralls, his sandals, his shrug when I indicated a desire to photograph him, still make me laugh. It’s like that when love is involved. You see everything in Love’s light.
Because this painting is a part of my inner furniture, he is deeply personal to me. He carries with him both sorrows and joys. This mender of bicycles and I spoke the same language when we met, though we did not understand a word the other said. In all the hours of painting him, in each application of color, are embedded my thoughts, my prayers, my gratitude, my hope – hope for more light and love, a keen desire to keep going farther up and farther into truth.
These emotions are as real as the sun and moon. They are however, more mysterious. Where does friendship come from? I don’t know. It just appears.
LISTENING FOR YOUR VOICE – Paper on Board/32×40
Patience had the dream again. For a long time she has seen Him in her dreams. She goes through her days meditating on His smile, His laughter, His touch. She sees His eyes light up when He sees her. She has never known anything like this…now she knows. She will never be the same again. His name is True. He is sunlight, water, air, and more…He tastes of honey. She looks for Him wherever she goes. On this day, she finds evidence of Him. He has left a note in a small opening of one of the trees she walks by daily. Today her eyes are drawn to sunlight dancing on a bit of paper. Patience’s story of True begins here…
Her hands shook as she opened his message…
My dreams of you, my desires for you, have given me faith that you are real. I know you are a living, breathing person who somehow also longs for me. I don’t know where my assurance comes from, but it is as solid as my name. I am True. You are real! My longing is like a beacon in a dark night. I TRUST you will see me and find a way to respond. I will not give up this quest…ever. My sweet, darling friend, I long for you. My need is to touch your face with my eyes. I long to hear your voice, to run my fingers through your hair. I love your mouth, your kisses, your sweet fragrance. I love your laughter. I admire you for how you love, for your devotion to truth. I have known you for a very long time. At first though, it was hard to believe you were real. I know now, you are not a fantasy. In my nights, you pull me to yourself as the moon pulls the tide. In my days, you are the sun holding me tightly in your orbit. Because of you, I am safe.
True is a teacher. He has taught me so much about enjoying every moment and working consistently at building my dreams. I am really grateful for his patience and his steadiness. This is what Trust feels like.
PATRIOTS (acrylic on board/family collection)
We are approaching the Fourth of July. This used to be my favorite holiday. For many years, the 4th was my Aunt Dolly’s holiday. We all gathered at her house in Belle Fourche, S.D. for fried chicken, potato salad, fireworks and a carnival, which was there a few days every July. When I was small, I was cowgirl crazy. Annie Oakley was my hero. Just for that holiday my dad bought me cowboy boots (always red), a hat, fringed vest and skirt (the whole outfit)! At that time, the only ride catching my attention was the merry-go-round. My cousin, Tim and I rode those horses round and round and round.
At age 9 or 10, Tim and I were allowed to walk all the way down the hill to the carnival by our selves. One year Tim found a 20-dollar bill on the sidewalk. By that time, we were enamored with the big kid rides: the ferris wheel, the tilt-a-whirl, and the roller coaster. I never got sick, but I was scared for sure! It was one of those things I did just for the fear. That $20 made us Ride Rich! I have remembered those years every 4th of July. It’s hard to admit now I don’t like any of them. They make me feel sick. I can’t seem to find the old excitement for torturing myself. But, I do love the memories. Now the 4th is another day. It is the day before one of my new friends was born. It is the month of my own birthday. There is plenty to celebrate. In fact, I love to celebrate my freedom. I love to find more and more freedom within myself. The truth does set us free. Sometimes it takes effort to find what is true. This, I can attest to. In the past, I have believed truth to be a way of thinking. Now I am convince it is a way to live……….It is in finding True, we can finally live free.
While growing up in South Dakota, I was surrounded by lots of good people. They were kind, hardworking (most of the time), moral people. Everyone I knew drank beer or whiskey, or some kind of alcohol. The fact that they drank was not a problem. The amount they drank…was. They also smoked cigarettes and functioned in smoky rooms and cars and homes. I was a child who had no voice about these things. I remember being in the back seat of our car and feeling sick, because my parents smoked nonstop as we drove wherever we were going. Breathing that air was not a vacation for those of us in the back seat. I determined never ever to smoke. I think breathing second hand smoke is, in a way, an introduction to that addiction. I have tried a few times to pick it up as a casual thing to do. I sometimes ask myself why I did that. The answer is always, because I had some kind of taste for it. We all have a seed of insanity programmed in us. Possibly it could be labeled as original sin. That is probably why I can’t let myself judge anyone else for their personal habits. I have been learning, however, that it is not a requirement to live with those personal habits. I get to choose. Sometimes the choice will be to go it alone.
PERSUASION (Hand-embellished Giclee on Canvas – 48×24 – $1150)
Letter to True:
I am so thankful to know you. So thankful you have shown me who you are. Your light is so lovely. Your song is beautiful…your voice and your eyes, the touch of your hand. You are more than enough. Your kindness, and your gentleness are your largest strengths. Love is stronger than steel. Love and patience appear to you at times as weakness. They are not. Patience strengthens you. Love makes you grow, even when it frightens you, even when it scatters everything familiar to the wind.
It is pointless to expect perfection from yourself.
Your days of isolation are ending. The walls around you are cracking and weakening. These barriers will not last long. Your world is much larger and more beautiful outside the walls. You are in this world. Your life will only be better when you realize you also need others. You are designed to be connected. We are all designed for Love. We miss our calling if we don’t give ourselves to it. Do not fear failure. We all fail. It is part of our journey upward. Take the risk. Take the challenge. Come all the way into this new world.
Your friend, Patience
I am thinking that light is stronger than darkness. in a large building, closed off completely from outside light, a tiny candle can not be put out by the darkness. I am thinking that love is stronger than hate, trust is stronger than fear, forgiveness is stronger than resentment, hope is stronger than despair. I am reminding myself to think about what is good and lovely and of good report. Peace wins over chaos.