I was sitting with my son a couple of nights ago at the first night Passover Seder held by my shul. We were seated at a table of people we didn’t know at all (because the high holidays brings out all sorts of people you don’t see at other times of the year), in a very large room that was really loud. I love my shul and my Rabbi and am so grateful there is somewhere to go for Pesach now that I live in a tiny apartment in Vancouver with an even tinier kitchen and no dining room. I feel very embraced and supported by the community I’ve found. But I sat there thinking not so much about the observance of Pesach as it was happening that night, as I did about rebuilding vision and where I belonged. And I couldn’t stop thinking about the kitchen I once had and wished I could have again so that I could host those family Seders as I had done for so many years. A picture came back to my memory of a kitchen. It is my dream kitchen, and judging from the surroundings it’s also a dream location. And I saw me and my partner, who also does not yet exist in my life, serving a wonderful dinner that we had created together, to the sound of loved ones talking around the table. It was what I had, and what I want again.
I realize now that rebuilding vision does not mean everything old is taken away and replaced by all new and unfamiliar things. The people I love won’t change. They, and the desire for connectedness, are things I bring with me into the new vision. As well, the things I already love to do may be added to, but the core of them won’t change either. I will always love to paint.
So another piece of this vision has always been the success of my art career. I had a bit of a setback last month when I had to pull out of a gallery that was representing my work. After a month-long solo feature of my art and no sales, suffice it to say it was not a success. And yet despite disappointment, I don’t feel that bad about it. The gallery was beautiful, the owner and I had an excellent relationship, I came across more people for whom my art resonates, but this particular gallery was just not the right fit for my work. It seems it was another place where I did not belong. The crux of the issue with galleries is not just getting into them and convincing them to represent you, it is getting into a gallery where your work is actually a good fit and can sell. Just as I resonate with the people I love most, my art will resonate with the right audience.
So once again, life imitates art, art imitates life. You’re not going to feel comfortable where you don’t feel like you fit it. And you won’t fit in if that’s not where the vision is going. Following the vision is key… to Pesach dinners, to dream kitchens, dream locations, to a future partner, to connectedness, to being in the right gallery. It’s not a reflection on others at all. It’s only about where you really belong. And when I follow the vision, there is no one I need to convince to let me in. They just want to participate because I’m part of their vision too. Likely the only person who really needs convincing is me.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t work involved. As with relationships, finding the right gallery means being sensitive to what you hear and careful about what you do. I still have to send out submissions to galleries. I still have to work independently and sell on my own as much as I can, and I still have to expect that while I have the vision for my own work, it may take time for the right galleries to get on board with what I see. And as always, when other people become part of your dreams, the dream changes somewhat to accommodate everyone’s vision. As with all parts of the vision, when you’re doing what you love and are surrounded with people you love, adjustments that help make everyone feel they belong are a labour of love. It is not hardship to adjust so that things run smoothly and continue to flourish and grow.
That’s the thing with vision, it’s built one step at a time, it takes turns in the road you don’t expect, but it always does what’s best for you. And of course it throws the occasional curve ball…. Just to keep things interesting. Which is okay too. I love surprises!