I wrote a blog post last week while working on clean up and set up in my gallery. I became distracted by the task so I never posted it. Today I opened the gallery. Weather here was gray, dreary, cold, and wind from the north which blows right in the door and chills the room, ruffles the displays, and reminds me that I am fortunate to have a nice toasty home only a few hundred feet away. It wasn’t the kind of spring day to entice visitors. Nonetheless, I sat at my table in the gallery and enjoyed the gallery and myself. I decided that beauty is still beauty whether any one but me sees it or not. It’s beautiful in my gallery even when I am not there. Here’s what I wrote last week:
I'm getting ready to open my art gallery for the summer. My gallery is unique, located in the hayloft of a hundred year old barn. It makes a beautiful gallery in a warm spring, sunny summer, and colorful autumn but this year Wisconsin has not enjoyed an early spring, or really much spring at all. I dragged my feet about clean up and set up. When it's 46 degrees and rainy, the hayloft is cold and dreary.
|Limited edition of cows|
Today however is sunny and temperatures are climbing into the mid-sixties. So, I'm getting started on cleaning. When I close in the fall, I cover all display furniture with old sheets, take in all my art for storage in the house. To open, I take off the old sheets, wash them, hang them on the line, and wash down all the furniture. The biggest job is vacuuming. I vacuum every square inch of the floor, and some of the walls and joists. Then I enlist my husband's help to transport all the art back to the barn. Then the fun begins as I select just the right spot to hang each piece of art.
As I worked this morning, I reminded myself to have a joyful heart. I am setting up a sacred space. I believe art and making art takes me as close to the sacred as I can get short of death. I was also pondering my journey to this point in time where I have this wonderful gallery that I can fill with my joyful creations.
Once upon a time, I milked cows and fed them in this barn. One of my jobs was to traipse up to the hayloft and throw down hay bales and fresh bedding. The transformation of the hayloft into an art gallery was not an easy or obvious change. That it came about at all is a testament to the workings of a higher power in my life. It is also a testament to my spirit. I have never let life get me down. If I fall down, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and set off again. And so I did when I found myself alone on a 240-acre farm. I decided failure was not an option. I liked living here and I was here to stay. A dozen years later, I enjoy a happy marriage and my wonderful farm. The gallery and art studio are icing on the cake.
Of course, casual visitors don’t know my story. They don’t need to know every twist and turn in my life. Yet, when they step in, the reaction is the same. A little bit of surprise. A little bit of awe. A little bit of joy. They may have intended to hurry through, stopping only out of curiosity, but once inside, they forget that intention. When they leave, I see they are a little more refreshed, a little more aware of beauty. And that is a beautiful thing. That is their gift back to me.