Warning…..it's a VENT session…but it has a happy ending.
Some of you may remember that my Art of Intention™ for June was to RECIVE! This has not always been an easy place to go for me, but I am staying with the idea and opening my heart to the possibilities.
June Art of Intention™: Receive
Yesterday I was given a true gift. I had reached the end of my thread about finding a home to teach my classes, in this absurdly expensive Valley. I was tearful at lunch with a dear friend, talking about this issue and the changing state and values of my beloved community. We love to talk about COMMUNITY here, but really, I see yet another town, going down the glutenous path. Landlords would rather sit with empty storefronts, then reduce their monthly rents. What is the point in that? A tax write off?
I can share with you that when I have this discussion with "business people," their response to me is, "Raise your rates." This doesn't work for me. I already charge what I consider to be a large fee, but work on a sliding scale for clients in need and each year I chose a pro-bono when a client-generally a woman who is living with cancer. Okay, so maybe that IS my problem, but it's also an inherent value that I have to SERVE not just an elite few, but to SERVE people in need.
Don't get me wrong, I am VERY lucky, I have a beautiful home, a wonderful studio to work in and share with clients, but it's tough enough financially living in this Valley, and it's not large enough to do my classes and workshops. I gave up my reasonable space, when the building sold and they went to 30-day leases, and the pressure from the landlord that the building could be torn down in the "next six months." Well, due to the economic meltdown, the building still stands-albeit with the requisite 30 day lease. I am not a gambler, so I left and moved home…shame on me. There are days I feel as if my hands have been shackled behind my back, as my desire to share the work is so strong. I have crammed women into my small space and we have crawled over one another in the spirit of creativity.
I called one place on Monday, but the reception was cool-to say the least-and since my second intention this month is to "GO WHERE THE RIVER FLOWS," -I decided to open a new door, to a new possibility. I called a man who owns a fine art studio on Main St. It's a YUMMY working studio! A big brick space, with a paint splattered floor studio and huge paintings by the artist hanging everywhere. I took a risk…I reached out and asked…"Would you be willing to let me host some classes here?" His wife was so warm and open…"I think that sounds great, let me talk to Magid."
Magid, called the next day and said, "Here is the schedule, we would love to have you. You can use the studio any of the times we are not here and we can work out the one night a month." I began crying immediately and told him I could not believe how open and generous he was. Truthfully, I had been thinking of calling him for months, but didn't. I don't know what the resistance was about…fear, possible rejection, lack of "readiness?" Before we hung us Magid said, "I read your book, it's very good. I like the ideas you have expressed about creativity." This blew me away again and meant a lot from someone I consider a Fine Artist. Magid knows color theory! And what's perfect is that he's an artist NIGHT OWL, and I'm and ARTIST EARLY BIRD! Are schedules synched in real time!
And so the VERY HAPPY ending to this story is that Magid and Ruth have allowed me to BELIEVE again. To believe there are others out there looking to make a quick buck off someone else. People who "get" the TRUE meaning of community and what that means at the deepest level. People who understand the concept of SUSTAINABILITY and that things aren't always what they appear when we simply look at things from the OUTSIDE.
SO for those of you who are in the Valley, Painting Your Heart Out, Soul Sessions and Sunday Morning, Painting Your Prayers begins again in July. If you're in Carbondale, stop by Magid and Ruth's and thank them for their BIG HEARTS, COMMUNITY SPIRIT and LOVING GENEROSITY!
Magid and Ruth…this Soul Session's for you. xxoo
Title: My Cup Runneth Over