Forty years, three months and twenty-one days ago, I sobered up. I got off the dead-end road I was headed down, and took the beckoning one — as the poet Robert Frost penned, the one less traveled.
As 2019 comes to a close, I look back in wonder on it and the preceding years with gratitude. Grace has brought me here today.
From the earliest time I can remember, when I was four, I have been filled with a yearning. A yearning to be outdoors, under an open sky, among marshes, birds, beaches and sun. My joy and sense of well-being frolicking amid my primal friends grew into a desire to express the wonders, appreciation and miraculous things I experienced in nature. But I did not know how.
Highly sensitive, my inability to articulate the ineffable grew into an anger and frustration directed inward. This combined with tragedy and adversity brewed a wildness and self-destructiveness that almost overtook me. I came to a fork in my life road and made a decision.
Life’s major decisions are the turning points. The moments that you can’t relive. Once decided, irreplaceable days of your life are invested. You make a choice, commit with all your heart and live out your decision. That day all those years ago, I chose life.
I began to express myself in creative, constructive ways. I built a house, started a sign business, made furniture, stained-glass, grew flowers and embarked on a spiritual journey.
On the 6th year anniversary of that day, I took up painting. It took 10 years of self training to paint soulfully, with intellect and experience. I believe I learned more about myself than I have about painting.
I know for certain that my spiritual and art quest saved my life.
Art has given me adventure and the best of friends. As I look back on 2019 my heart is filled with gratitude for everyone who has walked my road with me, if only for a few moments. You are all so dear to me. Thank you.
In those dark days many years ago, I could never imagine that art would bring me three greatest, talented friends. Mary Erickson, Don Demers and Eleinne Basa. Together we founded the American Tonalist Society and in the spring of 2019 held our inaugural show in New York City.
Who knows what 2020 and the next decade will bring. I have no resolutions. Personally and professionally I am at peace. I only desire to live each day mindfully, doing meaningful work, learning to be kinder, loving more…
… while the beckoning continues.
Happy New Year, my friend.
Peace, Love & Light
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.