Thursday, January 05, 2006
Each year, I attend a fundraiser called Artist's Against Aids. Painters, weavers, jewelers, sculptures, and other artists submit their works, and donate a percentage of the sales to the cause.
Last year, there was a piece at the fundraiser that I LOVED. I am not a frivolous shopper, and am willing to let my house sit stark until something really grabs me, even if it takes years. I'd rather have nothing than something I don't want, and I can wait it out.
That evening, I came back to this piece, an abstract, of oil pastels, time and again. I met and complimented the starving artist that created the painting. "How much is it worth to you?" he asked me. I told him I'd sleep on it.
Despite returning 2 more days of the show to look at it, in the end, I just didn't feel like I could afford it...the price was more than the lawnmower I needed to buy. Priorities. Rats.
Ahh... That painting, that one that got away...
...That painting came back into my life last night.
When I look back now, I feel like I must have stumbled on a magic lamp, and wish after wish is mine to be had.
I see now, that the ball started rolling almost immediately toward where I am today. Shortly after that show, my friend Ilaiy introduced me to a "very nice couple" he'd met at the coffee shop, Marcy and Mike. My first impression of them was that they were stunning and sophisticated. Well, they were all that AND wacky and fun as hell, and loving and loyal friends. How we managed to filter out those that were too weird, and those not weird enough, and settle on each other, PerfectWeird, is beyond me. Lucky us, I say!
This summer, I also "met" Melissa. Actually, I'd been acquainted with her for several years, we "share" a best friend, Lori, now living in Los Angeles. Melissa recently divorced, and Lori gave us a call, alllllll the way from California, and said, "why don't you two get the hell out of your respective houses and go drink some damned beers, and bat your eyes at some boys?" We did, and we have done nothing but laugh since then.... She is adventurous and decisive, and her inner strength inspires me. We have incorporated "WWMD?" into our vocabulary, when we can't make up our minds. (Actually, it's "WFMD?")
Sometime later, Marcy and Mike introduced me to a colorful new character that had joined the coffee table. Bizarre. Energetic. Challenging. Did "we" like him? The jury was cautious for a minute there. It turned out, that we did indeed like one Mr. Atef Ayadi, a crazy Tunisian with a degree in physics, but a desire to live off of his art. Atef, who claims he has not a brain, but a blue-eyed frog in his head, and that he thinks with his toes. Atef, also a loyal and loving friend, with a desire to protect all of us.
And Atef: The starving artist that I complimented at last years' Artist Against Aids fundraiser.
He showed up last night to share pizza and pool with all of us, including my son and a friend. And he brought to me, The Painting. It was my birthday gift from him.
How can this painting be in my life by coincidence? Yes, I feel like I've had a wish granted. Only my wish was granted with a stipulation that I follow a destined path for one year, one that would take me through a labyrinth filled with fierce friends, laughter, protection, loyalty, support, motivation, and encouragement. Then I get my wish.
And the painting is here now. And I'm going to hang it right over there, and let it represent the transitions of the last year, the friends I've made, and the paths we are to follow in the next year.
I will hang it there, and let it be, and if there are magic wishes left in it, they are yours for the taking.