I'm up to my ears in "thesis work" - almost done - turning in the rough draft Wednesday (yippee - yeah!) So I'm whimping out and posting a re-run. Actually - it's not a re-run any of you guys have seen...it's something I wrote for my final project in school 7 years ago. I was 45 years old at the time in a class of all 20 something year-olds. We had to create a work of art that reflected us personally in some way and write an essay to be read while the piece was "unveiled."
Mine was an old door frame with 12 window panes on it. I created a box 5 inches deep and laid the frame over the top. Where each pane was - I created a box. Wish I had a picture. The box got dismantled several years ago because the contents was too precious to leave it laying around in the garage.
Anyhoo - here's my essay. I figured it might give you a little more glimpse of who I am than what you normally see here.
This project has been difficult for me to do. Not because of technical or creative concerns - but because of where I happen to be in my life right now. Most of you, though your projects reflected an essence of looking back - have also had a strong emphasis on where and who you are now. You are all at a point in your lives where looking ahead is far more enjoyable than looking back. There is an eagerness and anticipation that makes life exciting for you all and I have enjoyed being a part of that - even if only as an observer.
My life is more than half over. I am at the 'wonderful' stage where that proverbial mid-life crisis has reared its ugly head - my hormones are in full swing - and my nest is about to become emptier as my middle daughter leaves for college this fall. Tomorrow I will graduate and it will be hard to switch gears. I've always been a stay-at-home mom and it will be hard to give up that role even though my daughters are almost adults themselves.
I have avoided looking back on my life lately because it has been a painful reminder of how fleeting and fragile time can be. Though the memories have been joyful and sweet - they have served to intensify that fact that nothing we have in this life we live is a 'given.'
My piece is a shadow box collection of memories. Each frame holds a memory from a particular era in my life. I have purposely not put them in chronological order because memories don't occur that way. I have transposed the words to some of my favorite songs onto each pane of glass because I believe music can be such a powerful tool in rekindling thoughts and feelings that we have tucked away in the corners of our mind. Throughout the piece I have strewn daisy petals as a reminder of the powerful influence my mother was and continues to be in my life. Though she has been gone from this world for 5 years now - she is still with me everyday. Daisies were her favorite flower.
The Scripture cards scattered throughout were found in my great grandmother's bible and are a reminder not only of my own faith - but of the prayers of others that have surrounded me though out my life and have brought me to where I am today. The bible I found them in was given to me by my dad, a week before he died and so they also represent him. He went to be with my mother 5 years ago today - a mere 3 weeks after she left us.
I have spent many hours sifting through old photographs, tenderly handling the memories and letting them surround me with their presence. It has not been easy. Looking back has served to remind me that I am also moving forward. This is something I am not eager to do. I wish with all of my heart that time could stand still. My husband is dying with cancer and my future is so uncertain. Though I know that the Lord will bring me through this trial as he has so many others - I am still afraid. I wish that I could step into this box I have made and linger for as long as it takes to give me the strength to move ahead.
I am hoping that my project will do more than just fulfill the requirement for this course. I want it to be a reminder to you all - of the beauty and frailty of life. Don't be in such a rush to move forward. live today - and love today - and make the most of today. Tomorrow will come soon enough.
Three months after I wote that - My dear hubby went to be with the Lord. (the pic is me & him the day after I wrote my essay.) Since that time two daughters have married (double wedding - same day!) and I have a grandson. I have remarried and am getting ready to move into a new house. I am also going to be graduating yet again this month when I receive my master's Degree. I can't believe how much has happened in such a short span of time.
My mantra is and always has been (to any of you who have been with me for a long time) to take time to stop and smell the flowers.