When i was a kid I constantly said “You are raining on my parade!” So often, it was practically my catch phrase. You can bet, if things weren’t going my way, i was probably crying about it.
Once you grow up the fact that life isn’t fair becomes obvious. And that crying about it solves nothing. Still, Sometimes it rains on my parade and I go home with a heavy heart. I’m often forgetting that the best thing to do is have the parade BECAUSE its raining.The life of an artist is full of rain…In fact, the past few weeks have been walking through a mud bog during a monsoon, at a time that I expected a perfect day at the beach!
Sometimes you put forth twice the effort and planning, but get less than half of the results you had hoped. Much like pacific northwest weather…Success Cannot always be predicted, and it doesn’t care what you did to prepare for it.
First I cried out at my friends who I felt angry at for not supporting me in my latest event…not one of them showing up for my challenging live performance…Despite some attending performances that same night by other people, or showing support by attending music events by people they hardly knew, many many times. But nobody seemed to care about me…The simple fact is most people I knew rarely attended any of my my events, and there was usually such a crowd of strangers, that i rarely cared! I Didn’t know at the time, but this anger at my friends wasn’t reality…. It was merely my young self piping up,” its not fair!! Stop raining on my parade!!” less an expression, and more a projection.
To make matters worse, in the peak of the rainstorm, with my young self screaming her head off, a new problem arose. My deadline approached for supplies needed, volunteering with the special needs group. When I am able to, depending on my level of blessing with time and money for supplies, I volunteer leading them in doing various craft projects. I needed about 14 canvases, and despite working my ass off for weeks, i only had enough leftover money for 6. I picked through my art room hoping I had a few stashed away, but no luck. My heart hurt. “I’ve done my VERY best! Why didn’t you bless me with enough God?” I said.
I looked at some older works left behind from three or four different art shows of the summer and spring prior. Lovely paintings…I thought back to a time that I had sold almost all of one of the series, in the first couple weeks, leaving only a few behind. i thought back to the successes of the other series with just a couple left from each. I felt a little angry at having not sold more of my new work yet. I remembered the curator of my last show saying that someone had advised him to once a year destroy his best piece, as a way of lowering arrogance and pride…I counted the pieces again…eight, exactly the number i needed for my project with the special needs folks. I did have enough. many were beloved pieces that I had been glad didn’t sell, pieces i could sell in the future at one of my smaller venues…but none of that mattered now.
I used the last bit of my high pigment white to cover every one, new and clean. They would each be turned into art once again, with my help, by one of the special needs people. The pieces would not be gone, but re-born with a new purpose, sold to raise money for the less fortunate of the center. I felt a sudden sense of relief and happiness. The world tried to rain on me, but I had a parade in the rain.
I thought about the widows offering in the bible, she only had two cents but she gave all she had. It was worth more to God than the large donation of the wealthy, who could have spared more. Even though I had done my very best, and tried harder than ever before, I had little to give. Still God looked at my gift as success, not failure, because I gave everything I had.
I don’t know how I will have enough for more supplies, to make new art for the next month. In the rain even my venue had fallen through, So I don’t even know where the art will be. But I know, so long as the child voice is quiet, somehow God will bless me, and I will find a way to have a parade in the rain.