A Leap of Faith

Posted: November 23, 2014 in Art, journal, Women, Writing

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit………

fetish-sitting, 2005, oil on canvas, 28 x30 (71x76cm)

fetish-sitting, 2005, oil on canvas, 28 x30 (71x76cm)……

The story continues……

I am not ashamed to admit that my work and life as an on-air radio personality in New Orleans was grand and quite fun. It all reached a peak you might say that Mardi Gras season when I was asked to be the Grand Marshal of the oldest and largest all-female organization, the Krewe of Iris.

I was terribly honored, but my aunt was even more honored by osmosis and demanded that she ride along side of me in the Cadillac convertible. That night became the culmination of one of her societal dreams. A grand night it was, we both wore exquisite gowns, had a ton of beads and trinkets to throw and the ball that followed was glorious; the memory of which became part of every dinner conversation at my aunt’s house for years.

In early February before all this excitement, I received a telephone call from a very old and dear friend and former lover I had not heard from in at least 6 years. I remember well when we broke up prior to my leaving to go sailing as he re-married his first wife. During our conversation, he said he had been divorced for a couple of years, would be coming to New Orleans and would like to see me and with a bit of trepidation , I agreed.

By March of 1977, the city had quieted down and things were back into the same old routine. Of course in New Orleans, the parades never end, there is always something going on to keep one amused! My old friend arrived for the weekend and we enjoyed the time catching up on each other’s lives. I asked how he found me since I did not have a telephone and he had left a message at my aunt’s house. He told me he managed to get the telephone company to allow him to look though the microfiche from 5 years ago. He remembered me making a call from his apartment to my aunt.   I of course found that rather remarkable. He said my spirit had haunted him ever since. He returned to Houston and I did not give the visit a second thought until several weeks later when he invited me to visit him in Texas. The wooing began.

After that visit he called every other night, sent me small gifts like a cheese burger via express mail and other silly things. In April he returned to New Orleans for the weekend and asked me to marry him, said he could not live without me, and ever since we met I was part of his soul. He said he would take care of me, protect me, that he wanted me to paint, to use my God-given talent that he would help to make that possible. He said many things and over a dressed oyster po’boy and a beer, I said yes.

My family screamed when I told them…he is not the one! They said. But then swimming against the current was my forte. The newspapers filled with the announcement and carried pre-wedding photos. One of which was translated into an unsigned oil painting and arrived as an anonymous gift accompanied by a note saying I would be missed.

My aunt and uncle would host the wedding in their house; it would be a small affair. I asked my uncle to give me away. I sent my father a letter explaining my decision, there was no comment other than.. “ perhaps that was not the man I would have chosen for you”, and I responded “I never would have asked you to choose for me”. Needless to say he would not be coming to the wedding, my mother also declined. One sister did come, not sure why, and on the 6th day of the 6th month in a 6 year, with a few friends and some New Orleans family members who were willing to be seen with me, a lovely little ceremony with a chocolate wedding cake was held, and I made a promise.

Sixty days later, we left Houston and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I realized I had possibly made a mistake. Perhaps I was still on the re-bound from my one true love, perhaps I thought there were no further options based on my past history, perhaps I had misread all the signs, perhaps my expectations were not reasonable. I loved this man, but I was not in-love, and yet I still considered him to be my best friend. It all came down to one fact, I was here, it was now and I had made a promise.

I remember having a very vivid prophetic recurring dream: I was standing on the edge of a cliff, around my feet were scattered remnants of past things. Behind me a great storm was gathering, ahead of me on the other side of this great crevasse was a softly lighted path. In the dream, I was terribly frightened and would wake up in a sweat.

In real life, I took a deep breath. I gave up my pretty dresses for jeans and flannel shirts, my heels for boots, and my manicured nails for ink and paint stained fingers. My hands would grow strong and calloused. I held tight to that paint brush as I stepped off the cliff.

I did not fall.

  1. ladiva1 says:

    You and your art are fascinating…so closely connected….everytime I look at my print with the gold fish, I think of you…I so love it…and don’t know why….anyway…life sure has a lot of flavors does it not!…..and so glad you did not fall…xoxoxo


    • not sure how to respond to such a lovely thought, but thank you! I do believe that every good work created by whomever,belongs to someone, is needed by someone,to help, to heal, to bring whatever is needed… just a matter of the two finding each other. Namaste


  2. Nancy Tanner says:

    LOVE this painting! Nancy


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