Playing hide and seek with inspiration can be exhausting. There are many things that my wishing to be able to do them, doesn’t make it so. Flying a plane, walking a tightrope or a plank, swallowing fire….things I ponder and reject pretty quickly. Singing the National Anthem at a Red Sox game, doing a voice over for a Disney film, making and baking the perfect eclair, probably not going to happen. Being in the right place at the right time for me is like being at the airport when my ship comes in. However, I don’t stop thinking about how to achieve certain goals, and knowing that possibility includes the root of possible makes me smile.
I accept that I am not conventionally brave, which rules out a lot of risky business. It is mostly the physical pursuits that are elusive and practically, I don’t want to hurt myself, so I avoid them. Spending time imagining is often the path to exploring my creative side. This in concert with my stubborn (tenacious) abilities makes me want to try things that I have in my head. Translating them from idea to reality is often frought with dogged arguments with my FHB. We are often on opposite sides of the seesaw. I say PoTAHto and he says PoTAYto.
In December of 2015, we went to Nantucket for the weekend. It was unusually warm for December and for Nantucket, having a bright blue sunshine-y day, on the 100th anniversary of of Frank Sinatra’s birth, made everything that I could imagine, seem like the perfect opportunity for inspiration. We walked down the cobblestoned street and looked in gallery windows. It was the weekend that most businesses were closing or preparing to close. The local folks were relaxed as they headed into their winter to enjoy and prepare for the onslaught of tourists, but not for another four or five months or so. Something caught my eye and I crossed over to the other side of the street and stared in the window of a gallery that was closed for winter. I didn’t need to go inside and the proverbial cartoon lightbulb with lots of exclamation points lit up in my head. There was a large installation of a series of battered and painted pie plates in a few colors organized in a checkboard pattern. I fell in love with it. My FHB traversed through the oncoming traffic (which was not much that day) and lumbered behind me as I waved him across the street. I was shouting (which did not necessarily NOT draw looks…people are a bit put off by my often unbridled enthusiastic New Yorker rooted shouts). You might have thought that I saw a celebrity or a rare bird (in which case I would be very quiet and shy) but this was something that made me react in a big way. I turned back to stare in the window and saw the shadow of my FHB with his ever rolling eyes walking slowly , trying not to let people see that he knew me. Sometimes it’s a curse. Oh, well. I pronounced that the object of my affliction (as my father might have punned) was this piece of art. Deep sigh. It was clear that it was an unrequited love, only in my eyes. That’s okay because it wasn’t the first time, I was the one with a vision and he was the one with a headache. That’s what marriage is about. Giving and getting. I give headaches…you can figure out the rest.
This is when he says, in his martyred gentle tone “Calm down…talk slowly, you are babbling!”. I am successful as I now have his attention and so I opine. I explain that I have a plan for something that I want to create. I see I am losing him. Sometimes we don’t see the same things the same way. Probably for the best,if the world was that way, one of us would be redundant. Backtracking in time, I remember when I told him that I wanted to weave a wall hanging. He is such a good guy. He went out and bought me a loom. That’s what a partner does, listen and follow through. The problem was, I didn’t imagine doing it with a loom. That seemed way too complicated for my brain and too orderly and normal. I didn’t want to make placemats….I was thinking big. We had found a yolk for a steer at a flea market. That was the top of the weaving. I used twine, rags, copper wire,and a plank of wood and it was perfect (in my mind). I had to rely on my FHB to help put it together. But it hangs in our bedroom, my interpretation of my imagination. He stares at it nightly. I smirk.
What I was inspired to do was to take a series of old rosettes found locally in a place that specialized in demolition and deconstruction of old houses. It was one of our favorite haunts. I liked going through the dusty, dirty and lead painted pieces of houses and found exactly what I was looking for. I drew it out, I presented it to him to help me make it real. I am not the practical one in our relationship. I am not precise. I can’t always do it without help. I am also not so patient when I want it to be done. I mixed paints, organized the rosettes and my FHB helped create the finished product. Maybe it was the spirit that day on Nantucket, of Frank Sinatra singing “My Way” that led me to know that my stubborn would end up hanging in our loft. When my FHB and I met,for the first time, many years ago, I asked him if he was a fan of Frank’s. He has always been one of my fantasy hearthrobs. He said “no, I don’t like him at all!”. I remember thinking “this is not going to go anywhere…”.
Anybody want to buy a loom?