I don't know where I'm going

June 21, 2019

When I lived in Santa Monica, CA – I almost surrendered my creativity.  Again. 

It was fortunate for me at the time that the apartment buildings were close together.  My neighbors and I could, when the curtains were open, see into each other’s lives.

It was my custom, on Saturday nights, to listen to A Prairie Home Companion.  I love stories – telling my own and listening to others.  Everyone has a story inside, longing to have a voice.


I sat down to my beautiful round teak kitchen table.


I was at an impasse.  I was dissatisfied with whatever I was working on.  My hands were paused over what I had just unhappily created, poised to tear it to shreds – when I heard a voice outside, coming from my neighbor Carmen’s second story window.  “Barbara, you’ve inspired me to take out my art materials.” 

I pulled my hands away from the crater of destroying my own work.

Timing.  Observant Neighbors.  A Benevolent Universe.

I kept the art I had almost destroyed.  I kept it for a good many years after.  Until one day, I knew I didn’t need to hold onto that night any longer – that reminder that I had almost taken a hand to destroy my creative impulses, just as my mother had done when I was a girl.