Jun 29, 2011

Did I waste it? Not so much I couldn't taste it, Life should be fragrant, Roof top to the basement

This is the sight that made me cry at AshLees wedding. AshLee dancing with her dad to U2s Kite. I recognized the song and watched her tuck her head into his chest and all of a sudden the tears were streaming gently down my face.

I havent shared here about the events that brought about such huge changes to my life 4.5 years ago. Its not that its a big secret, Ive shared my story with both friends and strangers when the moment seemed right. I guess the moment just hasnt ever seemed right here. This is a place where I share my art and creativity and the things that bring me joy. And while Ive found tremendous creativity and joy since the end of my marriage, the fact, and the story of that end are very painful for me.

We met as 18 year old college students. Neither one of us planned to meet the person we would marry at 18, but we agreed that you dont pass up something special just because it doesnt happen like you planned. We married at 25, by which time I was overjoyed to officially become AshLees stepmom, a role I had already embraced. Although I worked and was involved in various activities, my focus was on building a family and a home with them. It wasnt perfect, but I felt like we trusted and understood each other. We were best friends. He told me I was his best friend on the day he told me he didnt want to be married to me anymore. He moved out a week later and proceeded to cut me out of his life as much as possible. I think it was easier for him that way. He did say that his leaving should not affect my relationship with AshLee and Ive been blessed to retain the close bond she and I have.

Needless to say, I was devastated. My entire world had been yanked out from under me. It didnt help that I lost a job that I loved 2 months later. But I held my head up and learned that pain can be very clarifying. The stupid things I used to worry about melted away. I relaxed. And I began dreaming about how I wanted to live the rest of my life and I went to work to make those dreams happen.

4.5 years later, Im at peace with the end of my marriage. I have a happy, fulfilling life that I love. But I was still rather apprehensive about Ashs wedding. Would I really have a role as part of her family or would I be a fifth wheel bumping along rather uncomfortably? As it turned out, everyone involved welcomed and included me as part of the big crazy family of people who love this amazing girl.

And when she danced with her dad, to a song that holds deep meaning and connection to the two of them, I thought about that connection, and the family life and jokes and traditions and quirks the three of us shared, and I cried tears of joy. Joy that our time together had happened and that I got to be a part of it.

And so now, it finally feels right to tell this story here in this place where I document happy things in my life. Now Ive found joy in this story, all that much sweeter for having survived the pain.

And yet I'm still a little bit terrified to publish this post. To lay myself open in this way. But, with some encouragement from the lovely Liv Lane, I'm working at being more open and authentic. And honestly? This story is such a huge part of who I am today, such a huge catalyst for the creativity and joy I now fill my life with, that it just doesn't seem right to hold it back any longer.

*The title of this post is a lyric from the song Kite by U2.

Jun 22, 2011

She quilts!

It's true! I am a quilter! Much as I love to paint and make jewelry and journal, and and and, quilting is my first love. I love the colors and textures. And there's something about sitting down to stitch that calms and comforts me like nothing else can.

Blossom 20" by 20"

This is a piece that I hand dyed. I quilted/embroidered it with perle cotton. I'm really loving using embroidery as the quilting, combining two things I love to do. You can see this piece up close and personal at the North Idaho Quilters show this Friday and Saturday at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d' Alene.

Jun 18, 2011

True beauty

This is me today. The real me, as I am. With the ten extra pounds and the wrinkles and the pimples on the same face. With the messy house, the weeds in the yard and that darn double chin. The girl who turned the wrong way this morning on the way to the hairdresser I've been going to since I was 16. And the truth is, none of that matters.

What matters is that today my sweet beautiful AshLee will marry her sweet beautiful Ben. And we will all gather together, her crazy hodgepodge of a family, to share our joy for them as they set out on the life they've chosen to share. We will come as we are, beautiful in our imperfection, transformed by our shared love for these two. And that is the most beautiful thing I can imagine.

Jun 7, 2011

some new paintings

Pistol and I have been spending tons of time out here lately, but I did finally get back to painting and finished up these three little angels.

I think this little blond girl is my favorite. I figured out how to mix this nice blond hair color by accident in Sunny Carvalho's class at ArtFest.

These three are a series I painted as a commission for my friend Lynn.

It felt good to paint again. Need to make more time for that...