Sunday, August 24, 2008

Desert Bloom

I have seen footage of desert flowers blooming quickly after a brief and rare rain - and I got to experience such a feeling just yesterday.  We had a 'gallery walk' at Artworks in Trenton for the Trenton Artists' Workshop Association presentation of 'past, present, Forward.'   We were very fortunate to have Mel Leipzig attend and we walked around and discussed many of his students' work as well as others.  I have known Mel for many years now and the one thing that always impresses me about him is his genuine, child like, expressions of joy at the world around him.  I think that is one quality I really admire in people is when they can 'experience' the world in a new way each and every day.  After the show, my wife, sister and friend and all of our children ran over to check out the TAWA show that is currently running at the Trenton City Museum - Ellarslie - called 'Inside / Out' and as I was walking out of the museum, again I see Mel coming up the walkway - he was on his way to check out his students in that show as well - he's touched many lives through his teaching and his art - that's another trait in people I admire, they are constantly trying to share as much as they can.  So, continuing the story - I was by myself and he said 'Oh, Rob', as only Mel can do - for anyone who has ever met him, he brings his hand to his forehead like he is thinking both of saying hello and trying to remember something incredibly important - 'Oh, Rob, I'm glad I saw you - I forgot to ask you if you had brought the article about the last show at Ellarslie - you know, the one that mentions my wife.' (TAWA had dedicated the show to her memory)  I told him I had and to follow me.  We went to the car and I pulled out the article, handing it to him - he quickly scanned it to find comfort in those two small words - Mary Jo - and for a brief moment had a sad and loving smile.  We made our way back to the museum and he was lost in thought when all of a sudden all of the children I had mentioned earlier swept into view.  The path at Ellarslie is made of the small stone shale - dusty and dry and nothing much can grow in it - but all of a sudden, there was Meg and Harry and Emma, Fabiola, Francesca and Michael and Kim and my sister and wife and all of their faces where beaming with smiles and Mel woke from his reverie.  'Oh my,' he said, 'Who are all these children?' as a huge smile moved across his face and his eyes lit up at the sight of this desert bloom - I introduced them all and with an artists eye he scanned each of their faces and took in the joy of the moment.  As we left, he took a moment to mention to my nephew that his girlfriend Kim was 'quite pretty' - and everyone smiled at that and then we made our way to our cars and drove off. Magical things happen at museums. I hope you have a moment to find joy and beauty and abundance today.

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At August 25, 2008 at 12:55 AM , Blogger kimalu said...

I had a smile on my face the whole time reading this, don't really know why since I was there, but it cheered me up. Mike was quite proud of the fact that I was 'quite pretty'. =)
Can't wait for your next art show.

At August 26, 2008 at 8:18 AM , Blogger Mrs. Fibonacci said...

Desert Bloom--what a lovely metaphor for children! Each one grows and blooms given nourishment and warmth. And each one changes constantly reflecting the light of day and night. It reminds me of my whispered words of awe when I sight one of my children and grandchildren..."My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky..." I think we are both talking about a precious moment in time.


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