years and years and years and years ago,
when the kids were tiny and their dad and i were
married, we went camping in some small town in
upstate new york.
i remember the total delight i felt in finding
out that people in the town not only understood
what the word 'vegan' meant, but vegan food was
also offered everywhere - INCLUDING the ice cream
i remember that it wasn't just a thrill....it meant
a ton to me. where i came from you had to define
vegan anytime it came up and you weren't going to
find offerings everywhere you went. and i remember
standing there in that town with a feeling like i fit.
it wasn't something that i had walked around consciously
thinking about back home. that's why it made such a big
impact, i think.
it was just a way of life there. and it felt so good.
i also remember promising myself i would try to find
a place like that for when i really got to pick where
i could live. find a place i feel this feeling i felt
well, life gets in the way of that stuff i guess,
and that may not happen for a long long time...BUT
there are tastes of it here and there.
and yesterday i had that feeling again. the feeling
of soaking up something you didn't even know you were
'show me what ya got that's new.' i asked him.
and he gave me a tour of his art.
he pretty much was breezin' thru it until i started
asking a few questions. then i told him i was working
on ways to touch my joy, told him some of his really
wacko paintings were just the kinda thing i wanted to
his face lit up and he said 'you want joy, look at this,
this is pure joy.' and he walked across the gallery to
another painting of his.
we stood there looking at it and he told me about how
he had painted the yellow coat and as soon as he finished,
he went up to the loft above where he had all the paints
ready and he started throwin' them down on top of the yellow.
i laughed as i could picture the whole thing. he's got
the perfect studio for it. and we looked at all the colors
mixed up together.
'you can't plan this stuff.' he told me. and i grinned
at his intensity.
and then he showed me some effects he got on another one
by jiggling the whole canvas around.
we were like kids looking at the colors all mixed up and
the patterns that had come out so awesome cool.
there was no art snobbery, nothing but this is great,
and how fun is this?!
we talked of paints and coatings and canvas and boards,
and it felt like heaven. i didn't even know i was missing it.
and then later, as we were leaving the basement of the building
he stopped to look at some old strips of wood piled in the corner.
i could see his gears goin' and i laughed.
asked him what all he was thinking and he told me that he
could make some sort of sculpture with that.
oh, i just loved it. 'that's one of my favorite things about you!'
i told him. the possibilities are all around him, and
enjoying the process and playing with it all is what he does.
that's the point for him.
there's always been something about that building anyway
that's felt like home to me. throw in the art talk, and
the touching of joy that he was sharing with me,
and i had that same feeling i had so many years ago in
that small town. sometimes it just feels so good to fit.