On the Road to Saying “YES”!

Note: I don’t remember how many years ago I first stepped into the True You Creativity Studio run by Cherie Ray. However, I remember I was taking a workshop on Intuitive Painting. I have taken many of those workshops since and always learn more and more about the creative process. I have spent many hours in Cherie’s studio staring at a blank canvas until I took up a brush and dipped it into paint and started making lines and dots of all different sizes in all different colors.

As an international consultant and coach, Cherie works with individuals, couples, and families to help them thrive in their home and work lives. She can be reached at www.cherieray.com.

Thank you, Cherie, for this powerful blog post!


From “No” to “Yes”!

By Cherie Ray

For the last 10 years, I’ve been consistently surprised by what life offers me and what my mind makes of these offers. When I speak of ‘offers’ I’m referring to invitations and inspirations that reach me through other people or fresh ideas that come into my mind. You know the ones that kind of shake your reality? The ones that you immediately say NO to in your mind but then they don’t leave you alone. Those are the taps on the shoulder from the source of all life saying, wanna play a bigger game?

Recently, I’ve received a few of these intense taps on the shoulder and watched how my mind quickly determined what was possible for me. And just as quickly, I believed what popped into my mind as a GO/can’t GO. As if the TRUTH police or Judge Judy made a determination. More times than not, my mind says NO, nope, nada, it can’t work, not possible, etc.

I can trace this conditioned NO response to an upbringing that embedded in me the answer to every invitation to do something ‘unnecessary’ came back with a NO. I laugh out loud when I think of my dear father’s response to me asking if I could spend the night with my best friend. His response was, “no, you have a bed”. Seeing the cause of this historical NO habit doesn’t help. It still looks and feels true.

It’s at this point of the self‐talk conversation where I would live with the answer NO and move on. Now, after the initial NO response, a whispering curiosity comes on the scene, “Could I do that?”

Recently, I received an invitation to attend an event in the Pacific Northwest. Immediately my mind said NO! My internal monologue continued with a litany of, What? Go all that way for one night? Ridiculous! Get a plane ticket, rent a car, secure a hotel room and what to wear? The idea really did look absurd to some part of me but another part was answering, why not?

This time I said YES! With YES, the ball began to roll and the adventure began to unfold. By saying YES, a rich sense filled me! I was delighted and amused by staring absurdity in the face.

Within moments the entire adventure was planned. It was simple and easy. Who knew this was possible? Not me! I marked my calendar and boarded the plane.

The gifts for me in saying YES to the concept of ABSURD:

  1. While deplaning upon arrival, my phone alerted me to check‐in for my flight to Houston the following day. LOL!
  2. Participating in an event that was filled with joy and celebration.
  3. Connecting with people that I don’t usually get the chance to have lengthy, rich conversations with.
  4. Experiencing the Tulip Festival! A vision that compares to Holland and Belgium in magnificent beauty, I’m told.
  5. Standing solo in the tulip fields at sunrise. The vibrancy and vitality from Mother Nature was palpable.
  6. Seeing I really do love an idea that engages a, ‘why not’ response!
  7. By saying YES, so many concepts of limitation fall away.
  8. Having the opportunity to see that NO is a habit, not life informing me of what’s TRUE.

Looking back with immense gratitude for this learning opportunity, I see how much I would have missed by living in my habitual NO. I see that by following feelings of delight, inspiration follows.

I encourage you to face absurdity head‐on and to partner with delight. Your experience of life will grow as naturally as the tulips!

Only Yesterday: To the Moon & Back, 50 Years Later

NOTE: Imagine sitting in a front‐row seat to land a man on the moon. Kay Cox lived that as a family adventure with her NASA engineer‐husband, Ken, and their children. In this special edition of RoadBroads, we honor that first lunar landing a half‐century ago with Kay’s extraordinary memories of what is, no doubt, the wildest journey of all: space travel.

Guest blogger Kay L. Cox writes poetry and stories from her San Antonio home. She’s an experienced blogger (check out her writings on www.picklesandroses.blogspot.com). Earlier, Kay worked as an art and family therapist, teaching graduate‐level art therapy classes in the US and abroad.

Thank you, Kay, for crafting this powerful creation: our first‐ever RoadBroads poem!


When the Moon Calls

Kay L. Cox

Only yesterday
the last space shuttle went up mid crowds and cheers
but I feel a door closing
leaving me with only memories of the challenging times,
of the countdowns, the takeoffs, the fires, explosions and splashdown celebrations,
the Gemini, Apollo, Soyuz, even the more recent shuttle programs.

Only yesterday
I was 27 years old with a two year old and a nine month old baby
in a one and a half story Olde English style home,
white cottage curtains on the windows
in a neighborhood devoted to space exploration
beginning what I perceived as a very ordinary life.

Only yesterday
tour buses drove down my street
pointing out astronaut homes
while I changed diapers, made Kraft mac ‘n cheese lunches
peeled shrimp, ironed my husband’s shirts
and took the children to the pediatrician.

Only yesterday
I valiantly tried to give NASA office parties
but after 3 different fires…
in the oven one year, a chafing dish the next,
and finally the table décor that went up in flames, I gave up.

Only yesterday
I somberly drove home from the grocery store
around hordes of TV cameras and journalists
camped out in front of Roger Chaffee’s house
after the tragedy at the cape,
a terrible reminder of the immense danger in going for Earth’s orbit.

Only yesterday
on Christmas Eve my dad made eggnog in my kitchen
while I stood anxious and breathless with astronaut friends
in front of the TV waiting for communication
from Apollo as it circled around from the back of the moon.

Only yesterday
my ordinary life was feeding the dog
while waving to astronauts in helicopters
buzzing over their wives and kids
around the corner in their own ordinary lives.

Only yesterday
I put the kids to bed
with stories and kisses
while their father was having dinner in L‐A
after a long day at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
and I spent another night alone with TV.

Only yesterday
I watched our neighbor, Buzz Aldrin,
follow Neil Armstrong down a ladder
and plant a U.S. flag on the pale and dusty surface of the moon.
Now he dances with stars.

Only yesterday
the phone rang at two a.m.
calling my husband into work
telling him Apollo 13 was in big trouble,
not telling me I wouldn’t see him again for days.

Only yesterday
with only a 30 minute warning,
my husband brought a Russian delegation home for drinks.
I plied them with vodka,
made a run for much more
while a sympathetic neighbor supplied sausage, cheese, and crackers.

Only yesterday
I sat with my engineer husband on a hotel room floor at midnight
sipping Armenian brandy through the smoke of Cuban cigars
watching Russian and American delegation leaders
sign an agreement to collaborate on the Soyuz mission.

Only yesterday
I watched Challenger disintegrate shortly after launch,
Columbia fall apart and scatter over a Texas countryside.
I wept for the loss of crews I cared for as President Reagan
greeted grieving Challenger families in my husband’s office.

Only yesterday
with great joy and relief
I celebrated with friends,
successful flights
with wild splash‐down parties
at the Flintlock Inn, Maribelles, and the Outback.

The space program, like me, has aged and dwindled
but I have come to realize that my ordinary life
might be considered extraordinary,
leaving me to hope someday
other young families will participate
in another planetary project,
something much bigger than themselves.

A Road Broad Launch: Up Close & Memorable

Below me, the ground rumbled.

Above me, the sun burned.

Before me, a fireball rocketed the space shuttle Discovery skyward.

Around me, came—nothing.

The fireball’s flash of light came instantaneously,. But, sound travels much slower at ‘only’ 1100 feet per second.

I stood a mere mile from the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Delay had been the morning’s buzzword.

As the shuttle shot into the atmosphere, I crossed my fingers, held my breath, and waited.

Ears begged to hear what eyes saw.

Silence answered, round two.

Re‐living this event from March 13, 1989, I remember it as a Life Highlight. Third on my list, after meeting DH (#1) then marrying him (#2).

Discovery’s launch memory soars partly as a rebel’s reaction. It’s been a windy build‐up to this week’s Apollo 11 anniversary.

Houston, where I live, is celebrating the Big 5–0, too. First word spoken on the moon, after all, came courtesy of us. It’s beyond mere space travel. It’s jobs, lives, friends, and families. Plus, we answered a presidential call.

As DH and I describe our shuttle launch trip three decades later: answering a call, creatively.

Conjoin a Miami business trip with radio reporting gig. Our respective stations said yes.

We launched, neither of us prepared for the overwhelm.

On launch morning, we encountered an unexpected geomagnetic storm then extended launch delays. To Kennedy’s Visitor Center, we went. Pent‐up energy needed a new home. We played astronaut. We reread mission manuals. We interviewed other reporters.

Anything to relieve nerves that multiplied. Minutes morphed into hours.

Underlying the emotions were tough memories. The space shuttle Challenger had blown up two missions before.

Many of us at the cape that March morning had worked the Challenger tragedy in some capacity.

We were space junkies. Our press passes provided sensational seats to the shuttle ride. But, three years earlier, we’d learned those seats can hurt.

Still, we gathered again, some in the media grandstand and others along the camera riser. Ahead of us, at the horizon, stood the shuttle launch pad, heating up. To the upper right, do you recognize the iconic mission countdown clock?

Nine minutes to launch, we reporters settled down. It’s our ride, too, a journey of sensory overload magnified and delayed by pressure and sound waves. Physics I still don’t understand.

Finally, Discovery launches.

I eyeball the countdown clock and begin to pray. Under my breath, my mantra becomes “please get us past “Go to throttle up.’ ” Those became NASA’s last words before Challenger exploded.

As I pray, the ground rumbles as if a thousand trains are heading our way. The roar booms, threatening to raise us all up. I cup my ears. Teeth chatter, toes digging into floorboards. Where’s terra firma?

The winds arrive next, engulfing us in sensations that collide like shipwrecks, stacking one atop another. I brace my feet, clasp my desk space with both hands. My shirt billows in and out against my chest and stomach. The hair on my arms jerks to standing as my head curls vanish.

As quickly, it’s 75 seconds, we’re past go to throttle up and now, it’s all a memory. Giddy with overwhelm, I reach for my pocket camera, hands shaking. The professional must transcend the personal.

After the camera’s film is developed, I spot the blackbird flying close to the space shuttle

How did she survive Discovery’s launch?

Later I realize the bird was probably flying as far from the launch pad as where I was standing.

Perspective matters.

Isn’t that why we journey? To feel and to see?

On The Road To A Writer’s Conference

I was in one of my favorite Texas cities recently (one of my favorites other than Houston, of course). The Writer’s League of Texas held their annual Agents & Editors Conference in Austin. Here is the handy cloth bag everyone was given during registration. Not sure where the idea for the bird came from, but we also received a nice pair of blue sunglasses in our welcome packet. This was my first state‐wide writer’s conference. It was everything I had hoped for and more.

The location for this event was the Hyatt Regency that overlooks Lady Bird Lake. Service was good, food was good, beds were comfy, and everything was in one place. Since this took place in June, you were never required to leave the hotel with the fully functioning air conditioning system. However, there was a hike and bike trail right outside the hotel and we were within a block of the Congress Street Bridge where one could view bats flying on a nightly basis. In between conference sessions I could watch as the kayaks and canoes floated down the river. This particular view was taken from the 17th floor outside of areas where the meetings took place with a large group of agents and editors. More about that later.

One of the many perks of this conference were the keynote speakers who distributed copies of their books. For the Saturday luncheon, we heard an inspiring talk by Naomi Shihab Nye and received her most recent book of poetry, Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners.

There were also break out sections on the craft of writing; such as, Crafting Irresistible Opening Pages. Always a good skill for a writer. Then there were the sessions on what to expect from an agent, what questions to ask an agent, and self‐promotion for the indie writer. There were genre specific sessions on memoir, historical fiction, mystery/thriller, etc. I never knew there were so many writers in the Picture Book/Middle Grade/Young Adult genre. I met many authors who were working towards their first publication and those who have published many books.

During the opening reception I ran into Sean who works with Typewriter Rodeo. This means he sat behind a typewriter and I gave him the subject of a writer writing a book about Memphis and here is the custom poem he wrote:

Let me tell you a bit

About me—

I was raised

On the music‐streaming streets

Of Memphis

I’ve got rhythm and blues

In my blood

I have seen and heard things

That will inspire you

To sing

Will inspire you to get up and dance

And things that will also haunt you

To the drumbeat core

Want to know

All about it?

Well look for the greatest story

Soon to hit the shelves…

This is what my cat, Hannah, looked like when I got home and shared the poem with her. She’s a tough audience!

Finally, I met several agents while I was there and am pleased to report that three are interested in my book. Now I am writing myself silly, working on a book proposal, polishing and workshoping two chapters and finishing the whole first draft. That’s really good news and a heck of a lot of work to do. I better go get busy!

Until next week.….

Never too Old to Watch…and Play

I became old—officially—on July 4th.

Blame our neighborhood park, where DH and I celebrated Uncle Sam’s 243rd birthday. After 27 years living here, it was past time.

We walked onto the long expanse of green grass and eyeballed the park’s passel of playground equipment.

I recognized only one of the thinga‐ma‐jigs that surrounded us. 

And that understanding came only with the arrival of two energetic boys.

The pair scrambled atop either end of the long pole then immediately began to pump their legs and feet hard into the ground.

See‐saw! 

I looked again, staring and remembering.

Images of childhood see‐saw rides flooded. Austin Elementary School and a little girl trying to ride a thick, wide wood plank, the boards themselves mirrors of a homebuilder’s two‐by‐four. What followed those rides, inevitably, were the curses of splinters left behind. Pun intended. 

But this century’s log‐saw comes sweetly repurposed, offering redemption for old recess injuries.

A long piece of wood—either a skinny tree trunk or a thick oak branch—lays balanced and centered, atop a funky H‐frame lever device (sorry, an engineering lexicon never married my vocabulary). There’s a metal disc for sitting so today’s riders suffer no more splinters. A recycled steel bar and tire remnants support hands and feet.

Then there’s this gizmo.

Can you explain what this is?

How do you play with it?

The green topper reminds me of what sits in my kitchen sink.

What the…? My mind races through all sorts of possibilities. Zilch. Nada. What the…? When I repeat myself, trouble looms.

I walk closer, zooming in the camera. Then I notice no children are playing here, a comforting thought for this oldster.

Less than a handful of youngsters ventured close. Fewer still stepped up and touched the pole. We all figured out, from brave demonstration, the thing swings around but none could reach Green Sponge‐y. I didn’t care to try.

Eventually, even I turned away.

This round swing‐a‐thingy elicited belly mounts and familiar cries.

Higher‐higher‐higher! came the youngest voices as parents and older siblings obeyed commands.

At last, I smiled. It felt nice to understand.

Throughout the afternoon, my neck craned then ached from watching endless activity throughout the park. I counted eight permanent pieces of playground equipment, recognizing only three. See‐saw/Log‐saw, the swing set, and a kiddie tunnel.

I’d post pictures of the other five structures for you but then I’d have nothing to report next week.

I’m going back. Gonna ride all eight of these and figure them out.

After all, playgrounds are for adults, too.

The Road To Relaxation

I heard some news reporter on television talk about how the July 4th weekend was turning into a big sales day. Not quite as big as Black Friday, but it could get there in a couple of years. Do we really need another shopping day extravaganza? Do we need to start our holiday shopping in July?

Not me. Nor did I go out to sit in the sun to attend an all‐day concert. What did I do? I rested and relaxed.

Yesterday I went to see Men In Black: International. It’s a good movie. I wasn’t sure how I would like all the new characters, but it worked for me. I laughed and was quite entertained. Afterwards my friend and I went out to dinner. A good day.

Today I went to my new favorite spot in Houston. The Greenhouse Day Spa. This is a new spa, but the people who work there are great. I started getting massages and facials years ago when I had stressful jobs. Now I continue the habit just because it is a good thing to do. And it’s relaxing. And I enjoy it. You get the picture. Also it is a great way to relax when it is in the middle of summer and the temperature outside feels like 110 degrees (literally, I’m not making that up).

At Greenhouse Day Spa you start out in this cool reception room where the atmosphere alone helps you to begin the relaxation process. A few minutes in that space and I am ready to completely relax. Annie, who is both an esthetician and massage therapist, is wonderful to have working on my aging face and creaky old joints.

Self‐care is important for all of us. When was the last time you had a massage? Since mine was today, I am so relaxed that I am thinking of going to bed early and getting a good night’s rest.

Until next week.….

Do all Roads Lead to Texas?

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org

Sam Houston, that mean‐looking dude with the funky bow tie, remains a revered soul where I live.

He served as president of the Republic of Texas and later, U.S. senator and governor.

Before holding those positions in Texas, Houston served as governor of Tennessee. The only American to be elected governor of two U.S. states.

Who cares? you ask.

Houston popped up, in all places, near Nashville, my most recent road trip.

What I thought was Music City turned out to be horse country. 

As in big league, prized racehorses. 

Belle Meade plantation sits eight miles west of Nashville. Besides raising thoroughbreds, the plantation housed Sam Houston’s horses when the Tennessee governor quit his job and headed west to Texas.

DH and I knew none of this history when we strolled down the lane toward the Big House. We admired the gentle hills and landscape of the perfectly named Belle Meade, meaning beautiful meadow.

We both assumed old cotton fields lay near. Instead, we spied this photo montage near the wide front porch.

Docents confirmed that Belle Meade served as a working stud farm. The only crops grown fattened the horses and fed the family.

The plantation became world famous for its thoroughbred stable. Its horses won races across Europe then sired horses who did the same.

Secretariat, Sea Biscuit, and Barbarro all emerged from what’s called “the foundational line” at Belle Meade. In addition, every Kentucky Derby horse since 2003 is directly related to Belle Meade studs.

I’m not a horse girl but all these factoids fascinate: a southern plantation raising horses, not cotton; boarding a stable‐full of animals owned by my home state’s founding hero, and still producing champion racehorses more than a century later.

The experience reminds me: no telling what the road will deliver.

Final note, racehorses made the Belle Meade owners wealthy and famous. Three U.S. presidents stayed at the Big House.

The family’s children played in the Little House.

But it’s not so little, is it?

It’s big enough for big girls, too.

Tintype Field Trip

Remember when you were a kid in school and went on field trips? Weren’t they exciting? As an adult I have perfected the art of the field trip.

Enter Laura Burlton and Houston Tintype Studio.

Who is Laura Burlton? A very talented photographer here in the Houston area. She does all of your basic types of photography. However she also has developed crazy mad skills when it comes to Tintype Photography.

What you may ask is Tintype Photography? Think about all of the photos that were taken during the mid to late 1800’s. (Yes, including the Civil War.) A Google search told me that the photograph is made by “…creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated.….dark lacquer or enamel.….photographic emulsion.….”. Better yet, here are some examples of work by Laura Burlton.

For those of us who are not technologically inclined, this is a fun way to have your picture taken.

These are not your run‐of‐the‐mill digital photos. These are not selfies. The pictures are taken one at a time. With a camera. Not taken with a phone. There is skill and artistry involved in these pictures. To have my picture taken, I sat on a stool in front of the camera. I posed. Laura Burlton put a metal plate into the camera. There was a bright flash of light and a mild puff of warm air. Then Laura took the plate into her darkroom and re‐emerged with one photo.

The trickiest part of this whole process had nothing to do with the artist or the photography process. It had do to with me. For many years I have hated to have my picture taken. I have never liked any picture ever taken of me. Yet, I have recently undergone gastric sleeve surgery and have lost a bunch of weight. What the heck do I look like? Other people see a difference, but I don’t always feel any different. Pictures are good for comparisons.

Here is my favorite picture. Why yes, I am wearing a Bowler hat. Why? Does anyone need to give a serious answer when wearing a Bowler hat? Obviously, I am still exploring this surrealistic phase of life that I have entered. It’s fun. I really don’t understand why more people don’t wear Bowler hats. I’m pretty sure it would help lead to world peace if more people would just wear Bowler hats. What do you think?

I like the fact that these are black and white photos. Black and white photos are developed in a dark room. This involves time and patience. A dramatic play between light and dark and shadows that cannot be found in color digital pictures.

Here is another fun picture from the Tuesday field trip. I think this one makes me look mysterious. This is the one I should bring out at Halloween and use to scare small children. Boo! I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would mess with this woman. Yes, I am still wearing the Bowler hat; however, I could throw this hat at you and it just might hurt you. Who knows? As always, I am really looking forward to Halloween. Here in Houston my favorite holiday is just one hurricane season away.

Many thanks to Laura Burlton and Houston Tintype Studio for allowing me to have such a fun time Tuesday morning. Here is Laura talking to me from her dark room. This was towards the end of our session when all of the magic of the darkroom was finished. I can highly recommend this experience and will definitely go back myself for more fun and frolic.

Until next week.….

A Labyrinth Speaks

Friday’s first e‐mail, the “Message of the Day,” began “Open to the New…”.

It closed with “See things with a beginner’s attitude of wonder.”

Those words buzzed in my head as I drove before sunrise to Rothko Chapel’s Summer Solstice observance.Two key differences this season:

1) Because the chapel is under renovation, the event moved to the Gueymard Meditation Garden at the University of St. Thomas, and

2) Because that garden includes a labyrinth, we—60 strong—walked the Chartres‐based path together.

Joining us before/during the observance were persistent Southwest Airlines jets and a receding full moon.

Sweet and sour — both unexpected company.

But the noise and the vision reminded me: we’re all on a journey of some kind.

Every day. We’re either coming or going but j‐o‐u‐r‐n‐e‐y‐i‐n‐g all the same. Am I too much the Pollyanna, suggesting we must all remember this?

The music of flutist Laura Lucas and guitarist John Edward Ross muted traffic passing by on West Alabama. All the color sang, too.

As only red roses and orange dresses can. 

A trio of water fountains bubbled to life at eight a‐m.

A blanket of comfort fluttered down: water’s best offering when it springs forth in such peaceful solace.

With a crowd this large, we bumped, turned, reversed, and paused our way along the four quadrants of the labyrinth.

Even so, we disappeared into our internal worlds as we traveled. No words spoken anywhere. None needed on this circular path.

Amid steady turns along the single‐lane path, we progressed toward the labyrinth’s center point. There, we each paused, reflected, then headed back out to where we each had started.

Before we began, our walk facilitator, Jay Stailey, had suggested using the words release‐receive‐return as touchstones. One word for each phase of the three‐part labyrinth journey. 

The notion intrigued: that’s how we’ve been programmed to think of our lives. Three parts. Beginning‐middle‐end. I wonder: have I been using using the wrong words for 62 years?

Truth is, there’s no ‘wrong way’ to live — or labyrinth. How can there be when both still confuse so many?

Labyrinths exist globally, crossing cultures and centuries, religions and governments. They’ve survived because these pathways offer a universal place for meaning and healing.

Scholars such as Jean Houston consider the labyrinth a powerful tool for suspending left‐brain activity (logic, analysis, structured thinking) in favor of tapping our right‐brain gifts of intuition, creativity, and imagination.

That concept roared in my ear after I finished my labyrinth walk.

Heading to the car, I walked by the Chapel of St. Basil and a burst of sunlight beamed right onto my face.

With it came the words — “good walk, messages received, new season, better days.” 

That green dot of light?

You tell me. It’s not a laser because no one was aroundThe labyrinth stands on the opposite side of this building. The campus is closed for the summer.

Woo‐woo, indeed. 

A solstice to remember.

What Language Is Spoken On This Road?

First the good news.

A good time was had by all at the art exhibition called Midsummer Light. It was presented by the Women In The Visual and Literary Arts. I really enjoyed being a part of this experience and exhibiting my photographs. If you did not get to the opening reception, the exhibition will remain up for your viewing pleasure until July 19th at the Christ Church Cathedral’s Cloister Gallery, 1117 Texas Avenue. The venue is open from 11 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday while Treebeards serves lunch.

In other news:

Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself. Sometimes I do things that just go a slight bit awry. Nothing huge. I’ve never killed anyone.….that I know about. If I did it was certainly a mistake. But sometimes all of the technology.….phones.….computers.….televisions.…..can just be a bit much.

For instance, let’s consider Amazon. I order things from Amazon. Mostly books, but sometimes other things. I have been buying things — especially books — all my life. Here is my most recent acquisition that I received on Tuesday. It is a book about Vincent Van Gogh.

First, I apologize for blogging one more time about Vincent. I know I have blogged about him quite a bit lately. However, it does involve my latest acquisition from Amazon and the reason for this blog will soon be made clear. Remember that patience is a virtue.

This book had been highly recommended to me. I was looking forward to receiving it. When I had it in my hot little hands, I sat down in my most comfy reading chair and opened the envelope. I liked the cover. I like a lot of Vincent’s self portraits. He did quite a few of them. I sat back and began to open the book ready to learn more about this artist.

As soon as I open the book I see another self portrait. I am happy. I am relaxed. It still looks like a really nice book doesn’t it? Look closely. Closer. Do you notice anything? At this point I was still happy and relaxed. I hadn’t noticed anything. But wait!

I turned a few more pages and began reading the content. Here is the content that talks about the painting of the potato eaters. I think that’s what it says. Yet, I don’t really know for sure, do I? Why don’t I know? Because I don’t read French! My book is printed in French. How did this happen?

I wasn’t looking for a French book. I spent 5 years studying Spanish. I have never spoken a word of French. Quickly I looked back at the confirmation I received from Amazon when I ordered this book. I look and look and keep looking. Finally down, down, down the email confirmation I go. I look very carefully at the very small print. Language: French.

EGAD! Lesson learned. I still like the pictures in this book. I will keep it and may use some of the photos for collage work. Who knows?

Maybe one day I’ll meet a new friend who reads French and likes books about Vincent Van Gogh.

I remain forever hopeful.

Until next week.….