art show

tonight i am a featured artist.

my art will be featured. standing alone, on its own, for people to find meaning in. or take meaning out of. or simply slide over with disdain.

normally i paint from the quiet of my home, in my own little world.

tonight that world will be on display. how do i feel?

i prefer to stay out of the limelight. i prefer to let my paintings speak for me, while i stand in the shadows. then i don’t have to see people’s responses.

but perhaps this is good: a chance for me to be stripped naked, so i can be clothed anew with strength of character.

mary poppins

some nights as the moon is brazenly yellow and the stars are twinkling, it hits me.

the reality of my mother’s frailty.

her tumor is growing 0.5 mm each month; the ‘problem’ is increasing, but that’s the way it is with cancer: it grows. it grows until it’s so big it takes over your world, and then suddenly it will vanish, leaving a big vacant hole filled only with memories that i need to write down before i forget.

memories like when i came back from australia; i was cleaning up the house, when mom approached me with a smile on her face. “can you do the laundry?” she asked. “already done,” i said. “Ahh…” she said, her eyes twinkling. “now i remember why i missed you!”

or like yesterday, when she called up and left a message: “emily, i was wondering if you’d like to come over and watch mary poppins with me?”

i’m so glad i watched it with her. today she’s fuzzy again; fuzzy meaning she won’t remember today, tomorrow. fuzzy meaning she’s moaning and her eyes are flicking every which way and i’m changing her and leading her around and feeding her.

all that to say, i need to take advantage of the days which she’ll remember. to capture the priceless moments which she unknowingly creates.

moments like a couple of sundays ago, when we were eating potluck at church. mom’s good friend, shirley, was eyeing up the desserts on a man’s plate. “i hate brownies,” she said. the man, who was eating one such brownie, said “i don’t know why. they contribute a lot of good to society.” (referring to the girl scouts) mom looked at shirley, with shock in her big blue eyes and said “you’re so mean!” (also referring to the girl scouts)

even today, on a very fuzzy day, she can sing along to rich mullins’ songs singing “i will follow you” as she’s following me across the living room floor to her favorite blue easy chair, with her arms draped around my neck, her head bee-boppin’. occasionally she’ll stop to tap her feet to the beat of the song.

i have to admit, those praise and worship songs have been angering me lately. one day mom was singing to another mullins’ song, “On the verge of a miracle”… and she turned to me and said solemnly, “That’s me, Emily. I’m on the verge of a miracle.” And i wanted to believe it with all my heart. but everything in my scope of vision is telling me otherwise.