It is 8:46 AM. I have used up all my phone-a-friends. Everyone I know has left the building. Here, in my son's former bedroom, newly painted walls surround me. My son said I erased his childhood. I told him the only thing I erased was the nasty nacho cheese memorial he left under his bed. For the moment we are even. I am about to pull ahead. I am building a studio. Let me be more specific. I am building a garden room to be a home for my garden pages. At this moment, there is one...garden page...written and framed ...sitting in solitary on my dining room table. Exuding kryptonite. We cannot be in the same room. Separated at birth.
Every journey begins with a nudge, a nod or a wink. The first word of encouragement. Embedded in the word encourage is the word "courage". Courage is the ticket out of creative isolation. The words, "you really should" or "what have you got to lose" jumpstart the conversation. The conversation about faith. In yourself.
It is an enormous leap of faith from being a writer to being read. From dancing in front of a mirror, to a solo performance. From making music to a song. The urge to push out into the world is strong, the desire to be heard, universal, but the actual movement from here to there requires an outside force. Someone takes us from in HERE to out THERE. From then on it's a free fall.
Cindy arrives at 8:50 AM. Cindy is an artist. Her paintings are recognizable. Capricious. One of a kind. She is here to paint a garden on my walls. Her flowers are whimsically climbing the corners, cascading over a rock wall sketched below the window. If I had tried this, my paint-by-number canvas would resemble coagulated nacho cheese.
As she stands at my front door, the green glow of the garden page catches her eye. "So what's this all about?" I explain my garden pages and pause for a breath. Before I inhale, she replies, "Make six more by Friday and meet me up North". Then, with a wink, she says simply, "What have you got to lose? You might sell one."
Friday, framed garden pages in hand, I walk into a store up north, Dani's place. She asks for twelve. My ticket punched, my suitcase packed, I climb on board and begin an extraordinary journey.
Like a roller coaster ride, a fast ascent and the inevitable pull of gravity. Grace like gravity. The struggle between up and down. High and low. The most important law of personal physics. Maintain your momentum. Just when you think you are all alone and scared out of your wits, someone will grab you by the hand and hold on for the ride.
All dressed up and somewhere to go.
I am, however, wearing flats, as I am older and wiser now.