I don't know if it's the cooler temperatures, making for cosier quiet mornings, or the first changing of the leaves that always rustle up a desire to write. I suppose I'm every bit as much a writer as I am an artist. They ebb and flow, rivelets crossing and recrossing through life in different strengths—a flowing tapestry of sorts, each one informing and inspiring the other. The "true" writer or artist may say that I am in fact committed to neither, because to follow one path is to take away from another so that I am able to do nothing well.
Be that as it may, it is who I am....artist, writer, historian, poet, teacher, traveler, expolorer. If that means that I am not a "true" artist or writer, so be it. Whose definitions are those anyway? Words and ideas formulated by those who feel the need to justify their existence.....yes, I'm laughing, for I am doing to same here with this discourse.
As I stand pensively, a little uncertainly, in the Autumn of my life, I watch the sun rise in great rayed splendor over the red rock buttes stretched out before me. I've traded the Pacific Ocean for the Virgin River, the sea skies for the desert ones. Even though I'd lived in Santa Barbara for 40 years, I knew I would never be able to retire there. Too expensive, too frenetic for me.....too perfect. Who can stand the monotony of paradise for long?! I say that tongue in cheek.....sort of. I think I ran out of inpiration there, however. I needed a new palette...a new story...a new canvas. One can't grow without change.
Even if change is painful. Even if change has been thrusted upon oneself and not directly chosen. Or perhaps, because of it. Through tragedy and heartache, I've witnessed great compassion, strength, perserverance, grace, dignity and beauty in the ones I love. I've experienced huge, unanticipated blessings from God.
God gifted me with a new teaching job as an Art Teacher at an amazing school. In an age when employers are easing the "older" employees out, and choosing younger employees to take their place, this school really saw me and valued my experience that I bring. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. I can't wait to get up in the morning and go to work! Watching children discover their creativity and imagination, and eventually their skill, brings me such joy and fulfillment. For me, that is when I am closest to God, our creator.....when I am creating and when I see children create. ...."Created in His image---the image of the ultimate creator." Everyday I awake and I pray that I will show love and encouragement, joy and inspiration, patience, grace, gentleness and sensitivity to each of my students, that they might grow in their creativity and love for life and others.
So, while I am not as nimble as I once was, and my vision and hearing are waning a little, my heart and spirit soar through the painted vermilion and ochre landscape, watercolor waters of the Virgin River, and pastel clouded skies, and I try to help my students learn to communicate through their own art, and I am working to find my new voice through my own art as well.
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