Sunday, February 08, 2009

Art - A - Week

Over under favorite blog links you will find Art-A-Week. It's a wonderful site to just see what some artists are doing. I love looking at the different kinds of artwork. I am FRUSTRATED that I'm not creating anything at the moment. I am going to carry my journal and little art supply bag with me, on the plane. I may not have room to do any art on the actual flight but there may be some down time between flights that I can pull that journal out and fire it up.
Normally, when I'm in an airport, sitting and waiting for something I people watch. I find people fascinating. I watch people on their cell phones. We may even get eye contact but I notice that they don't really see me as they pace back and forth talking. Their eyes seem to look through me, which is fine with me. I like to watch families and how they interact with each other.
If I am traveling by myself I often sit down next to somebody who isn't doing anything but just sitting and make some idle conversation.
One time I sat down next to this young woman with purple hair and we talked and it turned out she had her own band and was joining up with them in Chicago. At that time I was doing ATCs and I had some with me to show my friends so I let her pick out a couple that she liked.
She was thrilled. Then to my surprise she reached down into her bag and pulled out a CD of her band and gave it to me. We didn't sit close to each other on the plane but as we were getting off in Chicago she gave me a fist bump and wished me well. Made me smile.
If I am at some resort or hotel and I am eating by myself I will often look around for someone else eating alone and then ask them if they would like some company. I've had some very interesting discussion with different women about things doing this.
I remember, in San Diego, asking this striking African American woman if she would like some company. She looked up at me, her expression puzzled and then said, "That would be wonderful. I've never heard of anybody doing this." I told her it wasn't such a big deal in Europe but that we were always on Orange alert in the US. At least the airports would have us believe that. We talked through breakfast and then carried our coffee outside to the chairs by the beach and continued talking. She was in the process of selling her company in New York and moving out to California and opening her dream business, a restaurant. At the end of our talk we shook hands and then said what the hell and hugged. She told me that she just hadn't had anybody to be a sounding board for her thoughts, dreams and goals. That being a CEO left her rather alone with her thoughts. People thought she had everything already all together.
I probably can get away with this behavior because I look non threatening. Just your average, Midwest, middle age, traditionally built woman. But John says I have killer dimples when I smile so maybe that's the secret, you think? lolololsnort
Anyway, here's my suggestion for you this week while I am down in Florida basking in the sunshine. If you go out to lunch at a little cafe, by yourself, be brave, look around and just ask somebody if you can sit with them. The worst that can happen is that they will say no. Big deal.
You still have a nice lunch to eat. If you sit next to somebody while you are waiting for something, talk to them. It's not like you have to be BFFL.
But, I will tell you this..............it's a big part of MY belief system. If you meet somebody and you talk with them more than just the greeting, how are you, gotta go conversation, that person has something YOU NEED TO HEAR and they have something THEY NEED TO HEAR. Neither of you will know what that something is but trust me, some little seed thought or gem is going to perk in their mind or come to their need later.
I remember running into an old, dear friend that I had lost touch with over the years. We both had somewhere to be but stood their for at least 10 minutes catching up as fast as we could.
I remember telling her how much I appreciated her support, love and trust in me when my daughter was younger. I told her how much I loved her support of my getting back into art.
We hugged and went on our separate ways. About six months later I learned that she had died of cancer. I called her daughter and told her how much I missed her mother and had loved her and she told me that her mother had told her about running into me and how she had gone down to the basement and dug out her paints and did some paintings for her grandchildren before she died.
It's not often that you get any feedback about a conversation. I was so glad that I had an opportunity to tell her how much she meant to me. How much I had loved her wisdom and loving care when I needed it. And, I hope that our talk about art prompted her to get those paints back out. I'm so glad her grandchildren have something to hold that was created by her.
So, get out there............smile..............look around............make contact with other human beings.
The media would have scared to do that. The TV shows would have us believe that everybody out there is a killer. Sure, the weirdos are out there but for the most part it's just a bunch of ordinary human beings just trying to figure out life.
Ok, I'm off to finish packing. I'm going to take my laptop with me. I hope to be able to post everyday but if I don't I'll be taking photographs and doing art, oh and soaking up some much needed vitamin D. Thanks for stopping by.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you shared the experiences of taking the small risks and connecting. You, of course, taught me the importance of understanding that meaning and signs come from everywhere. The practice of reaching out is so fundamental and important. One of the things we forget to talk about and share.

    Connecting with other people, at the heart of it, is what makes life interesting. I've made acquaintances that have been the objective voice giving me the critical comment that helps me move to action. Other unplanned connections have turned into work and clients. At the very least, meeting someone's eyes and smiling at them is one of those experiences that remind you you're not alone on a lonely day.

    Thanks for the reminder that small risks have powerful consequences. I plan to challenge my Agribusiness Communication students to try your lunchtime challenge (this will be a stretch for kids who've spent most of their lives on farms).

    Travel safely.
    Donna

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