Sometimes you hit the road knowing that half your team is behind you and the rest of the team is yet to be found.
The text read, "There is a traveling art gallery in the parking lot. You should come and see."
I was tired but, I went. Meet Nora, an artist from California, traveling the west coast stopping in small towns to do collaborative art and display a variety of art and jewelry.
She smiled as I approached her trailer. She knew I looked hopeful to see sometime interesting. Our conversation was simple and heartfelt. I looked at the beautiful pieces on her walls. Her huge dog, Handsome, approached with a tired, hot greeting.
Squares of art paper, already in process, colorful pens, pastels, watercolors. waited for my marks. In essence, Nora wanted me to leave my mark on her traveling show. I illustrated a page with the words of her favorite poem, drawing a flame and little tracks of lines and squares connecting the lines of words. We talked with a few others about life and whether we were cynical or hopeful. I could not believe that she could be cynical and travel alone for two months meeting strangers everyday. I thought she was very brave.
The setting sun reminded me that it was growing late. She asked one last question. Why do I do art? I answered that I was tired of being scared. Art fills the scary holes between past and future.
My grandchildren boarded her trailer before I arrived. I was grateful they could meet an artist with grit. They joined her team for a few moments and left their mark on a page or two. She left me with a great story and a sense that art is not only a team sport but a healing service for those we meet.
I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their work. Would you like to join?