This week Kylie, who featured in last week’s post about the IWD Dinner, has written a post that is connected to that night, and to much more besides. Thanks a lot Kylie for your insights and lovely art work.
I was very pleased to receive an International Woman’s Day Community Award recently along with fellow CHO members Anne and Elizabeth. As Elizabeth said in a previous post it was a wonderful evening with great entertainment and it was wonderful to hear about the many and varied activities that women are involved in to help make our community so great!
When Elizabeth was speaking about me she mentioned a small piece of art I gave her quite a few years ago which is in large part the inspiration for writing this blog post. As is usually the case, the story she told is part of a much bigger story and there are multiple stories running alongside of it, stories touching upon other stories, changing each other.
A few years ago I gave Elizabeth a photograph of some wet footprints on the ramp to Christies Beach along with the words “Step Boldly Each Day”
I’d like to tell a bit more about how that piece came to be. How lovely to be reminded of it! The inspiration for making the piece came from my participation in an art-making project to illustrate a book that was being written by a very community-minded woman in America. (Patti Digh – http://www.37days.com). I answered an online call for art where volunteers would be sent four words to respond to with a piece of art. I waited patiently for my brief and was a little disappointed when mine finally arrived.
The following is from a blog post I wrote at the time (2010).-
‘I love to create (to play with patterns, shapes, colours, words and ideas) and learn so much about myself during the process). I was excited to receive the eagerly awaited ‘call for art’ email. My first reaction though, I must admit, was that of disappointment. I was randomly assigned ‘tip the hotel maid’ to illustrate. I was not impressed and started formulating a reply email in my head – “Sorry, can’t do it. I don’t travel! I haven’t been in a hotel room for a very long time! It’s not relevant to my life! I can’t draw a maid!.” Then I started to think about showing gratitude to those who help and how that also helps us. I started to play with colours and shapes. I found myself liking the creation that unfolded. The stars represent the wonderful job a maid does in making a hotel room beautiful and the large gold star represents the tip – the gratitude expressed. I really enjoyed creating it despite my first reaction of rejection. I’m glad I persisted. I particularly love that this piece of artwork exists only because I participated in the ‘call for art.’ ‘
Working on this piece really got me thinking about all the people who help us and especially those we may not think of so much. There was a whole room full of such people last Thursday evening – those whose turn it was to be recognised as well as everyone else. All the wonderful work that women do (paid and otherwise) and will keep on doing regardless of whether it is acknowledged or not.
It was a bold move for me to submit my art (and quite out of character at the time) and I’m really glad I did. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity that Patti Digh made available for others (including me!)
All this has me thinking about the ways we each step boldly each day. Perhaps it is in ways not noticed much by others. The struggles we have that are not always seen or known about by others. The multitude of people who have been in the background of my own life. How we help each other in so many ways, formal and informal.
And I am reminded of this poem that I love
so let’s in whatever way we need to, big or small –
Step Boldly Each Day
Tip the Hotel Maid