I'm learning a lot. There aren't any assigned readings or papers (thank heavens), but I'm learning a lot. I'm learning how to forget my own worries and reservations in order to be of a greater use to those around me. I'm not entirely comfortable cold calling (or emailing) people I don't know and asking for things - time, donations, or whatever else it might be - but I see the need of those people I've been working with in SOURCE and it makes me ok with it. It also encourages me when I see the overwhelming generosity of people again and again in response.
I recently met a new client, who has a great interest in art. Her art is her passion and keeps her engaged in life. You could just tell that art is what she thinks about everyday, and what she loves. She has aspirations of being able to display and sell her artwork, but she lacks the financial means and connections. It became my job to get her art materials to replenish her very low supply. I sent out a wanted ad on craigslist to see if anyone could donate things, and also contacted professors at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) to see if they could help. The response I got was amazing. People from SCAD, people around town just giving what they had. I was literally running around all over town, trying to meet everyone who wanted to donate things. A brief overview of the items that were collected free of charge for this woman in less than a week: An easel, 4 stretched cavases, about 40 high quality paintbrushes, a large drawing board, high quality charcoal sketch paper, charcoal pencils, full set of acrylic paints, two sets of oil paints, apron, plain sketch paper, and palettes. I was overwhelmed.
The best part was taking the materials out to the woman who needed them. Now this woman has a very flat affect and doesn't really show much emotion, but when she saw all of her materials she started laughing and smiling, wringing my hand and saying this was more than she ever expected. Her eyes were moving over all the materials, and you could see her imaging all the art she could do with them. She told me with a big smile that I had outdone myself, and I told her to give me a call when I could come back to see some of her work. Seeing the joy on her face will make anyone with half a heart smile ear to ear on the walk back to the car. Keeping that in the back of my mind will make it so much easier the next time I have to step outside my comfort zone to help someone.
In other news, it was 84 degrees yesterday. I went to the beach and got sunburned. That's a first for me in February. I sincerely apologize to all those still dealing with snow. That reminds me of a story. I was at the breakfast table with a couple of my community members and I said, "You know, I don't understand why there's such a large population in the northern part of the country and not so much in the south - the weather is so much nicer down here." One of them replied, "It's probably because a lot of the people already in the south are so different, and a little crazy." I came back with, "But if enough northerners came down, we could supress..." I stopped halfway through the last word. "Oh I guess, that kinda happened once and didn't turn out the greatest for anyone involved." So after realizing that I didn't want to advocate the start of a second civil war, I abandoned my idea that all the northerners should move to the better climate in the south.
Well, that's enough musings for one day. Cheers, and God bless!