This blog has been hibernating. A season of change since we were in Florence unfolded across our lives like a map to the pirates’ trove. Ben and I have found treasure, challenge, and new life in the intermission. All the while, I questioned the validity of this blog. Lacking a clear focus, the default subject becomes my moods, my life observations. I dislike self-publishing as a vehicle to vent, or to sing my own praises, so when I’m feeling insecure or über-excited, or too busy to reflect on what I’m up to, I just want to stay quiet. But in the apparent quell, I’ve been an active dreamer.
Dreams–those subconscious goals and desires of the heart–arrest the dreamer. Though she sleeps, insight dawns. In hibernation mode, this blog cried out with the original intent: but what color is love? Artist Marc Chagall knew that love is a color of hope and vivacity, a color that triumphs despite pain, evil regimes, and cruel death. Ever my hero, Chagall’s words remind me to press through the indecision. Weave the story. Hook the reader. Edify the hearts. Any of you who write, paint, compose or choreograph know what I’m talking about. Your art form will compel you to awaken once again. Your mission will resurface. Your dreams will direct you to complete the path you started.
Sometimes delay – whether caused by hibernation, procrastination, or the vagaries of life – is the path. It is key to the mission and lends depth to the message. A bear hibernates to conserve energy. At the threat of life’s “winters,” humans prioritize. A new baby demands our full-time care. A husband’s career requires relocating and reorienting. A step-child needs to be schlepped hither and thither. Someone is ill. Financial pressure puts us in survival mode. Whatever the cause, delay happens. But the dream will not stay dormant forever.
This past weekend we celebrated a full-circle story. It was the story of a women who dreamed of becoming an artist. A beautiful girl who married young, loved much, and birthed three amazing people into the world. A lady so skilled with her hands she can weave tapestry, craft intricate jewelry and cleverly cook up almost any cuisine. All in one day. Her paintings adorn our home and countless others. Oversized watercolors that speak of skill and secret knowing as she has honed her artist’s eye for many years.
On the wall of my bedroom, one of her recent works tells of Aaron our son, me his mother, and the interwoven lines of a 16th century Da Vinci drawing. The image inspires me constantly. A visual reminder that we are surrounded by a cloud of unseen witnesses. An emblem of the spiritual strength we can impart to others younger than us, and receive from those who’ve gone before. It’s a portrait of generational blessing, of tenderness and fortitude.
The artist, the heroine of this story, is my husband’s mother Melinda. I am indebted to her for choosing the delay of her art-school dream, in order to care for her firstborn Ben. If it wasn’t for her choice, perhaps Ben and I would never have met. Interestingly my own mother also took about 30 years to complete her art degree, finishing in 2004 at the Laguna College of Art and Design. My mom’s choice, like Mindy’s, became key to the story of how I met my true love. Adding depth to the delay, theirs was the fruitfulness of apparent dormancy. New generations and restorations arose from their journey.
If Ben and I are about anything in common, it is our conviction about art, faith and creativity. We were raised by women who imparted their dream despite the delays. As a result, the dream multiplied. Now there are children, grandchildren and spouses who each love art and creativity in their own way. Writers, photographers, a cosmetologist, entrepreneurs, painters, educators, tech-design artists, musicians.
We are creative mothers and fathers ourselves now. Passing on the legacy of our brave moms and dads. Like them, we carry the seeds of our dreams on life paths that may seem indirect. Wisdom prompts us not to judge success or failure too early. Let the journey unfold. Embrace the twists and turns. And no matter what, don’t bury the treasure of your dreams. But even if you do, trust that God has a map to guide you back. As they say, X marks the spot.
Shalom. Merry Christmas. With lots and lots of love, in whatever color you feel it.