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Looking in the rear view mirror

Many people look back over the past year about this time of year. I am no exception.

I have not been passively reflecting however, I have been wrestling with myself. This mental jousting was triggered, ironically, by a seasonal greeting I sent wishing all who received it a peace and joy filled life. One of my friends wrote back congratulating me on all of my successes this past year and wishing me continued success.

I went down a rabbit hole. Success? What successes? What qualifies as achievement? Here is the crux of the matter, the successes and achievements I would look for, as a card carrying member of our culture, are bright and shiny and usually connected to money and if not fame, at least acknowledgement. I don’t have many of those.

I can point to a solo show of my work, as well as a two woman show and multiple group shows, in the past year, where my paintings sat on walls next to truly wonderful work. Can i count that? I sold some pieces and did some commission work. Does that count?

The artist group I am president of had a hallmark year running its first ever fund raising event (

quite successfully, thank you) and we moved into a gallery space. These successes were achieved through the work of many dedicated people. Not my success, but I helped and I am grateful.

I facilitate a weekly centering prayer group and that has flourished in the past year. Again, not my accomplishment, still it should be counted as a wonderful part of this past year. and something I am so very grateful for.

My own spiritual journey continues. I have had physical setbacks this year and that has given me a new view on my life and enabled me to learn how to live with vulnerability and uncertainty. In some ways I suspect that this may be my greatest “success” of the year. While my health presented as an obstacle I found an opportunity for accepting and growing, some play was involved. This speaks to what I consider success in 2017.

Mostly my year has been spent in quieter pursuits that will never result in acclaim. Insecurity has been a pretty constant companion, and in many ways this has been good for me. I can’t learn anything if I know all the answers.

I am grateful for my life this past year, all the pleasures and the pains. The friends who have nurtured me as well as the snubs. I have used all of it to get to where I am now.

In trying to assess this past year, I finally decided that I should look through the artwork completed. I may not have had great financial success but I did explore and produce work. I kept working on the series I had begun in 2016, I pushed the definitions of the work. While my work is not "representational " or realistic it does reflect on my world as I experience it. I still have a path forward.

The majority of the work is included in this slide show. I hope you enjoy the work.

My sincerest wish is that everyone I meet will have lives full of laughter, and forgiveness, ease and health, companionship and interdependence.

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