It was successful, by the way, the gift. When I presented it to him, he didn’t fully understand. It just looked like an odd, artsy, plant-y presentation of a rose-shaped folded piece of fabric. After the distractions of other sudden comments and conversations from passers-by departed, he finally continued opening up the rose-folded fabric… One guy commented enthusiastically, “It’s a scarf!” at which point I realized that no one had any idea what it actually was yet, and he needed to unfold it all the way. Finally, he got there, and he discovered that it was a Hawaiian shirt! And it was a very nice and pretty and purple Hawaiian shirt. He was delighted, huge smile and hug and everything. He showed it almost immediately to his friends, and they went wild, cheering. As I had said, he’d needed a Hawaiian shirt. 😛 Even though he enjoyed it greatly, he commented at one point that he thought his friends might be even more excited about it than he was – a major compliment on the present. I was thrilled and grateful that it had played out so well. My mom had done the folding and presentation setup of the shirt, cutting palm fronds and leafy, green things, and picking up moss clumps to put it all together in a beautiful presentation, like a fancy flower on display in a box. (Naturally, I never got a photo of it in good lighting, because I was so excited about gifting it…, but it is what it is, so here is the poorly lit photo I have of the “flower”.)
Separately, my mom and I went to an Islamic Art Festival today. It was filled with luminous, beautiful, heart-filled art. So much heart and light and love all around that room today. I am grateful to have been able just to be present with it all. I am further grateful for the fact that just a tiny bit of it came home with me this evening, thanks to my mom.
However, there was one piece that caught my eye early on in the day: a medium-large, mostly white painting. (I know, a white canvas sounds impressive, but it absolutely was…) It had some gold foiling on it, but looked like an otherwise white , slightly textured painting (almost oil-like with the depth and textures), with script shaped to look a bit like a whirling dervish, a Sufi. I wanted to know what it said. But mostly so that I could be clear that it had been calling to me in particular…, because it felt for the first time in my life that I wanted to – **snoot-snoot** – ‘purchase an art piece for our personal home collection’. I know it may seem to be odd wording there, but that was what it was. Like the Sophie Kinsella book “Remember Me?”, how they collected art for their fancy “loft-style living” penthouse, I wanted to start my own real collection of art today. (**Note: In the book, she had gone from having missed a bonus by a one-week hire date at her new, low-paying job to, after a car accident and resulting amnesia, being five years older, married, in a high-paying leadership job at the company, driving a Mercedes, and living in an extremely posh penthouse in London along the Thames. So, the lifestyle was absolutely foreign to her, and their art collection had particularly blown her mind simply as a concept, let alone what the art pieces were and how much they had cost [loads and loads, obviously]. Her commentary upon discovering everything in her ‘new’ wealthy life and lifestyle was comical and relatable, and her story was quite inspiring in terms of pursuing lofty dreams in life… like having a posh art collection in ‘loft-style living’. Hashtag real-life goals, right?… Anyway, moving on…)
When we returned later to speak with the artist – she hadn’t yet arrived to the festival for the day when we first were there -, I began crying during her explanation of the words on the piece and why she had done what she had for it. I couldn’t explain myself except that I was overwhelmed, literally overflowing with water. And I couldn’t seem to stop for a while. The words she was sharing through that piece were exactly what have been my guiding light lately in life, it was no wonder I was so drawn to the piece. I hadn’t even noticed initially that they were words, the energy of it was so loud and so truly in line with where I am presently moving in life.
She could tell it was positive crying, I believe. The piece itself she had set for $500, with all of the proceeds going to a charity she likes and supports. The latter part was impressive in and of itself (including what the wonderful charity does), making me want to support the artist all the more (and, of course, making me cry a bit more in gratitude for the wonderful, heart-filled good that people are still pursuing and doing in this beautiful life). The former set the piece where I believed it belonged, in a ‘true art piece’ category. She went on to tell me that she would be more than happy to work with us… on other offers of price, or, even, on a print of the piece – she’d gladly work with us on any of the options, as she wants the piece to go somewhere where it will be loved and appreciated and wanted.
So, we have all of her information, and I will be discerning over the next several hours and couple days, and I will reach out to her to let her know where I stand with everything, likely tomorrow or Tuesday. My mom said to me that this was a perfect example of where she would love to be in a life where such a purchase could be an easy, “Yes,” and a, “And here’s another $500 to go with it.” But we don’t live that kind of life. Not right now, anyway. And that is perfect for right now. Regarding what to do about the piece, I would love to have it in my home for the rest of my life. And that is a lot of money for me at present. Sure, I may have money in the bank, but, until I have reliable higher income, that money is there to keep me functioning (safely and reliably and without mental stress) in life with food and housing and transportation, etc.
I want to honor the piece for what it is. And I must honor my current financial state, and trust that God will guide me appropriately forward.
When I saw the piece, when it reached out and called me initially, my experience, though I hadn’t had the words at the time, was one of slight paralysis as the idea settled within me that, ‘I want to see that every day of my life.’ I believe fully that we are exactly where we need to be, exactly when we need to be there. And we are given exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. This piece and this wonderful artist and woman showed up today on purpose – we all fulfilled needs all around. This discernment is here for me necessarily, and right now. God, please guide me clearly forward with this art piece. I trust in you wholly. Amen.