Time to dust off unused treasures.
Do you have a set of china that you only pull out once or twice a year if ever? How about a gorgeous piece of jewelry that you only wear on special occasions? An antique chair that no one sits in?
I have a set of china that I’ve owned for over 30 years. It used to be service for 12 but now it’s more like service for 9 ½ . In the beginning I pulled the china out only for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then I started using it more often when the kids were teenagers (hence the reduction in pieces). Now, the kids are grown and gone, but I’ll still set the table for a date night with my husband; Sunday dinner; when having guests over for any reason; or “just because”.
I learned long ago that having something just for the sake of having it adds no value to my life. We acquire and hold on to things because they appeal to us somehow – because of their beauty, their functionality, or simply because someone dear to us has given it as a gift. But for these things to be truly special in our lives we must USE them.
I say that I learned this long ago, but funny, how lessons learned can quickly be forgotten. Or, if not forgotten, then not universally applied. Some time ago, I’m guessing between 6-9 years, my boss at the time (who was also a great friend – more friend than supervisor) gave me a Christmas present. It was the most exquisite sketch book I have ever owned. Yes, a sketchbook. Although we worked in real estate he knew that my true passion was art, and the thought that he put into this gift simply blew me away. It has been my most cherished sketchbook ever. Cherished yet void of sketches.
I always laugh when people marvel at my art and say “I can’t even draw a stick figure”. If they only knew. You see, my “sketches” are nothing more than doodles and stick figures and notes. For me they are meant only to be the road map for my finished painting. More likely than not, I will end up taking a detour in the middle of that painting and I make corrections and modifications as I go along so I don’t usually waste time with a full-blown drawing.
Imagine my excitement and awe when he gave me this sketch book, this masterpiece of heavy, deep burgundy colored, leather, hand-stamped and polished, filled with handmade papers stitched in, each and every page separated by a vellum sheet. My God, how could I just put doodles and stick figures in it? I would never, ever deface such beauty.
So I put it in a special place in my studio, kept it dusted and protected for so many years…
As I approach the second anniversary of my dear friend’s passing I’ve decided it is time to fill my sketchbook. How could I let sit and be barren for so long? Well, it’s a new year and I’ve decided to create some new sketches – drawings with meaning, drawings that I take my time with, drawings from which I will actually learn something. And if an occasional doodle or stick figure finds it way there, so be it. If a painting happens to emerge from any of my new sketches, all the better.
In honor of Tim R. Taylor who passed away on February 10, 2012 and in honor of Black History Month, I’ve added what I think is a deserving first drawing to my prized sketchbook, my rendering of Nelson Mandela. Tim, if you didn’t know just how much I love my sketchbook, I hope you do now. Thank you, Boss. I miss you.
Tell me about your unused treasures that are waiting to be what they were meant to be.