Friday, January 1, 2010

. . . remembered a decade

but anticipated the future. I remember exactly what I was doing on December 31, 1999 and January 1, 2000. I was so inspired by the whole world celebrating a new millenium. I remember my hopes and dreams, plans and preparations.

After living almost sixty years, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that nothing turned out like I had expected. It rarely does. For the past couple of weeks, I have been analyzing this last decade, as artificial a time delineator as any other, and I had come to the conclusion that it had been a really lousy decade.

But wait. This decade gave me a wonderful son-in-law and three amazing grandchildren. That alone should put this decade in the "best of a lifetime" category. During this decade, my creativity flourished; I would not have even considered that a possibility ten years ago. I had the luxury of leisure time. I learned a lot, about things that interested me. I lost one dear friend and my wonderful father-in-law to death, and another relationship to stupidity, but gained and reconnected with friends, in person and on the internet. I gained, and then lost, material wealth, and found out that I didn't even want any more "things." I lost a 38-year marriage, but I gained the knowledge that I was capable of surviving that loss and I learned that there were really very few limitations to what I could do for myself. I learned to forgive myself and to be kinder and calmer. And, best of all, I can now say, "I am an artist." And, as you all know, art will save the world. We just have to wait for the world to figure that out.

So, overall, I will rate the 00s as a net gain. And hope to hell I can say the same ten years from today. Happy new year, everyone.


Leslie Avon Miller said...

What a powerful reflection of the past Mary, and an honest assessment of your strength. Here's to your new, calm and fun Fresh New Year! Art will save the world!

Karen Stiehl Osborn said...

It sounds to me like the pains of the decade have made you a stronger woman, and I am glad to have gotten to know you and your art!

Miki Willa said...

Happy New Year, Mary. It has been a decade of positives and growth for me as well. There were down times, but they have been far out-weighed by the good. I love that you are now comfortable naming yourself as an artist. It seems you may have been the last to know :). Looking forward to seeing more of your art in the coming year.

Margaret Ryall said...

We seldom know of all the ways we influence the lives of others. I think that is often forgotten when we list our accomplishments in reflective moments. As an example I look at the lovely collage you sent me in a collage give away. It has become an important part of my daily life. A friend I can count on to life me up or calm me when needed. It is small but commanding in my space.

Happy New Year to you.

Gina said...

Beautiful post, Mary. You are totally right—“Art Will Save the World!” because it has saved so many artists; you, me, fellow art bloggers, EVERYONE. ‘Tis better to create than to destroy!!

Coffee Messiah said...

Amazing isn't it, that it seems for some of us, that later in life we come to understand ourselves better and flourish....and actually learn from those past relationships.


The Artist Within Us said...

Dear Mary,

I was in the middle of things and almost proceeded onward with the idea of commenting later when a few things you wrote stopped me in my tracks and I just had to change course and write a few words.

Your decade is filled with the joys your children and grandchildren have brought but also there is sadness with the loss of your husband.

January 13, 2006 I was two days away from death, I know this because of a dream I had five days earlier and on the day I should have died, I had emergency open heart surgery, undergoing a triple-by-pass.

Life has not been the same since. I am sixty, looking at each day as a gift as well as a challenge and when I decided in 2000 to give up my business and focus on becoming an artist, the first six years have been a medical distraction as I try to pick up the pieces.

As you approach your sixty years, know that I have learned one thing about art, no matter how much we carefully plan out a work of art, we need to be open to the 'unknown' influences. This is what we feel in our gut, they are our inner intuitions and above all, they are the hand of the Muse.

You have experienced considerable in those then years and I could not even come close. The fact that you view your glass as only half empty is a great start to the new decade. For I believe that New Year's Eve 'Blue Moon' was an omen that things for the next ten years would be different, especially since the last 'Blue Moon' ushering in a New Year was twenty years ago.

Please forgive my ramblings this morning.

Wishing you and your extended family all the very best for 2010 and the next decade.