Welcome to Tuesday!

First of all, I just had to share this.

Kevin, the director of my play, Tell My Bones, sent this image out on Instagram yesterday — a wonderful painting by Helen LaFrance. I’m guessing this is about 30 years old.

I just love her use of color, light, and perspective.

If you click on it, you can get a better idea of her amazing details. And in case you didn’t know, Helen was taught how to paint when she was about 3 years old, by her mother who used berry juice and old-fashioned laundry bluing as paints, and twigs for paint brushes.

Beyond that, Helen was a self-taught artist, with next to no formal schooling. She never used “live” models — she always painted from memory. (She is still alive, but she is 100 years old, paralyzed from a stroke and in a wheel chair.)

Anyway, I just love that painting. And when I saw it yesterday, it reminded me of why I needed to write about her life. I just wanted everyone to see how wonderful her paintings are.

Plus, she didn’t get true acclaim as an artist until she was in her 80s, when Gus Van Sant Sr. saw her paintings, fell in love with them and became her manager.

Okay, well. I hope things are good wherever you are in the world. My world is just barely holding together but I am doing a really good job at staying positive and doing my best to make it through every single day.  I know that the fallout from this virus is taking a really heavy toll on a lot of people all over the world, and I hope that a.) you’re not one of them; and b.) if you are, then you are finding ways to hold on until all of this passes.

One thing that actually really helps me disconnect from my urge to panic, is looking at photos of alpacas and baby goats on Instagram. Man, they are cute. Anything to distract me right now, you know? Anything.

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But honestly, if I can get through a day feeling better than I did yesterday, not panicking, and knowing for sure the future holds some really great things, then I feel it was a good day.

Having the staged reading of my play coming up, and the new multi-year publishing deal are keeping me going. Not financially (yet), just in terms of my hope for the future.

I think that even little things like that can have a big impact on our frame of mind and our willingness to keep moving forward. So, if you are having any trouble today, just think of even a small reason to have hope for the future and just sort of dwell on it. And things will improve from that starting point, little by little. They really will.

I have nothing new to report here. I’ll say, though, that I met some older women recently who are just remarkable. And they are the kind of women that I always wished my adoptive mother would have been (meaning, a woman who actually wanted to be a mom). I used to make excuses for why my adoptive mother was so abusive — the primary one being that culturally, she was sort of forced to take on the role of motherhood. It was expected of her by her family and by society, even though she regretted adopting children.  But now I think of it more along the lines that she should of had the courage to just give us back if she didn’t really want us, rather than abusing us for our whole lives…

Anyway.  It is really nice to be around women who love their children and hearing about the harrowing things they went through with raising them, but that love mattered most. And so everyone eventually got through it as a family.

I always, always, always wished for that. But even to be around women like that at my age now, is a sort of emotional vindication for me.

It’s hard to explain. But it means a lot to me.

Okay, on that note, I have to go because I need to make an important and nerve-wracking phone call. Have a really good Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. Don’t try to make sense of things if they seem too horrible; just look at the good that is left and the good that is still coming. It costs nothing and it can actually help. I leave you with my listening music from last night. Yet another Monkees song, but this one is from The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees, from 1968, “I’ll Be Back Upon My Feet.” It’s super upbeat.  So listen and enjoy. And take care of yourselves. Thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“I’ll Be Back Upon My Feet”

Girl, I know the grass is greener, just around the bend.
Got to say, “Goodbye!” but don’t you fear.
Though the road is dark and I might fail to find the end
I won’t disappear.

I’ll be back upon my feet.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
Chase the moon and sun to find my one and only you.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
Looking high, I’m looking low.
When I find my boots I know I got to go.

Maybe I will be a star, or maybe just a clown.
Girl, I’ll never know until I try.
Maybe I will meet a girl who’ll try to keep me down.
But you don’t have to cry.

I’ll be back upon my feet.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
Chase the moon and sun to find my one and only you.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
I’ll be back upon my feet.
Looking high, I’m looking low.
When I find my boots I know I got to go.

© 1968 Sandy Linzer, Denny Randell

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