is a pretty good metaphor in picture. There's been no bigger
encouragement in my life of creative endeavors than my sister, Jackie,
pictured here letting me out of an antique Wells Fargo trunk.
I'm guessing it's fairly unusual to have a sibling as such an encourager.
I mean, our siblings are the ones we grow up with. Our siblings know our weaknesses better than anyone else in the world does.
They grew up sharing the medicine cabinet in which we hid our
Clearasil, they saw our tantrums, they smelled our gym clothes.
Similarly, our siblings look out at the world from a same shared
perspective that sees all the accomplished, smart, talented, creative
people in the world and measures our collective selves -- our family --
not quite as accomplished, smart, talented, or creative. If you're one
of us, you must be as ordinary as we are.
Our families see the
errors by which we learn. It's hard to see past them. We don't see
those same errors that were the avenue to success in the accomplished
But somehow Jackie heard the 6-8 year-old me tooting
melodies poorly on dad's harmonica and she was the first to buy me a
Yamaha chromatic harmonica of my own.
Somehow Jackie heard the
10-11 year old me stumble through Paul Simon and Peter, Paul, & Mary
songs on a borrowed guitar and heard enough good to think me a
guitarist worth listening to.
And when the only way I could
cope with the rhymes and words and thoughts that crowded my mind as I
worked at the wheel was by typing them into a blog, it was Jackie who
first called me a "writer". And then she even compiled some of my early
musings into a book.
So, yeah, the image of her letting me out
of the trunk is apt. It's a good metaphor. I wish everyone could have
a Jackie in their lives who sees more good than bad in them, who sees
something worth encouraging and nourishing in them, who would tell them
that no matter what else the world was saying about their creative
offerings, there is still at least one person in that world who sees
great value -- and who opens up the trunk for them and unleashes them
on the world.
I took a break from making these to go across town to the art fair and say hi to my friends exhibiting there.
While there I bumped into Mark. I see Mark once every ten years or so
since we both graduated from college back in the '70s. Odd that in a
town as small as ours I don't run into him more frequently.
Anyway, every time I see Mark I'm prone to wonder about how things might
have been. See, when the potter who gave me my start back in '76 was
looking for an apprentice to help him out, I wasn't the first student he called. Mark was.
When I see Mark I always wonder what I might have become if Mark had
been more interested in making pottery. I might be a rich stock broker
or a famous musician today.