Look at it. It’s pathetically lopsided. There’s a huge crack on one side and it has divot marks all over because I put it in the cooling pot too soon. Don’t even start me on the lack of basic technique and understanding of gravity and the flame. Today, I’d throw it in the refuse bucket. But because it’s the first bead I ever made, it’s one of my most precious possessions.
I keep this bead as a reminder of not only how far I’ve come as an artist, but also as a reminder that the first step you take on a journey is the most important one. Nothing else can happen until you jump in and make that first effort.
Tonight, another step along the journey. The grand opening for Leather Trades Artists Lofts is this evening. The people who had faith in this project –from investors to city leaders to members of the St. Louis Arts community – will come to our building to see how we’re putting their good faith in us to into practice. I am personally looking forward to having a chance to say thank you…this building and my neighbors are some of the best things that have happened to me this year. Having a beautiful loft in which to live and work…I can’t even put into words what it means to me.
I pull out this sad little bead on occasion to remind me that anything I do is a process and not a destination. I hold it close to my heart and say a little thank you to whatever force benevolently steered by toward this obsession with the flame. I love that the art I create gives me tangible little markers of the path I’m on. I love that the path has led me here.