My eyes well up with tears of gratitude for the people who have loved me and mine, with tears of regret for the might-have-been or didn't do and tears of sorrow for the family and friends no longer there to share our lives and loves. I've laughed at the funny letters, smiled at the joyful pictures and had glorious fun recounting the best embarrassing stories to my kids and grandkids. Like a time machine, I can go back to my old (young) self and feel the anxiety of big-consequence decisions--some made with excruciating deliberation, some by random chance.
I came across a photo of my first sculpture show in Encampment, Wyoming. I was unreasonably proud of making it to a "real" show with other "real" artists. My work was raw--extremely elongated bronze and clay figures. Some were scary. My booth was even more so--replete with white plastic shelves, beaded curtains and shiny stones. What did I know anyway? I am forever grateful to my across-the-aisle neighbor who kindly shared with me his elegant pedestal designs, which I use to this day.
I got that same feeling poring over my fragmented history. Every knowledge, ability, experience, failure, love and pain has found its way into my sculpture today. And I never saw it that way until now.