Wednesday, April 30, 2008

who I am

"Rinsk" is a made-up name, given to me by my dad.  Sometimes he embellishes it, and then it's "Rinsky-dinsky"--I don't know where it came from, but he's the only one who calls me that.  It's not his serious name for me, when the conversation involves money or death or pain or disease or war.  It's a "come home soon" name.  A "you are smart and funny and you're my daughter" name.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I am so going to blog about you (or: my 50th birthday)

I am so going to blog about you.

Actually, I'm not.

I'm going to blog about strawberries, and how giant, red, sweet, perfect, succulent ones should be in abundant supply at all times.

And I'm also going to blog about good beds and vacation house kitchens that are well-stocked and porcelain bathtubs in spacious, wood-floored bathrooms.

And people who open up their home with gracious hospitality and an attitude of "well, why wouldn't we?"--even though they had never met me.

And old, weathered men who burst with excitement to show me the nesting peregrines with a spotting scope and go on and on about "breathing" season.

And seagulls that let me walk right up to them.

And friends who make long drives, bearing healing balm and laughter.

And other friends who take off work early to buy me dinner and presents and make me wish I lived closer.

And old movie houses with seats that are beaten down by decades of use.

And tractor pulls and purple flowers that are everywhere but no one knows what they're called and windchimes and competitive joke-telling and handmade birthday cards.

And having perfect company and a supportive witness as I gingerly stepped from one decade into the next.

And feeling, therefore, so rich.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I was the first patron of a young artist yesterday.

I had seen a student show and remarked on one of the pieces. I got a call from the studio and was told that the young man was there packing up everything, if I wanted to come down. He had been told that there was someone interested in his work, so he had a heads up.

He was so nervous! He feverishly laid everything out for me, including other things in his portfolio, things he pulled out of binders...I half expected him to empty his pockets onto the table. He talked very earnestly about the series of prints, and put things into the "I'm happy with this" pile or the "this one's not very strong" pile.

I asked him how he was going to price everything and he looked like a deer in the headlights. He asked how much I would pay, and I said he would have to just get right over that. He was going to have to step up and name a price, as awkward as I know that felt to him.

He gulped and said a number. I said I would take #4 of the series. He grinned and looked over at his instructor and SHE grinned. I took his e-mail address and asked him to set the piece aside for me.

As I left, I heard the unmistakable sound of a "high five" being exchanged, and before the door closed behind me, he was babbling and giggling like mad.

It almost doesn't even matter if I get the piece now, although it's intended as a gift. Watching that kid go from "one day I want to be an artist" to "I'm an artist and I just sold my first piece" in the course of a half hour was worth what I paid and more.