For many years when asked, What do you do Dee? I would respond, I draw a little. The statement always preceded by a litany of the soulless jobs that paid the bills. I met my friend, Richie, in a New Jersey dive bar a decade ago, where he was playing to pay his bills. Richie is a musician. He plays guitar like cracklin' fire. I saddled up to this rocker on a barstool. What do you do? He asked. I draw a little. I responded. Like I play guitar a little? He said. Yes. I said. Like that. A moment of recognition hung in the air between us. The knowledge that what is created by the heart is often shadowed by the doubtful mind of its' creator. Richie looked at me with an understanding of someone in my tribe.
I began to drop the little. I draw. When I began to write purposefully, I would say... I draw. And I write a little. And then that little also dropped away. I draw. I write. Draw became illustrator. Write became writer. And years passed. Somewhere in those years, I stood before a Monet painting at the New York Botanical Garden, beside my friend Diane, weeping. Yes, she said, its' beauty can make you cry. That's not why I'm crying. I said. You keep telling me to call myself an artist. Look at this. Monet is an artist. I can't do this. Laying her hand upon my back, she said, No. But Dee, perhaps Monet could not have drawn stick figures with emotion. Diane and I have lost touch. People sometimes float in and out of your life, leaving imprints. That moment before the Monet is an imprint. There were others between us as friends. Trusts that remain ours alone, not to be shared here. Wherever Dianes' life leads her now, I hope it holds my imprint. I hope it is as bright as a Monet.
So here I sit upon my blow-up mattress. The preferred creative seating. The days first cup of Earl Grey tea in hand. A new project miraculously flowing. Word after word. Drawing after drawing. Seemingly using my hand as its' tool. A glimpse of my creators' plan. Someone ask me today, this miraculous day, when every cell, if but for a moment, knows why they have been clustered together. Someone ask me today, Dee, What do you do?
I am an artist.