Over the July 4th holiday, we went to my best friends’ house for a family celebration. Yes, a FAMILY celebration. Jennifer and Roger have been our friends since about 1980 and Jenn and I are very close. She is the sister I should’ve had; I just didn’t find her until 1980. Yet I had only met her Oklahoma family once, I think, when her daughter got married and there were so many people in attendance that I can’t remember any of them!!! Well, I re-met some of them this past weekend.
I spent half of the time just watching everyone and how they interacted. I swear most of them were crazy and I fit in just fine with the crowd! Actually, I think they were like most close-knit families during a reunion. Some were crazy. Some were quiet. (Yes, Jenn, there were a few quiet ones!) Some liked to bicker just for the fun of arguing, I think. Some were just trying to make everyone else comfortable.
I loved it but then, we left before the big crowd got there! I have no clue how many people eventually showed up but she was thinking between 50 and 60 would arrive by 5 pm. I have no clue where they all parked on that city street!
One thing from that day has really stuck in my mind though. Roger and his art. He has painted and drawn for years and I am struck by just how good he is. I have always been attracted to his American Indian charcoal drawings. They are detailed and realistic. I remember an old Indian man he did years ago, a close-up of the lines of his face, a graph of the trials and tribulations of his long life. It just gripped your heart.
I asked him why he didn’t sell any of them. He said that’s not why he does them. He does them for himself. He has lots of canvases, stuck under the couch and, I’m sure, various other locations around the house. He has tons of drawing pads, just stacked on a shelf in his art studio. He is so good that I’m saddened that he just won’t share it with the world, that he won’t give others the same joy and wonder in his work that I felt that day. He prefers to keep them all close.
I’m sure he goes back occasionally and looks at some of them he did years ago. For inspiration? To see how far he’s progressed through the years? To remember events that touched his heart? I don’t know, but I do know that YOU are missing out and I am lucky to be his friend.
This morning, my thoughts turned in a different direction. They turned toward me. I love to sing. I’m good. I know it and I’m taking singing lessons to get better. Why? So that I can perform in a local musical? No. So that I can become a major singing star? LOL NO!!! I am taking lessons for me, so that I can enjoy singing even more. I sing for me.
I don’t sing in public anymore. I used to do karaoke when I traveled but that was a de-stressor for me after a hectic and sometimes tense day at a customer site. I didn’t do it for the applause. I didn’t do it for the recognition. I did it for me. I have no desire to sing for a living or to show off in front of a crowd.
I sing for me, just as Roger paints and draws for himself. If I were to push Roger to show his art to the public, then I would feel obligated to push myself to do the same. Roger and I both would probably resent that. Roger, you keep on with your art. I now really understand why you do it. I’ll keep on singing and will sometimes even record it. We will each do what we love and share it with our friends.
Thank you, Roger, for sharing with me. I will reciprocate and share my love of singing with you.