Guest post by Gwen Fox, www. gwenfox.com.
There were lots of giggles and hugs as the women said their good-byes. They had come from all over the U.S. and Canada to take this workshop in Taos, New Mexico.
Now it was time to clean the facility and Helen graciously said she would help. We swept, mopped and laughed as we relived all the class personalities.
When we finished I asked Helen if she would like to go for a margarita at Doc Martins, located in the historic Taos Inn. Doc Martins is famous for the number of celebrities that come to have a quiet drink without all the fan fare of being a star.
We chose our seats in an area so we could talk. Helen had come a long distance and was new to the art world. I liked Helen as she was curious, eager to learn, intelligent and she had inner strength.
As we sipped our margaritas we started talking about art, painting and the struggles it brought. Helen’s eyes lowered and she looked into her margarita for several minutes. I had seen this scene many times. I knew what was coming as I had lived what she was about to say.
My job was to listen intently. My job was to be silent.
Helen looked up with eyes that showed her desperation in being who she knew she could be.
I glanced at the bartender and my eyes told her we needed another round of margaritas.
Helen’s questions spewed from her like a schoolyard fight. They were filled with anger.
Why had she waited so long to step into herself? At her age was there enough time? What if she tried and found out she was not good at this? Can I learn all I need to know? How can I be a success? Could she handle possible failure? How would she ever be able to find her “painting style?” What would her children think of her attempts at painting? Would they laugh and roll their eyes?
But the biggest question came at the end…. What if I open the door to my creativity and find an empty room?
So many questions all filled with paralyzing fear.
Helen looked up with a weary smile as she realized she had just spilled her soul. She laughed and said it must be the liquor.
What should I do?, asked Helen.
My margarita glass was empty so I licked the salt around the rim. Looking Helen in the eye I said softly, “When you awaken your inner giant you will find a passion that fear can’t touch.”
Helen threw her head back and started laughing.
The sunset was beginning to embrace the distant mountains. Colors of fiery red, soft pink and intense orange mingled and spread across the New Mexico sky.
It is amazing what two margaritas and silence can do.
It’s your turn!
Do you recognize yourself in this story? It’s never too late to pursue your dreams!
About the contributor: Gwen Fox is a renowned international artist who is known for her abstract expression and paintings that reflect life within layers of unexpected color and texture capturing familiar images with both energy and passion. Gwen teaches workshops from her studio in Taos, New Mexico. You can learn more about Gwen and her workshops here.