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Thank you Art Access and 300 Plates for kicking off my spring each year! If you are not familiar with this organization and all the goodness they do, be sure to check them out:

Because of this deadline, I picked up my paintbrushes for the first time in awhile. My mental & emotional state after dealing with some really hard losses and an illness was focused on just trying to survive and cope. It left no room for creativity. But a commitment and a deadline will push us to do that which we couldn't bring ourselves to do otherwise. So I painted quiet watercolors of women holding umbrellas on the Salt Flats of the Great Salt Lake. I wasn't sure why I chose this subject matter but in looking back, I see that somehow these images represent walking alone in this world but carrying protection from that which might fall out of nowhere, be it the scorching sun, rain, bird droppings, a friend's sudden death, a mom's broken neck, or the chicken pox virus deciding to act up as shingles. The umbrella symbolizes a shield from the elements and the outside world, walking alone, because although this has affected my whole family, it was all very personal to me. We come to this world alone and we leave it alone and we walk through it carrying our umbrellas braced for what might come next. I'm hoping for a respite and a chance to fold up my umbrella for awhile. I'm hoping for more time and desire to put the paint brushes to canvas again. I'm hoping that whatever any of you have had fall out of nowhere into your life that you had an umbrella too.

Until next month, I leave you with a poem:

"I Worried" by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. And gave it up. And took my old body and went out into the morning, and sang.


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