Timeout for Art: This Life

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When I was twelve or thirteen, I sat with pen and paper and cultivated the straight up and down handwriting that I’ve used ever since. It was a deliberate act of rebellion. It was an abandonment of the slightly-slanted-to-the-right cursive that the nuns had forced us to perfect, and that – by that time – came naturally to me. It was an attempt to infuse the letters with my creative spirit.

Through my adult life, I have fallen in love with clothes that have folds or flounce or fringe, bright colors and wild patterns. Artist-Chic. Trendy Bohemian.”That should be my style,”  I think,  “That is me!” Unfortunately, though they seem to reflect my personality, clothes like that do not fit my body. Seriously. It’s not just a matter of daring or convention. Instead of making me look to the world like a creative free spirit, clothes like that make me look like somebody’s frumpy grandmother. Which I am, but that’s not the image I’m trying to project.

I see creative people who sign their work with a flourish, who’s style defines them, who live the free-wheeling life one would expect of an artist.

Not me.

My simple, neat signature is the same one – other than giving up the little circles or hearts that I used to dot my “i”s with – I practiced as a child. My clothes are simple, comfortable and suitable to my life. Paint splatters are the only thing that would define me as an artist, most of the time.

I’ve grown to like it that way.

I appreciate my ordinary life.

This morning, Christmas, I put a splash of Irish Cream (a gift from Santa!) in my coffee, and carried it up to my studio. With the news on the television for company, I sorted and stacked collage materials, arranged the bits and scraps I’d saved, and covered them with a pane of glass, for later consideration.

I spoke to one daughter and one grandson on the telephone. There are more phone calls arranged for later in the day.

I put my long coat over my pajamas, and took the dogs for a walk in the woods. We went all the way back to the pond this morning. They sniffed and wandered and explored. I drank coffee and took photographs.

Now, with a cheery candle burning beside me and the dogs napping nearby, I have time to write.

Mornings like this one, this ordinary life feels extraordinary.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

8 responses »

  1. My life is quite ordinary, although I’ve been looked upon with envy by some. I’m not sure why. We are who we are, right? I have a definite image of you in your house on the island, in your studio, and out for walks with the dogs. You may consider it ordinary, but I view your life as darn near blissful. I’m glad you can appreciate the beauty of “ordinary.”

  2. Sounds kind of extraordinary to me, Cindy. To know and to be so comfortable with yourself, I mean. I love reading about your “ordinary” life, and finding parallels to mine. When I was twelve or thirteen, I, too rebelled against the nun-taught cursive, and started writing with printed capital letters, but I connected them together in words. I still have things I wrote in that style, and I laugh when I see them — it was so difficult, and it looks like itwas!

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