Certainly there are epiphanies to be experienced and gifts to be received in this very curious, often confusing time we are all experiencing together in our hometown, in our country and with all our global neighbors. If only we can remain open and expectant and eager to receive, the epiphanies and the gifts are surely ready to arrive.
I find that practicing the Art of Celebrating speeds up my receiving, and so I am trying to pay attention and recognize how each new day brings opportunities for celebration.
I suppose celebrating is rather like counting your blessings. I am! They are many!
By phone I reach out to another special friend, when I am trying to process challenging concerns—concerns I just cannot seem to sort out, because I have tried too long and too hard on my own and my mind is stuck in a spin cycle. She is a skilled, intelligent listener. She is always honest and kind with her feedback. I trust her. I value her. She has the analytical mind of an engineer and the grounded reality of a gifted master gardener.
First by text messaging we set a time when my go-to friend will be in a listening/weeding mode. (She is diligently using this sheltering time to weed, weed and weed an extensive plot in preparation for her large organic summer garden.)
We connect. I talk and talk and talk. My friend listens and weeds: she gives me plenty of spacious time to speak and hear myself as she bears witness to my distress. She asks a few clarifying questions then tells me what she hears me saying. She shares what she has learned from her own experiences. She tells me she cares—that she is always here for me, as she knows I am for her.
I celebrate my weeding/listening/caring friend and the epiphanies that come as gifts with her willingness to companion me. Her friendship is a tremendous blessing!
Causes for celebrations are coming by mail, too, like the generous “stimulus checks” to use as we choose. These are amazing blessings. I am grateful.
Our marvelous, magical technological age brings digital blessings every day. My alma mater, affectionately known by many as the “little Harvard of the South”, recently emailed an announcement of the opening of the Windgate Museum of Art at Hendrix College. Included was an invitation for me as an artist to exhibit in the inaugural exhibition, "Be Hendrix!".
The exhibition’s thesis “is that the Hendrix diaspora reflects a rich and diverse commitment to the visual arts. "Be Hendrix!" honors the power of art to transform the lives of past, current, and future generations…” I am celebrating having my intimate, multi-media photo/painting, "Give Happiness…and you will end up happy", selected for inclusion in the Windgate’s inaugural exhibition.
I am also celebrating our capabilities for easy online communications with virtual audio/visual conferencing. Already I have participated in a Virtual Carthage broadcast created by media guru and artCentral board member Wendi Douglas in partnership with David Hoover of the Carthage Press. I was honored to share the screen with three gifted artCentral member artists—Brenda Hays, Helen Kunze and Koral Martin. I spoke of how my husband David and I are using our sheltering time to make our own art, and I told how artCentral is supporting art and artists during the pandemic.
Especially meaningful to me on my celebration list is the first virtual artCentral Board of Directors meeting via the Zoom app, set up by Wendi Douglas and presided over by Betsy Flanigan, president. All board members were present: Jane Ballard, Jackie Boyer, Maddie Capps, Betsy, Wendi, Doug Osborn, Jason Shelfer and Kerry Sturgis. What a joy to see all our faces on the same screen, while artCentral is temporarily closed through July, and we are unable to gather together. We had a good time perfecting our Zoom skills as we got down to the serious business of shepherding artCentral through the pandemic doing our very best to support and promote art and artists by celebrating them at every opportunity.
Please everyone, use this sheltering time to practice your own Art of Celebrating while you…Stay home! Stay safe! Save lives! And help flatten the curve!