Lately I have known sorrow like an old friend. A minute may pass, an hour, never as long as a day, when out of the blue, I feel a gnawing heartache, the sensation of my stomach sinking to my toes and an all-over fearfulness that makes me feel raw and skinless. It waxes and wanes, somehow manageable, other times, hardly manageable at all. I bought this mixed-media collage from a Silver Bella instructor because the words of Hafez seemed to be an antidote to my fear (and the work is so simple, yet, so incredibly lovely, with its black and white window and embroidered pastels on muslin). Essentially this piece of art says to me that God does not want me to live my life in fear, no matter how frightening the circumstances appear. FEAR-False Evidence Appearing Real, my friend, Betsy, would say. God would like me to find the joy that continues in this lifetime. For one, there is kindness. Somehow in my sorrow and loneliness, someone will do something so sweet and so kind that my sadness and fears melt away.
I bought the first piece from Colette Copeland. I have followed her blog for about a year now and love her work, which often includes collage, painting, embroidery and transfer in one piece. When my package at last arrived from Canada (amazing that Canada is just right across the Minnesota border), I didn't see that there was a surprise. Almost a half hour later, I noticed that there was a hard piece of art board behind my Hafez pieces, and on it it said...
To Suz, With Love.
I ripped it open and turned it over and there I met "The Little God of Happy Endings." This God has a bird sitting slightly over his bald head, a head sort of like my husband's. What a perfect message. I cried. Happy tears.
There is going to be a happy ending to Jud's illness.
This I know.
It may not be the ending I think I want, but there is going to be a happy ending.
Here is a picture of Collete and I, she looking not as pretty as she really is and me looking quite gooney with my estatic Silver Bella smile. I am in her class. I have on my riotously fun new craft apron, made by my friend, the talented Jem, and I have been creating, side by side, with my dear friend, Donna, sitting at a table where everyone is freely sharing materials, ideas and complements as easily as they breathe.
I am so happy that my lips ache from smiling.
Just so you could see how pretty she is, I "borrowed" her avatar. I also wanted you to see what the face of a truly kind woman looked like. This is a woman who has "known sorrow as the other deepest thing" and still finds value in kindness to another who deeply needs it.
I still feel fear. I still feel sorrow. But there is this other "thing" that keeps me going, keeps me putting my shoes on and trudging out into the world each day.
That, my friends, is kindness.
If kindness is the currency, I am a rich woman indeed.