i have a standing date with my angelfriend to attend the annual Arts and Crafts festival every year. i've learned to bring plenty of water, as she has to stop every few feet to chat with people she knows. one year it bugged me. this year i knew going in what to expect, so i just flowed with it, and guess what? i re-realized what an incredible, boundless, unselfish, caring, sharing, networking person she is. she shares her knowledge, contacts, opportunities with abandon. she is the person who dragged me kicking and screaming into the realm of believing in myself as an Artist (with a capital "A") and furthermore promoted the heck out of my work. and having all that in the forefront of my brain while we walked/stopped/walked/stopped the festival, let me see her amazingness in action. this is not a town of art abundance. and yet it is. artists here are very territorial. if they find out about a show or new gallery or source for cheap art supplies or new technique, they guard it like a state's secret. so although art aquaintences are made, it's difficult to make any real, true connected friendships. except for my angelfriend. as she wove her magic throughout the day, at least one artists exchange program began it's birth (between Puerto Rican artists and syracuse artists), 2 major exhibitions took form from the dust, and everyone she touched was uplifted by her. i am humbled. me - the socially incontinant one, was speachless. and throughout the years, poked and prodded along by her, i have come to feel worthy and equal as an artist to those i've admired. still in progress, but still worthy. twin soul mermaids. and the thing that i love is that i can ramble along, working out a thought, and it's okay. the thought feels safe with her and so begins to show itself. i'm working on the thought about how i've presented myself to my husband throughout the changes in my life recently. why he doesn't take me seriously as an artist. is it because i've downplayed it, knowing that art is not a value of his? knowing his disdain for "starving artists that live off govenment money?" such an angry man. have i presented an apologetic, unworthy feeling when i want to go to a workshop or retreat? have i hidden my excitement over a gallery show, or being published or being juried into a statewide show, or or or...? i think all these things. it doesn't give him the right to dismiss it all. but i guess i realized today that if i want him to change, then i needed to change. that he was reflecting me. and somewhere hidden inside, that voice got tired of waiting for the brain to hear it, and had already started the process. i keep going on about the squam workshop. but you know, it's already magical because for the first time, i'm not going out apologetically....i'm sharing with him my excitement, my hopes, my fears about it. and that allows him to respond to that, rather than to my feeling like i'm sneaking out the window at night to do no good. so that's a step. others steps have started, as well. and it's good. so whether or not this is salvagable remains to be seen. but i'm willing to bet that we can at least acheive mutual admiration. the day was brilliant, the company excellent, the peace of it all - priceless. and i came home to the steppers in residence, my little diva with her kitties, and a restfulness in my spirit. not bad for a day downtown, eh? L.