Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Being There for Others - An Artist's Date

Interrupted by phone calls, my Artist’s Date wasn’t perfect. But life gets in the way and one thing I want to get right is being there for other people when they need me. I drove to Huntington Beach, parked by Huntington Playhouse across the street, took a stroll to limber me up. Down the tall stairs and on the beach, I went with the flow and found white, green, and maroon beach glass in all sizes and shapes on the beach, a gift from Lake Erie. It was a huge surprise. Looking out at the lake, I took pictures of the seagulls on the rocks at the end of a breakwall, felt happy about the couple sitting there together, her camera pointed up to capture a flying bird, the rocky shore with its cliffs above and sand between, the blue sky, the Cleveland skyline in the hazy distance, beautiful. I sat on the sand and let the waves calm me like ugi breath in yoga.

Up the stairs I went, under the bridge after passing a couple so obviously enamored with each other that I was surprised they still had their clothes on, emerging in the woods on the path near the playhouse again. I wandered down the meandering path bordered by flowers and tall grasses and flowering bushes. I walked up the stairs to the coffee shop, housed in a Victorian house and entered into a conversation with the barrista and a 65-year-old man about how to store coffee and a New York Times article that interviewed a coffee grower in Guatemala. How do I store my coffee? In the Starbucks bag it came in, next to my coffee maker.

Coffee in hand, I stepped into the gallery and noticed the greeting cards and jewelry and paintings for sale, walked into the gallery showing the juried exhibition and looked at uninspired sketches of bodies and was disappointed enough that I was ready to leave. An artist-volunteer asked me if I had questions and told me a bit about the place and Baycrafters, none of it new, and when she asked me how my day was going, I said, “I’m having a perfect day.” We found common ground when she admitted that The Artist’s Way changed her life and gave her permission to be the artist she is today.

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