I've received word that I will be an artist in resident in February 2010. To say I am excited is an understatement! That only hits one small emotion tumbling around in my blood!
A residency has been in my sights for many years; I view it as a pinnacle-a peak scaled upon which I post my personal flag and give a toast to in thanksgiving. As an artist it seems to be a thing of professional success; that extra little gem on the resume.
Like publishing my book before it, a residency holds a public level of recognition and validation. On a personal level the book and residency offer me the joy of achievement- opportunity to realize the value of my gift-a place to post my flag and say 'yes! I've been here!' On both public and private levels I am forced to realize and believe that I am accepted. That in this little bit of the world in which I've chosen to walk, I have made a place for myself and it is a good thing. A very good thing. Heady-big stuff. One can walk a fine line between humility and pride in this life! Humility being a blessed thing-if not worn like a scar; pride carrying its own wisdom-in the control of potential misuse.
This award frightens me as well; just slightly less than the book contract did :) Am I truly at the level that this honor bestows? Is my simply joy and pleasure in painting, writing and sharing enough to warrant this treasured gift of recognition? How did this simple distraction from the pull of the rest of my life morph into the meat and potatoes of my being?
The publication of the book had me in a quandary of questioning self worth. I doubted my own gift and its place in such a huge and public place as a published periodical! Who was I, after all, but a simple mom; a seeking soul; a self taught passionate painter? Who was I to align my name with those who have become experts-go to sources of inspiration and wisdom for others-no matter how grand or obscure the area of expertise?
While the actual production of this book, and the subsequent DVD, still give me pause and cause discomfort, I have settled my soul to accept that I can give this. That I can scribe my name across the title page and smile when thanks tumbles my way. But it did not come easily. I have learned this acceptance by realizing God doesn't make mistakes. I dare not question the gifts He has fitted me with and set me out to share with the world!
When I look to this residency and begin to doubt my worth in receiving it, I remind myself of this fact. And I look to find the place in it that is mine to share. The thing of it that will propel me to the next place that I am supposed to be in this life.
So I accept that it is mine. I will live it 110% and share it 200 times 200 over. With humility I will share where I can. With pride I will give thanks for His using me to deliver this gift. in love. trish.