Why I do what I do….

Just when I think that I’m not really doing anything with my art, feel like I’m sort of wasting a gift and just plain feel like I’m in a rut, I’m sent a little reminder that I do make a difference, even if it is in a small way.  God has such a subtle way of reminding
us of our blessings sometimes, it’s truly amazing.

I’ve been meaning to share this latest example for a couple
of months but it seems those months have been somewhat of a whirlwind of summer
activities, kids coming home and leaving again for college, helping out with fundraisers,
reunions, etc.  I just haven’t taken the time to sit down and write…until today, when I was sent another reminder that I needed to share this story.

Anyway, back to fundraisers….that’s where my latest example sprung up from.    I donated a couple of items to a fundraiser because I thought the cause was a great idea and was touched by what it was trying to accomplish.  Let’s just say, the results were many fold.  The fundraiser was a success, the recipients of the fundraising efforts did great things, the recipients of the donated artwork loved them (which always makes an
artist feel appreciated), and I received a much needed reminder.  One artwork recipient in particular was so touched by their winnings that they took the time to sit down and write me an email telling me just how much and what it meant to her.  An email that brought tears to my eyes as I
read it and made me stop and realize that this “rut” I thought I was in, was just me coming up with excuses.  It made me also stop and remember “why I do what I do” so to speak.  Sure, it’d be a dream come true to be able to “create” for a living and to be able to do what I love every day and enjoy some of the perks that come with “making a name in the art world”, however, right now, I’m pretty content with the idea that I’m able to use a “hobby” that I enjoy to also bring some enjoyment to others.

With this person’s permission, I’m going to share parts of that email with the hopes that it makes others stop and remind themselves that
we all have gifts and it is up to us to find a way to use them to make a difference.  I also hope it reminds us that something we think is trivial and that maybe we took for granted may just be the one thing needed to make a difference in someone else’s day….week…month….year…..or life…..

To give you a little preface, one of the items I commonly donate to local fundraisers is a shadowbox-framed turkey feather with a
painting on it.  With all of the outdoorsmen and women in the area, they’ve become pretty popular.  This was the item “Jane” won.  Jane had been having a very stressful time at work, to the point she was ready to quit because she felt she was to her breaking point.  She was driving home from work, trying to clear her head and all of a sudden she started thinking about “feathers from heaven”.  There is a reason that “feathers
from heaven” had meaning to her.  Several years ago, she’d lost her young daughter and during those last several years since, including the night she died in the hospital, Jane had been finding feathers in odd places.  These feathers turned out to be constant reminders of her daughter.
The night her daughter had passed away, someone made the comment to her that her daughter was, “going to be ok because she is ornery enough to keep the angels busy.  She was probably up in heaven plucking the feathers from the angel’s wings.”  Jane said, “That night completely defeated I was walking to the truck in a daze, got to my door and looked down.  There was a huge turkey feather (which I
still carry in my truck).  I picked it up and made the correlation to her sending me an angel feather.  Odd I know but oddly comforting also.”  That same night, a friend of Jane’s was driving home from the hospital and broke down along the side of the highway.  Jane stopped to help and when
she opened her door, right there at her feet was another feather.  Over the next few months Jane found feathers everywhere, some in really odd places like, sitting on her mail box, stuck by the dew on her screen door, and on her vehicle.  Logically Jane kept telling herself that birds shed their feathers and the wind will carry them for miles, but in the back of her mind she hoped it was her daughter reminding her that everything will be ok and that she is good.  This year it was the 6th anniversary of Jane’s daughter’s death and Jane says she’s still finding feathers in odd places.  She’s found them inside of her truck, sitting on her desk at work, in storage areas at work, sitting on top of her dresser, and stuck to her clothing/hair.  At first, Jane thought it was her husband messing with her, but she hadn’t said anything to him about her mysterious findings or
her thoughts behind them.  Finally, on a day that Jane said she needed to renew her faith the most, the anniversary of the day that the doctors had told her that her daughter was probably not going to come back to her and was placed on complete life support….a new feather from
heaven was delivered to her in the form of a framed, painted turkey feather.  It was meant to be.

When Jane shared this story with me, as I read it, first my eyes welled up but then I smiled and thought the same thing she did….it was
meant to be….that feather was meant for her and wow, what a blessing to me it was to be able to bring a little happiness to her life and to make a small difference.

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