Monday, September 04, 2006
Mary has been a member of the gallery for many years. She paints wonderful watercolors that are very popular with patrons. There have been years when her sales practically kept the gallery going. Now she has grown frail and sick. She needs oxygen all the time and can't see well enough to paint. She told us that she would not be a member next year.
We decided to give Mary a one-person show and a reception tea to celebrate her years with us and her career as an artist. The event was very well attended and she was the quintessential lady that she has always been. She looked beautiful and greeted everyone warmly and graciously. She wasn't able to stay very long, but she appeared to be very happy and appreciative. It made us happy, too, to be able to do something to show our admiration for her and for her life's work.
I think that we all felt a little wistful, and couldn't help but have a passing thought that we, too, would reach a point when we can't work anymore. Most of us are of an age to imagine ourselves in her place, and I think that part of our desire to do this for her came from the realization that we followed closely behind her. Our identification with her was far from remote and the whole thing might have been in part for ourselves. It was a symbolic act, with Mary playing the part of us all.
There is certainly no one who could have done the part more justice.