I'll begin this post with a description of my afternoon yesterday. Completely worn and spent from the last few days, I had cajoled my friends to going to a tea bar called Remedy. A super-fantastic alum had taken me there a few weeks ago as a thank you, so I was anxious to try it out again.
On the way there they started to tell me their ghost stories... as I have requested you all to do (a-hem, a-HEM!). They were good. I'm mentioning it here in hopes they'll post them for you.
Hey Craig Peppers... I was telling them about your talking to God story from when you were little... can I tell it here? Or will you?
Brief review of Remedy: great place, super tea, lovely cupcakes, not super expensive, nor super crowded. I recommend taking 3 close friends and splitting 2 cupcakes while laughing until you cry... or laughing until you do the choke-cough-thing that ultimately makes you cry.
I have a lot of stories. The one I choose to tell them yesterday was about one day I was in the studio with Martha. She and I had been alone all day and talking about all kinds of interesting things (as we always do). I was in my usual garb: dirty apron, hair up, gloves, covered in dust and mortar. I went to the bathroom and in glancing in the mirror I felt transported - or maybe transformed is a better word - into someone else. The woman also had an apron on and had curly hair piled on her head. I felt a rush of approval for the work I was doing, a sort of other worldly affirmation of my often uncertain choice to leave the Smithsonian to pursue studio work. In one instant it was gone - and I was back to me, back to the little bathroom, back into my body. I told Martha about it right away and she was amazingly receptive. I tearily confided in her that I knew who it was. It was my great-grandmother, a woman I've never met, but that I know wore an apron everyday, since she owned a small shop.
Later that same year, Craig made me a painting that I feel reinforced the idea. It had railroad tracks and artist's that I love on it. He wanted to convey to me that all the suffering that my family and I have been through has brought me to this point. The hardship was borne to allow me to be here as the person I am today: an artist, a friend, and someone that is committed to the betterment of myself and the world around me. He wanted to ensure I didn't take it for granted.
And I don't.
I guess I'm not really in that place right now. I don't wear an apron very often, but I LOVE that feeling of serving people. I am doing a lot of that, but I guess we could always be doing more. As I reevaluate things in the next year, I guess I should remember that feeling and see if I can identify a way to incorporate that into my life, while maintaining the morsels of security that I've become quite fond of.