THERE IS ONLY CHANGE
Embellished with script, one of my paintings, reads, “There is only change, resistance to change and then more change.”
My husband, David, and I, both artists, love making changes as we co-create our new life together. Whether focusing on the creation of our art-filled home and gardens or collaborating on a shared painting that moves back and forth between our across-the-hall-studios, we are daily dancing with change in all we do.
“There is only change, resistance to change and then more change.” Our openness to receive inspiration and release any resistance constantly brings pleasing, poignant newness and satisfaction to us.
Soon after settling on our new last name, while visiting Aunt LaVerne, David’s only living relative in his father’s family, she reminds us of David’s heritage. As many of you know, David never had the opportunity to know most of his paternal lineage and their history. Just two months before David’s birth, his father perished in an accident.
Wally Matthews, a jeweler, survived active duty and returned unscathed from two wars. Taking a day off from his jewelry shop, he drove a truck to move a piano for a friend. Traveling near Joplin, the truck’s blow-out sent the piano laden vehicle over a bridge. Mid-morning on July 6, 1951, Wally Matthews was lost to his wife and their two young daughters and the son he never knew.
Aunt LaVerne recounts this story and reaching further into history, tells David and me of his father’s ancestors who arrived in this country bearing their ancient, French-Austrian surname, Mathé. As with so many immigrants, the family name was Anglicized, first to Mattey and then Matthews, which was passed to David’s father and then David.
The name of Mathé and David’s French-Austrian heritage are beautiful gifts for our Francophile inclinations. Driving home that Sunday afternoon we know without doubt our new shared name will be Greenwood-Mathé. The next day we begin working the legal steps to adopt our new name.
Last week, mid-morning on July 6th, the court date serendipitously assigned to us, we enter the elegant, spacious courtroom of Judge Stephen P. Carlton, presiding over the 29th Judicial Circuit Court, Division VI. His friendly bailiff shows us to our seats. His clerk, Sarah, is there to transcribe. In a courtroom frequently filled to capacity we are the only petitioners present, for ours is the only case on the day’s docket. The vast room feels more like a holy sanctuary than a space where law is administered.
Before going on the record, Judge Carlton chats with us informally to become familiar with the dimensions of our petitions. We share the significance of the July 6th date, telling him briefly of the untimely loss of David’s father. Judge Carlton observes, “Perhaps David’s father is here with us now”. David and I are certain of this truth.
There follows considerable discussion around our choice of Mathé which bears the French accent aigu on the é. Judge Carlton is concerned about having the correct character on the certified copies of our granted petitions. Search and discovery ensue as the nuances of computer fonts are considered and explored until collaboration among us solves the challenge. The é character is found and inserted. The result is perfection.
On the anniversary of the death of David’s father we reclaim and make our own their shared ancestral name as Judge Carlton declares our new name henceforth shall be officially Greenwood- Mathé.
“There is only change, resistance to change and then more change.”
Change sans resistance brings a paternal blessing in the perfection of poignant timing.