Monday, July 6, 2009


This week marked the ten-year anniversary of my mother’s death. For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to know her, she was an artist, writer, painter, pianist, nature-lover, philosopher, poet, and all-around amazing person. And I have to say, writing that last sentence was difficult, because she was so much more than words could ever express.

Lance and I started dating about a year before Mom died, and one of my biggest blessings is that he was able to meet her. And even though their two meetings were brief, he was able to see how special she was. She was (and is) such a part of me that it was imperative that he understand. I am very lucky.

I wanted to include a poem of Mom’s here today, but it’s so precious to me that I’m afraid of putting her poetry on the Internet and having someone use it as their own. So, I will share a small paragraph of hers that I have always loved.

Mom taught elementary art in a school where sports were the priority, as they often are, and the Arts were almost always low on the list of school priorities. At the end of every year there was an awards banquet for all the kids, and Mom sat and waited through dozens of sports awards before she gave hers for Art. The superintendent always took the majority of the time, going on and on about each sport and each team, on and on about the excellence of athletes and the importance of the athletic department. Finally Mom couldn't take it anymore. She grabbed a crumpled envelope from her purse and furiously scribbled, completely changing the speech she was about to give:

"Art is not a competitive sport. Prizes are not given for making the biggest sculpture or painting, or the most paintings, or for mixing the bluest blue, or for drawing the straightest line. That’s not what it’s all about. The measure of art is really how each person learns to be sensitive to his environment and to his feelings – and how he learns to express that in his own personal way."

I hope you all have had someone in your life who has opened the world of Art to you. Its value is immeasurable. Mom taught me that.

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