Hi, I know it has been quite a long time since I’ve sat down and put some words on paper. I could say life has been crazy, but it really hasn’t. I could say I have been wrapped up in planning my daughter’s wedding, but I haven’t. I could say my job has been keeping me so busy I can barely keep my head above water, but it hasn’t. The truth is, I haven’t wanted to write at all; words don’t come to me as easy as they did when I first started this blog seven years ago this September. I’m sure part of it is because I’ve been lazy, but a major part is because I’m trying to put a little less of my mess out into the stratosphere. But this morning, as I was doing some Thanksgiving prep, I turned and saw that massive portrait of an old lady hanging in my hallway, and never before could I relate to her face. Tired, worn, and full of thoughts.
I’m not sure if I’ve told you the story of how she came to hang in my hallway because, again, I can relate to the old of her, forgetting what stories I’ve told and what stories I havent. About five years ago, I was doing a show, and I was walking around the venue’s lobby. It was a Performing Arts Center somewhere in California, and there was an art show with paintings that varied from landscapes to splats of green paint on a white canvas. As I walked around the lobby, lost in the paintings and no doubt wishing I was home, I came across her, the old lady, and I just stopped and stared. I was in the process of writing my book (shameless plug here if you want to buy it, you know, for Christmas gifts or something), and she was EXACTLY how I pictured the main character, Sophia, to have aged. I couldn’t stop staring at her. If you haven’t read my book yet, you might not know that Sophia’s life is loosely based on my own, and I felt like I was looking in a futurist window of what I would look like 20 or 30 years from now. I stood in the lobby long enough that my radio started to squawk with people looking for me, so I quickly looked at the price and just knew I was going to have her hang in my apartment someday. I contacted the artist as soon as I got back to the Production office and told her I wanted to purchase her painting. She explained to me that she was at a friend’s daughter’s wedding, and that is a picture of their old Italian grandmother. It was just perfect!
What followed was a spectacular debacle of getting her from California to Tennessee, which included 2 round trips because UPS thought it would be better to ship her back to California because I wasn’t home to sign for her; I was STILL on tour. But six months later and more money than I care to put in black and white, she has been hanging in my hallway for years now. I see her every time I come home or leave, and she makes me smile most days. But today, I caught her looking at me out of the corner of her eyes, and I felt old and a little sad. I’ve tried hard to age gracefully, and I usually don’t feel my age, even when working with 30-year-olds.
This year my chickens will be spending Thanksgiving, the actual day, with their significant others and their families, and it will be just my husband and me. The chickens came over last weekend, and we had Thanksgiving with them then, which is fine; we are used to doing that; being a family from divorce, you celebrate holidays when it’s your weekend. But as I stood in the kitchen looking at a bag of cranberries and a turkey breast, for the first time, I felt old, like there weren’t very many Thanksgivings left, and it was a weird and melancholy kind of feeling.
I don’t really know what I’m trying to put down on this very awkward post, and maybe I’m out of practice writing about my feelings, but today, I felt the need to get them out of me and onto the paper. I stood for a long time and looked at Sophia hanging there on the wall and decided she wasn’t sad; she was content. She had a glass of wine in her hand and was reflecting on how fast her life had gone by as she watched her granddaughter dance with her new husband at their wedding, and I could relate to her more than even I knew.
I hope you all have great Thanksgiving, whether it’s with a large, loud family or a quiet dinner at a restaurant. Soak up all those moments and revel in all that is good and happy.