Feed The Spark

Marcia, DeMarcus, and me many moons ago.

Marcia, DeMarcus, and me many moons ago.

If I’d shared a context-less photo of Lake Michigan yesterday you’d swear I was standing on a beach in the Bahamas. The water was vibrant turquoise. It was intense and stopped me in my tracks more than once. It was a 180° turnabout from earlier this week when the lake was frozen over and looked like a sea of broken glass. Things change so fast. These extraordinary moments pass so quickly.

I talked with Marcia this morning. Today is her 85th birthday and she told me that she’s working on becoming present. “I’m not very good at it,” she said, “though I think my life would be so much better if I didn’t project myself into a made-up future and worry about the well going dry.” We laughed heartily.

Marcia was a great actress in her day. And when she stepped off the stage she became an exquisite costume designer. Her father, DeMarcus, was a pioneer in the theatre and a great painter and I am the lucky to carry forward their tradition of artistry. I know my lineage! It seems like yesterday that Marcia was designing a play that I was directing; she pulled me aside and said, “DeMarcus wants you to have these.” She handed me a painter’s box with his brushes and paint. That was over 25 years ago. If my house was on fire and I could only save one possession I’d take that box. It contains some of her renderings and some of his notebooks. It is sacred to me.

I dedicated my book to Marcia and her husband, Tom. Tom was my mentor and he passed away in August. Marcia said, “I’m reinventing myself now that Tom is gone.” I asked what she was discovering in her reinvention. “The creative spark never goes away!” she chirped. “I need a good project!” She told me that the final years with Tom were like cocooning because all of her energy went to caring for Tom in his dementia and failing health. “It was hellish!” she whispered, “I wasn’t doing any of the things that keep me fed. I’m ready to create again!”

Before hanging up I asked what she was going to do on her birthday. She chortled and said, “I have an excellent day planned for myself. I’m going to put new carpet in the studio and then I’m going to put my hands in the soil and feel the earth! I’ve no time to lose so you can be certain that I’m going to feed the spark.”

Go here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, title_pageSeeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.

Get hard copies here.

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