Rita climbed into her car with joy and excitement pulsating through her body. A smile spread across her face from ear to ear, as a sparkle danced in her eyes, the evening had awakened her spirit. The art she witnessed and the artists statements truly inspired her. Then of course there was the interactions with Larry, while they both had aged, he still had that contagious “go for it” energy that he did when they first met. It seemed like nothing held him back, just like the stunning painting of his daughter, he too lived wild and free. Rita wanted some of that energy, that absolute faith, perseverance and commitment to one’s passions and dreams.
Her car seemed to drift home all on its own, for her thoughts carried her away, dancing between memories and the present day. Deep within her she felt the long hibernating seed of creativity beginning to sprout again. Years ago it went into deep hibernation, now it beckoned her to pour on the warmth of belief while watering it with imagination and childlike confidence.
Larry had asked her some big questions. They were of course ones the magazine had stirred up for her- “did she miss creating art?” “Oh my yes,” she spoke out loud to herself. It literally felt like an ache in her bones, a throbbing in her very core. Her mind guided by her soul wandered off into what she desired to create? What intrigued and called to her? Within her stirred all these sensations and images about women, about the wild, untamed, free spirit that rose like a phoenix. She chuckled to herself as she recalled the small art piece she had begun to create the other day when she and Francine were sharing time. It had been exactly that, the rising feminine.
When she and Marie went to leave, Larry had bustled over, touched her arm and said, “I hope you will come back, both of you, it was such a pleasure to see you again.”
“Oh, I will be back, for this experience has truly inspired me. It’s an exquisite trip to wonderland,” she smiled with gratitude at him.
“That’s delightful to hear, I will look forward to seeing you both again,” he shared as he bowed slightly to gesture farewell for now.
Once they were outside, Marie teased Rita, “I think he likes you.”
“Are you crazy, he was just being nice. Besides, he said he and his partner with regard to the gallery, remember,” she responded, mostly to remind herself.
“Partners does not necessarily mean intimate, there are all kinds of partners. It could just be a business partner,” Marie chided.
“I suppose, but seriously Marie, I’m a nobody in this art world, a single divorced mom who works a daily boring job. Why would he find me remotely interesting,” Rita self criticized out loud.
“Oh, my dear friend, as always you completely underestimate your beauty and play small in all that you have to share. If you could only see yourself through the eyes of those who really know you,” Marie exhaled with frustration at her dearest friend. “I believe it is time for you to get to work on your next masterpiece,” she continued, as she took Rita into a hug goodbye.
“Thank you, as always, you are my grandest cheerleader and hugest support. I can’t imagine my life without you,” she hugged Marie back feeling a rush of emotions surface as the swell of gratitude and love rose up.
She couldn’t believe she was already home, wow, crazy how quick the drive goes and how easy the traffic is when you are completely lost in thoughtful exploration. Turning off the car, she sat for a moment in the still silence of the garage. Stepping out of the car meant walking back into her normal life. The chasm between her dream life and real existence felt massive, a wave of fear washed through her. Taking a deep breath, she lifted up the flyer from tonights event, “One step and one day at a time Rita, you can do this,” she encouraged herself out loud.
Getting out of the car she walked toward the door to the house, she wondered if Francine and Frank were still up, she guessed they were, for it was only around 9:00pm. As she thought about them, it struck her, not only did she get to come home to the artist inside of her for herself, she had to role model for her children that anything is possible. That dreams do come true if we believe and move towards them.
“Hi mom, how was the art show,” Francine greeted her mom, coming quickly from her bedroom. She was anxious to hear about her mom’s time. Eager to see how her mom felt after being encircled by the work of other artists.
Francine was still on a high about her growing friendship with Jennifer. Yesterday Jennifer had come home with her after school as planned. It had been awesome! Talking and sharing time had been way easier than she thought it might be, matter a fact, there was never an awkward moment. During their time, they had discovered that they had more in common than they realized. At the end of their time together, they made plans for this next weekend, Francine would get to visit Jennifer’s house, which was close to downtown, so they could go to stores or coffee shops, whatever they wanted. Francine was so excited.
“It was incredible Francine,” Rita responded as she hugged her daughter, smiling at how tall she was, her little girl was becoming a young woman. “I had so much fun viewing the diverse art and reading the artist’s bios and statements. It really inspired me. Also made me realize how much I miss the art scene. I’m definitely rusty and out of the loop, but, I actually reconnected with the owner of the gallery who competed in that art show with me years ago. He’s really become even more talented, his work was breathtaking,” the night just rolled out of Rita with contagious enthusiasm and joy.
Francine listened with eagerness, for she was genuinely curious to watch how the magazine changed her mom’s life. It helped her to feel less afraid and alone on this new adventure.
Arm in arm they walked to Frank’s room, where her mom knocked on the door. “Come in,” Frank responded.
“Hi son, just wanted to check in and see how you are,” Rita shared as she walked over to kiss her son’s head.
“It was a good night mom. Working on homework right now. Play practice went late, so I’m a bit behind. While I love doing the play, I am also excited for it to be over, so I have more time,” he responded.
“I bet, the time commitment with the plays is intense. I’m always proud of how you juggle it all,” Rita smiled down at her son.
“Thanks, mom. How was your night,” he asked.
“I was just telling Francine that I had a fabulous time. It was incredible to see all the different mediums and read about the artists,” she joyfully shared.
“That’s great mom,” he genuinely replied.
“Well, we’ll let you get back to work. Get some good sleep, don’t stay up too late working on stuff,” she softly stated while giving him one more hug and kiss on the head.
Once she and Francine were in the hallway, Francine whispered, “Can we go and visit with the magazine?”
To be continued… 35