Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trees and Squirrels

As I get ready for the Mother's Day show... and... as the 40th day passes from my grandmother's death... I stop to realize that life is good, even with its losses. Life is my everyday and everyday is my life... It takes its courses, downfalls, turns, and stops, but that's life... my life... my good life...
Today, I stop to realize that the world around me offers everything and anything. I can be what I want, do what I want, and experience all that I want. Due to that type of freedom, life brings us certain setbacks to help us realize what we actually, not just want, but need.
If you've been reading for the past year, then, you probably know me really well. If you've just joined us, I'd like to go back to a past post I wrote on April 21, 2010. It was "Day 80" of my 365 Everday Modest project. On day 80, I visited my grandmother and I wrote about how, even though she has Alzheimer's, she remembers she loves me... She is the grandmother that recently passed away and I thought I'd go back to it to explain how my life has evolved in the past year. I wrote about a squirrel in Day 80 and I bring that up because I had an encounter with a squirrel the other day. I was sitting at the park, under a tree, and a squirrel came towards me and sat down next to me, less than a foot away. I tried not to move so that I wouldn't scare it away and watched it look up at me. Then, I said, "Hi Tati," which means grandma, and smiled at it.
We buried her under a tree and, now, every time I sit under a tree and see a squirrel, it takes me back to "Day 80," and, "Day 80" is where I want to keep her in my memory. Here is a bit of that day:

"Yesterday, I went by to see her and she was outside feeding a squirrel. I know, how weird... right? Ya, it was pretty weird, but amazing. The squirrel was sitting right at her feet as she handed it a big piece of bread. The squirrel grabbed the bread, nibbled at it, then, dropped it and stood on his back feet, looked up at my grandma, and wiggled his fuzzy tail. I watched this happening from the top of the stairs and couldn't help but laugh at the ugly thing who looked like a rat due to the rain and wet puddles around. So she looked down at it and said, (in Armenian) "That's it, no more, you're not getting sweets today!" The squirrel still looking up at her, sat down and waited. Then my grandma said to me, "Why aren't you coming up? Are you scared of it? I'm just feeding this 'rat'... come on, come in..." So, I slowly walked towards the door of the house, and, surprisingly enough, it didn't run away. I said, "No, I'm not scared of the rat grandma, but it'll run if I come towards it." She replied, "No, don't worry, come in," as she picked the bread back up, tore it to pieces, threw some out to the birds, and gave the squirrel a smaller piece. Then, I watched as the squirrel grabbed the smaller piece of bread, looked back at my grandma, reassuring itself that it wasn't going to get anything sweet today, then, ran down the stairs...

It was so extraordinary and funny to watch all this happen...

As I walked inside her home, still thinking about what had happened, I took off my shoes, and sat down comfortably on the couch. I was there for about an hour and a half, and throughout that period, she asked me if I wanted tea about 22 times, asked what day it was, about 6 times, and told me to eat the apples she had cut about 14 times...

As she asked me the 4th time about what day it was, I just looked at her with a dumbed look on my face...she looked back at me, grinned and said, "What should I do, I forget..." while shrugging her shoulders.

With all the things she forgets during her day, she always recognizes my voice over the phone, remembers my fiance's name, gets extremely excited when I show up at her door, and remembers that she loves me...

As we were sitting there, there was a music video on t.v. of a woman singing about her mom and why she had to grow old... my grandma watched it and after it was over said, "It's not in her hands, if it was, she wouldn't have..."'

As for my life now, a year later, it's good... Life is better because, now, I have a special relationship with trees and squirrels.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dust & Good Manners

Patching and sanding is not a good idea without a covered floor... As we get ready for the opening next month, I get myself to mop the floors about 23 times today and due to the dust in the air, and on the floor, it was close to impossible to get them clean. So... I left it at 23 and figured I'd go back to it tomorrow. Maybe, another 23 rounds will get it to come back to life.
As I mopped the floors and took in the dust through my nose, eyes, ears, and hair, I couldn't help but be a bit off my mood. I had asked my sister to get me some coffee to give me a bit more arm power so as she walked in the dusty air, she set my coffee down on the table and asked me a question. I looked up from the dust and said, "Why do you come here and ask me so many questions?" She hesitated and thought about how well she knew me and said, "Ok, I guess I'll see you later at home..." as she walked out. I thought to myself, "Ok... you could've been a bit nicer... she brought you coffee... you MEAN bitch!" So, as I went around the room, with the mop, for, I think, the 14th round at that time, I put the mop down, and called her. "Hello..." she answered in an annoyed tone. "Thanks for the coffee..." I said. "You're welcome..." she said.
I'm glad I called to thank her... Letting a little bit of dust and 23 rounds of mopping a 700 square foot room was not going to keep me from having good manners, especially with the family.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Modest Fly Art on Mother's Day!

Mother & Children, Paris by Linda Queally

Nowadays, it's the rentals, fabrics, lists, flowers, and schedules that keep me more than occupied. On top of the 600 person wedding/production I'm trying to put together, this month, Modest Fly Art is expanding. We are moving next door to a bigger space with a corner location. The move came as a big surprise to me because it was (kind of) a wedding present from the one and only. He showed up and asked me to write a letter stating that his business was moving, etc. Then, after typing it up, he told me to sign Modest Fly Art underneath... It was so memorable and nice... Considering the fact that, yes, I do have a great fiance, moving into a bigger space, in the next couple of months, is going to be double the pressure... but, I'm so psyched!
After sleeping on the thought of having a great grand opening, I thought that the best way and time to do it would be for Mother's Day in May. So, the opening is going to be held on May 6th, 2011 from 6-10 PM and the gallery will be showing the work of the Angeles Crest Art Guild, in other words, the women who served as my mother for 10 days in France last year. There will be 20 women artists participating and I can't think of any other artists I'd like to use for this special occasion during this time in my life. The show will be in memory of all the mothers who have passed and all the ones who are still around to make us smile. I will work as hard as I can to have a great opening and I hope for a great turn out!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thank you!

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Fear or Faith

I've been thinking today... about a lot of things... my grandma, death, life, marriage, friends, faith, and, mostly, fear... I don't know what it is but, these days, I feel like the last few weeks haven't happened. I feel like I've skipped over a month of my life and I just haven't seen her in a while. Due to that feeling, everything is getting better... except... for the fear that death left me. All my life I've heard people talk about it and I used to think it's that feeling you get when you look down from a high place or that feeling you get when you're on an airplane during turbulence. Now, I know the feeling of actual fear... it's the type of fear death leaves you... it makes you feel like you can lose anyone in your life at any certain moment and that is the type of fear that can swallow you up if it's not controlled. Today, I've been thinking... and after thinking it through, I've come to the conclusion that I choose faith... not fear. I have too much to do and too little time to fear it all.

"You block your dreams when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith."
Mary Manin Morrissey

Monday, April 4, 2011

Joy, You've Got Guts!

The "She's Got Guts!" opening was successful, but, this time it was a different kind of successful... This time, I actually had that one unexplainable moment.
If you haven't heard about the opening, the artist's name is Joy Villa and she is an all around artist. She is a tattoo artist, actress, painter, singer, model, performer and so many other things.
The art looked great but it wasn't just the art... I stood outside watching her talk about it and she was amazing... Her energy filled the room like I had never seen before and I, as an artist, can't explain how admirable that is.
During the show, she kept thanking me for giving her this opportunity and, now, I'd like to thank her for showing me what it is to be alive as an artist... what it is to be present with your artwork and how to engage other people into your work and yourself. Joy, you've got guts! Thank you!