I get a lot of love. As I bumble along in life, lusting after luxuries that I don’t have (or need), yearning for the things that I want (a larger studio with well designed storage space) and lamenting about whatever I want to kvetch about at the moment, I remind myself of the love in my life. And I get a lot of support (emotional and practical) for my less than sensible lifestyle. This comes at certain cost (also emotional and practical) to some of those who are already generous with their love.
This love is what I hang on to and search out when I need its comfort; heaven knows I am expert at locating it. It is in the cherished people who populate my world and make it safe for me. They provide the good times; they share the sorrows. They put up with me.
I am mindful of what I have taken from some of those that now I miss. From my mother, who died a long time ago, I took (along with much else) superstition. She inherited it from the old country that her parents came from. She wouldn’t let a knife lie diagonally across another because there would be a fight, and she would not count on good things happening; they’d get jinxed. I am still careful with knives. No need for added risks. My brain knows better but those old beliefs connect me to her. She was the source of unbounded love in my life.
Writing this blog is rather like painting in that it takes unexpected detours, a process self-indulgent and sweet. This one started on Valentine’s Day as I wondered about the holiday and how it has changed from being about lovers to being the day that people send messages of love to all and sundry.
The image above is Neighborhood, sixteen little houses in one frame. I wrote of the little houses in a post titled Memoir some time ago. I have been doing them on and off since I was in kindergarten. Neighborhood is one the most recent, done in 2008 along with three others along the same line. I don’t consider them my best work; they are done with more emotion than brain but they are the ones I have tender feelings for. They have served as memorials and safe places, tombs for people I have loved and sites of refuge for me. Two of this series are in Boston being considered for purchase by the new Boston Medical Center. I have a number of paintings placed in hospitals and it pleases me to think that some of the comfort I find in them is available to those who walk past them or maybe even gaze at them in a waiting room or a treatment room.