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Sparks ignite here

She just decided to.


By Denise Connell, Publisher; Éclairity.org Founder

If you have ever wondered if it's "too late" to start, or try, or do something you've always wanted to do, take heart from my friend who continues to inspire me today.

She told me one day that she wanted to paint. 

“I don’t think I’d be very good at it,” she said.

Why not? I asked.

“I’m just not that creative. And I don’t know the first thing about it. And I doubt I’ll do it. But... I don’t know... I’d like to try. Maybe someday.”

She was 47, I was 34.

I always wanted that someday to be now. I believed she could do it, and I believed she’d be great. I believed that if there was this spark inside her wanting to try -- to create, to express, to be -- I believed she was meant to do it. I believed that this something inside her was meant to be some thing of her --

of her heart, 

of her spirit, 

of her  --

meant to come out, 

and do, 

and be  -- 

for the world to experience, and see the beauty that was there, beauty set free.

“Thanks,” she’d say, laughing. And then move on to another topic. 

She loved going to art festivals. The energy, the buzz, the artists and their art lining the streets and down the middle of the park. Every year she looked forward to it. 

I went with her once, maybe twice. She wouldn’t say too much about it as we talked and ate and laughed, strolling through the green carpeted aisles of artists in their booths. 

But every once in awhile she would stop, drawn in by a piece. 

“Oh, look at that one!” she’d exclaim. 

Which one?

“This one.” She’d reply, the words answering, but I could see she was already gone, something in her soul connecting with something in the painting. I didn’t always get what got her, but I felt it. 

Sometimes it seemed a hushed reverence would grab her, her spirit caught up in this suddenly sacred space of art and artist -- theirs and hers and the art in this moment -- beyond paint and frame -- spirit with spirit with spirit with spirit. All I could do was stand beside her, trying to see what she saw... but mostly, just letting the moment be, happy for her … there… away… in… with… filled up.

Other times, it was exuberant delight in discovery that I felt from her -- of the playful or sensual or creatively different -- and it was instant smiles and shining eyes, joy dancing unabashed in the air. I still didn’t always get it, but I had more of a chance with the art that brought the more obvious joy and fun. 

From time to time, she would buy a piece -- a painting, or photograph, or some artistic work that grabbed her heart and wouldn’t let her go. Sometimes it was from an art show, or when traveling, or something found hidden in the clutter of an estate sale.

Over the years there wasn’t ever a long conversation about her dream to paint, though I suspected it was still there. She would take these amazing photos when she was away for work or on vacation, and sometimes I’d find them turned into art -- her photographs printed on canvas and hung on her walls. She wouldn’t say anything. They’d just show up. And not until I asked would I learn they were hers. 

Many years passed from when she first shared her dream. And then, out of the blue, she shared it again. 

She was 62, I was 49. 

“I think I’d like to try painting.” 

I think you definitely should. 

“I don’t know anything about it.” 

You could learn.

“That’s true.”

I think you’ll be really good at it.

“Thanks,” she said, laughing, before moving on to another topic.

And then, a few months later, out of the blue of a dream that had always been...

She just decided to. 

She just decided to start saving pictures on her phone that she wanted to paint. 

She just decided to drive one afternoon to the craft store and buy acrylic paints and brushes and a few small canvases. 

She just decided to research local art classes and decided to sign up for one. 

And when she knew she would be home alone for several hours, she just decided to start painting. 

She painted umbrellas at the ocean, flowers of muted shades, and a French dress from Lyon, 1998. 

She painted standing up and sitting down, at a table and with an easel, with fat brushes and thin brushes, and brushes she didn’t know how to use. 

She went to her first class, and then another, and another, wanting to learn it all, all at once, and had to learn patience instead; with her teacher, with herself, and with her art... art that was growing more beautiful and freer with each step she took to get out, and do, and be.

Where will this dream take her? 

Wherever she decides she wants to go:

Her own studio...

Painting in the city, in the country, in Italy, in France…

Painting in oils, and acrylics, and watercolors, or all three all at once.

Big and tiny, colorful or dark,

Painting for pleasure, and giving away, and selling... but mostly, for pleasure. 

Always because it’s what she wants to do.

She just decided to. 

And because she did, she will. 

She will go, and do, and become wherever her dream, and spirit, and wanting-to leads her.

I can’t wait until she’s 96 and I’m 83 to see all she will have become and done and created and inspired and delighted in…

All because of that day

She just decided to. 

This was written about my amazing now-an-artist friend, Rona Castiglione, of Instagram's "Artfully Rona's".

Whatever creative dream has been on your heart or stirring your spirit, there is a reason it is there. When given breath to become -- whatever that will be --  stepping into your creative dream will bring you more life and joy and zest to your living. Be courageous and dare to finally set it free. Be willing to try and experiment, to learn and get better.  Remember the quote by N. D. Walsch: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." 

Living a creative life, Faith and Inspiration, Artfully Rona's, How will I know if I'll be good enough? I want to be an artist, now what? How can I move my dreams and goals forward? What is Éclairity.org? What is a creative activity for setting goals and dreams? Faith and Inspiration, Sparks Ignite Here, What can I do to step into my most fulfilling life? How do I know what dream to pursue?


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