Every promise we make is an important one. Whether it be to ourselves or to someone else. A promise is a promise, is a promise.
Sitting on the table beside me is my trusty jean jacket. The same jean jacket I wear whenever, and wherever, I travel. This little coat goes with me everywhere I go. As I travelled throughout Italy recently the jacket was always on the front seat of my car or tied around my waist as I toured village after village in search of my next artistic inspiration. When I spent a month in France painting, my prized jacket was always there for me to perch myself on as I painted on a grassy hillside or protect me from the breeze as I photographed landscapes. My trusted fabric companion, always there when I needed warmth or a touch of Bohemian fashion.
And then it happened. I lost a button. I searched high and low, in my car, my Italian apartment, but no button was to be found. for a moment I thought I could just take a button off the sleeve, I could live without one of those buttons. But no, these are riveted buttons, and they can't just be transferred from spot to spot. I would have to buy a button and sew it on myself. Not a big deal, to anyone else that is. For me it was not going to be so simple. I decided that I would not just buy any old button, this jacket deserved better then that. I made a decision that I would only replace the said, lost button, with one I found on this art trip. Of course the button would have to fit into the hole, but that was my only criteria. There, I had promised myself that I would only replace the button with one I found, in the next three months while on this art trip. Simple enough. I considered the possibility that maybe I wouldn't find a button while away. This seemed like an unacceptable option, so I was sticking with my promise, with my new button plan.
If I was out on a hike, I always had an eye out for a wayward button. If I was strolling through a village or its shops, my eyes regularly scanned the floor in search of my much needed treasure. It was looking like I was never going to find my button, months had gone by, and nary a button to be found. And then a miracle. Okay, maybe not a miracle, but a button. I spotted a button lying on a market floor. A poor lost, lonely button, waiting to be found. Or more likely, it was ripped from its previous owners clothing because they couldn't stand it any longer. It was the ugliest, brightest, homeliest button ever made. "Great." was all I said to myself as I bent over and picked it up. "Maybe it won't fit into my button hole?" I told myself. It was a hideous orange color. The kind of orange they put on road cones to get your attention when you are driving through a construction site. I tried it in the button hole. It was a perfect fit. Of course it was! I laughed and thought "Well, that's what you get for promising to do such a stupid thing." I got what I asked for. I asked the universe to help me find a button on this tip that would fit my coat, and I did. Damn it, I did. So today, finally, I sit with needle and thread in hand, about to attach the new prized piece to my jacket. Why? Because I promised myself I would, and if I make a promise, I keep it. Even a ridiculous button promise. For some unknown reason, as I picked up the jacket to begin attaching the button, my eyes went to the label sewn just beneath the coats collar. I smiled when I read its words. "I am more than just a piece of clothing, I was designed to be found by you." So next time you see me, and my ugly new button, smile and know that I am exactly the kind of foolish girl that makes button promises and is happy to do so.
On an artistic note, I am proud and honored to tell you that I just sold the 5 foot by 5 foot painting that I only just completed this last week. The painting is of the little village that I lived in while I was on the Isle of Man, as seen from a little path known as Postman's Road. I will post a picture of it as soon as I get it from the framers. (I had posted a work in progress photo of it on facebook a few weeks ago). This is the second piece from the Italy/Isle of Man series that has sold in the last month and I couldn't be happier. (the other piece was the umbrella-village scene) I just recently had the other four pieces framed in lovely Italian wooden frames and they look great, and are ready to go on display. I am just about to begin another piece that was inspired by the Isle of Man. This piece will be of a sun streamed path, set deep inside the stunning Arrasey Plantation. I look forward to its creation.
I leave you with this promise. I promise to live this life, this precious, precious life, to the fullest and the best of my abilities, all while proudly wearing a big, ugly button!