When we began, I did not know I was an artist’s wife. The passions were elsewhere expressed. I considered his mother’s framing of his high school works a show of her deep love. I posed for countless shots as he explored photography. It was his excuse for a private date and I thought it quite creative. We bought me a camera for my adventure abroad. Photography lessons peppered our flirting conversations, but never our dreams of what life together would look like.
I noticed on our honeymoon the camera felt like a third party and I named her Olympia in my frustration and hurt. Months became years. Many years. Work pushed and pulled and molded. Dusty cameras on the mantle reminded us of dates together. I treasured the prints we made. Frames of our favorites filled our small homes with reminders of our loves…of people, of places, …and of capturing them with our own lenses.
And then as plans crashed one after another, his artist heart beat stronger. The need to create grew. The need to contribute to the conversation called and drew him. Surrounded by galleries and exhibits done poorly or not so poorly, both lowered the bar and raised the value of the work.
People can be moved by art. Many see and talk and think about the works displayed. He wanted in. He needed his voice back. No longer the reporter, voice could come from more than a narrative or a column. Voice could come from his love of art.
Some days I flash to the Exhibit in Chicago called “An Artist’s Wife.” It was powerful and moving. Not one of the relationships shown was something to emulate. In one gripping photo she is snarling at her toddler. They are inches apart. It’s a remarkable shot. Poignant and Raw. She is at her end. Loving deeply can exhaust. Her husband was two feet away…behind a lens. The last shot is an open window. It’s curtain blowing through the unglassed opening, a memoir of her suicide.
When we began, I did not know I was an artist’s wife. But, I did know I married a man of character. And, I do know Who I serve. And, I trust He is not surprised at this bend in the road.
This journey of life has surprising twists and turns. Sometimes I reach a hilltop opening that is facing my history and discover what I knew. It’s not dense to miss it. The subtle hints could have dissipated with other life circumstances.
But, to live, to fully live, I will embrace the present. Accept what I am given, and …eventually dream again.