Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Great Unknown


Here's a picture I took of my friend Iris at Art Omi's sculpture park. This was a few years ago. Maybe a hundred years ago. I think it was 2018 or 2019. I was annoyed that it was raining. I found it hard to keep up with Iris. She's a New York City gal and likes to walk. And walk and walk and walk. So there she is traipsing through the muddy pathways of Art Omi, through the wet grass, past the giant deer sculpture, through the gallery lickety split into the hilly fields beyond. All the while, I am dreaming about curling up on the couch back at La Belle Farm, quiet conversation by the fireplace, sipping hot chocolate. Maybe taking a nap.

Be careful what you wish for, my friends.

Just months or perhaps a year or two later I got what I wished for. Covid arrived in our backyard and the world shut down. There was a lot of sitting by the fire place and a lot of whispered conversation. The whole world went quiet as if a big blanket of snow descended upon us, a kind of enchantment, telling us to hush now, be quiet, go to sleep.

Fast forward to today. Very recently, I have taken a few tentative steps out from under the covers. I believe I stayed there longer than most--not just because I'm a writer and shy and I actually like to the idea of quiet time, whispers and a stillness over the kingdom--but because my under-the-covers time was extended while I spent most of 2021 in Connecticut taking care of Papa Callan and then most of 2022 mourning his loss, (along with the not-so-enchanting task of cleaning out and selling his "Bachelor Pad.")

Now that I've come out from under the enchantment, I learned that a  lot has happened to my friends during my absence. I've discovered that one friend lost her 102 year old mother to Covid. Another friend went to Mexico then came back and created a photographic essay about a Pandemic Pod in the Hudson Valley and that essay was published in New York Magazine. A man I know lost all his hens to a weasel and had to close down his chicken coop. Someone else fell in love then out of love and then in love again. 

And Iris--she went through a painful hip replacement and when she recently came to see me again, I was convinced that she wouldn't be able to walk. But guess what--Miss Iris is still out-walking me! So you see, some things never change.

Creative friends--we will never know what the future will bring. Yes, we can plan and prepare, but things will surprise us and sweep us up into an unexpected scenario. We can only embrace the time in front of us, this day. This hour. This moment. So, your assignment is to ask yourself what you can do in this moment. Make something that pleases you. Take the first step to create something new. Be sure to sustain your practice and do something creative every day. And do all this without thinking about the End Game. The Big Picture. The Ultimate Moment (aka accepting your Pulitzer Award). 

Rather, be like my friend, the intrepid Iris. 

Keep going, one foot in front of the other, stepping fearlessly into the Great Unknown. 

And as always, have fun.




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