Is it the amount of money? The number of pieces sold? How many people showed up? In my previous life as a fundraiser, these were some of the metrics I used to define the success of an event or fundraising campaign. This past week was an opportunity for me to throw that set of metrics out the window.
Success, for me, arrived in the form of my life partner bending over backwards to help make the show and reception come together, friends unable to attend sending me loving and encouraging notes, hugs and well-wished from others who don't necessarily like or understand my work but like and understand me, and joyful encounters with those who were able to stop by. You see, I learned a long time ago that my level of serenity is in direct proportion to my expectations; Serenity = Acceptance/Expectations. If my expectations are low and my level of acceptance high then I am more serene. That's the gift, the success. But it was only recently that I began to think of this as a practice. Someday I may graduate to the next level where this practice becomes a daily habit.
In the meantime, I am very grateful for the loving kindness shared along the way. Collectors Sunita, Jenna, Ron, Judy, Paul, and Sile. Cheerleaders Kitty, Pamela, Sue, April, Donna, Kathy, Cindy, and Sandy. Show venue and promoters Maple Valley Creative Arts Council and Renata. And most especially my sweetie Ike. Can’t wait to see where this all leads to next!
It’s three in the afternoon and it’s snowing outside. The kitty and I are hunkered down in front of the fireplace. Me on the recliner and she’s hiding under the rug at my feet waiting for her favorite toy to move. My eyelids are starting to get heavy so no toy for now. I want to power through this post before a power nap.
The show is hung! All the prep work done earlier this week made for a super quick installation. Twenty five new works plus five completed earlier this year are now up at Maple Valley Creative Arts Center and will be first seen by those attending this evening’s Open Mic Night.
Tomorrow’s forecast calls for warmer temperatures and rain. It will be warm and toasty at the Center tomorrow night. I hope to see you there! Can’t make it? Email me to set up a private viewing.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
6:00 to 9:00 pm
Maple Valley Creative Arts Center
Getting ready to print show labels, reminding myself to order tasty nibbles, and updating the website while epoxy on frame stock dries downstairs. After many months of working on new pieces - nearly all of which turned out to be what I had originally planned for (of course!), my first solo exhibit in decades is taking shape.
Why decades? That's a bit of a long story. In a nutshell, I traded in my passion for a 9-5 steady income. Yep. Sold my soul. My reasoning? Massive student loans to pay off, newly married and way too codependent, needed health insurance...oh so many excuses that all boiled down to FEAR. That "evil corrosive thread that runs through all things."
But the Universe has a funny way of snapping us between the eyeballs, yelling "WAKE UP!" I had to let go of the codependent, emotionally abusive relationships. I had to let go of employment as I knew it. I had to let go of being comfortable yet burned out. I had to let go of fear. And because I couldn't let go fast enough, the Universe gave me a gentle push.
In the past two years I have been given the gifts of space, resources, and time to make art. When money started to be in short supply, I was given the gift of teaching art to and amazing bunch of kids who want to learn art and an employer who is kind, thoughtful, and creative. I have so much gratitude for everyone and everything in the path that has led me to this moment in time.
And I'm very curious to see where this goes next.