Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. (Kahlil Gibran)
I was in my studio yesterday, finishing up a large painting that I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. Then I started another one…and finished it.
My mind often wanders when I’m working as I’m zoning out in the painting process. I’ve been spending the past month redesigning my website from the ground up. I put up some work in the archives which one of my sons remarked he had never seen. (Before you were born, sweetie.) That led me to thinking about all the art I’ve created over thirty-five years plus. A lot!
And then that led me to think about where it all is now. I did my first art fair in the early 80s and have been selling my work ever since. I’m embarrassed when I visit relatives and see all the paintings I’ve given them over the years. It looks like a Kit Miracle art gallery.
Several years ago I received a call on my business land line phone…when I had a land line. It was from a woman in Florida who had purchased one of my small paintings in a resale shop. It had my information stamped on the back. We chatted for a while.
That led me to thinking about where all my paintings are now. I’ve traveled a lot. Shipped a lot. And now, with online marketing, have sold work all over the place. It’s a little bit of me scattered all over the world. That’s my legacy.
I’ve never been a person who longs for fame, but it’s always pleasant to think about all the places where my paintings live now. Maybe they’ll end up in a jumble sale; maybe they’ll be treasured family heirlooms. But they’re like my children, scattered to the winds.
Which led me back to one of my favorite poets, Kahlil Gibran and his exemplary work The Prophet. The section of the poem above is from the part of the work where he discusses Children. My art is like my children.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
We are the bows. We send our children….or our creations…out into the world. That is our legacy.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of The Prophet lately, check it out soon. I’m sure you’ve got an old copy from high school or college lying about. Or you can check it out of the library. Or purchase a used copy. You won’t be sorry and you’ll have plenty to think about when your mind takes a walk.