I may have written about this topic before, when I was paging through the book, Old Friend from Far Away, that I am now working through in a more organized fashion. So, if I’m sitting at the same desk that I was sitting at the last time I wrote about this, if in fact I ever did, this may sound familiar. It won’t be the first time I’ve repeated myself, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Directly in front of me, hanging just above my computer screen, is a small, framed etching by David Bigelow. It shows a pig strapped into an elaborate pair of wings, about to step off the edge of a cliff. The title is “Moment of Truth.” I got to know the artist and his work many years ago, when he was the featured artist at my gallery in Lapeer, Michigan. This piece always seems to speak to me, and reminds me not to be afraid to take a chance. It always hangs where I can see it every day. A photo of my Mom is tucked into the frame’s edge.
Beneath that picture, leaning against the back wall of my little cubby, and visible only when the laptop is closed, is a photograph by Jason Loam. It depicts a wall heavily adorned with graffiti. One spray-painted message that is easy to read says “Welcome to Hell!”
To the left is a small watercolor painting by Mary Blocksma. One year while living on the water, Mary painted the view out her window every single day. Each one shows a sliver of sandy beach, water, and sky. Each one is completely unique and special. The one I own was painted on my birthday.
Above that painting hangs a small wind chime. The wind never catches it there. I have to run my hand across it to get the sound. I don’t remember, often enough, to do that.
Beside the chimes, on the side wall to my left, is a wall calendar. This year it is a largish one that was a Christmas gift from my sister, Cheryl. It is black and white, with delicate designs and sweet verses for each month.
On the wall to my right I hung a weathered pallet that I found and carried home from the beach. It is tiny, as pallets go, only about twenty inches square, and less than five inches deep. It makes a perfect shelf for holding my jars of pencils, pens and markers.
On the desktop, my laptop computer sits dead center. On the left there is a long narrow basket filled with miscellaneous clutter. In front of that is a water glass, and a cork coaster where my coffee cup usually sits.
To the right there are three framed photographs: my Mom and Dad, on the Beaver Island ferry dock, taken in the year that they met; a group shot of my brothers and sisters, the nine of us that made it to adulthood, when we were all still here; and my two adult daughters, both a little tipsy, if I remember correctly, and smiling into the camera. A sweetgrass braid is draped over one of the frames.
On top of that, on this little desk, there is one ceramic candle holder, one glass jar filled with kibble for the dogs, two narrow books and a few pieces of paper. That’s it! When I sit here at my desk, that is what’s in front of me!