I learned something exquisite: it does matter to me where my works go. Knowing they're in a good place is such a relief! Maybe it's like visiting your kid at college, checking out the dorm, the bunkmates, the boyfriend, seeing that she's eating enough, and finding out that it's all really going great for her. You can go home to the quiet that still seems surreal and have some sweet relief.
The Buddah-Wanna-Be who lives in my belly mutters tones of acceptance and peace like a monk leading a retreat, but believe you me, there's plenty of other voices, sometimes quiet sometimes loud: a strident protestor; a sad miser with a hungry dog at her feet. They sit on the temple steps waving their posters or approach visitors with their clipboards:
What are the chances her work ends up in the dumpster during a remodel? If you could go back and make that financial choice again would you: a) take a trip to Pittsburg this winter; b) choose to go to Disneyland; or c) have three great sessions with your therapist? Or, where would you most like to see this work: at PG&E headquarter's lobby or as playing cards?
A couple weeks ago I received a text from sweet friends who sent a photo of two of my works propped casually on the gallery floor with this precious title: these are all ours! xoxoxo. The instant I read that my whole being lifted in joy. It really did.
For longer I've know that a few pieces are going to other friends' homes: two are full of children and their morning scrabbles and evening snuggles; other homes are quiet, including one that holds two of the most accepting, wise, and curious people I know. These purchases were more foreshadowed, and also the presence of commissioned pieces are loitering. While very gratified, when I stare at a blank panel with full consideration of the homes and lives of the people for whom I work, my efforts take on an intensified determination: oh please, let this be my offering that adds meaning to their lives.
However swiftly they happen, the moves of my works into these loved ones' homes comes with peace and certain joy for me. I find myself imagining what the paintings will be experiencing and feel blessed that there is a piece of me that will share in that: my toes stand in the tide as waves of love roll off these people's hugs at their doors; when they speak kindly to one another, certainly the warmth will radiate into my corner; when a child laughs with surprise or when guests listen with rapt curiosity, I too share in the energetic gusts. A piece of me will bear it when tears and rage fly. I'll be collecting the dust as their skins wear off in the day to day bustle of life. What better place to let pieces of myself live, than in the midst of these people who I love? To know where some of myself IS does matter.
The rest I have to let go. Like a farewell blessing for my college kid who's set on globe-trotting- maybe I should kiss each piece when it leaves my garage. Maybe I'll get a postcard, maybe not. Maybe she'll call at Christmas. I pray he doesn't get hurt. I pray that someone loves them and they feel loved.