the gallery and the event and the reward

the gallery

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

One of my friends and readers inquired if I might have given myself a ‘self reward’ for my taking on the challenge of going to the art reception.
The reward was there,and I am grateful for every one of them.

I am grateful for the experience to participate in the ‘survivors art exhibit’. It fills many voids in my life since I have discovered it. I have made friendships because of it-one such is with the main couple who have been putting this thing together for 12 years. I know no other friendship that has ever been offered to me like the way each of these two people offer it. You feel a genuine spirit of goodness when in thier company.
And there are others I know for sure are as special as they-but none have had the contact with me as Rob and Deborah have had ,and our relationship goes deeper.

It is hard to speak of the things that took place as the evening and reception progressed.
I want to describe the thrills that I had as another artist expressed great interest in owning something I’ve painted-a third artist,a very well established artist pulled me aside and told me what price I should ask,it was impressive coming from this man-the sum was quite impressive. But what happened at the end is what has my mind occupied-and what I believe is the real reward.

The artist I mentioned who took me aside and gave me pricing advice-we have known each other for as long as I’ve been in Florida and we are also very old friends.
We had weeks before discovered likeness in our lives-we usually always have in a broader sense,but things came closer to home for my friend when I gave him a flier for the exhibit to invite him to attend…I had no idea then that he too was a survivor,so he participated.
During the evening at the reception we talked more about things-mostly how we were about them now. I described how the crowd and the building scared me and what life was like with PTSD. We shared a lot of comparisons and actually had understandings of the same feelings and results of pasts and experiences.

The thing that was so profound-the very real reward of the night was as we left the building together. Both of us confessed how we hated crowds and reception type gatherings-and we were walking out the east side of the building and below us in the ampitheater was a gathering. There were hundreds of people watching what we thought at first was a film. There was a screen and projector and the music was loud and it is on campus where these kind of events are common.
The ampitheater is a half moon which is centered by a large pond-years back there was once a floating stage and there were concerts there,just to give you an idea of the size of the place.
My friend and I were walking outwards towards the parking lot-there is a wooden walkway that surrounds part of the pond and it was about at that point that there was something odd about the music coming from the speakers and we both stopped to listen. It was oriental and enticing. We stood there and looked across at the crowd-all of them had candles and thats when we realized it was a candle light vigal for the easrthquake victims in China.
It was interesting that we were both talking about our anxieties about being in crowds-but this was something bigger than us and it made us go over and sit down. It was in the middle of what could have easily been a thousand people-and we found a spot to sit almost in the center.
I was making my typical frantic glances around taking in the many many people-and from way off in the very side of the crowd there came this Chinese man and he brought us candles. We both commented as how did he see us without candles-there were so many people. Someone immediatly reached over and lit them for us.
The most amazing thing was the wind. It was steady and enough to blow out the candles…but the candles stayed lit-even the shape of some symbol down on the stage area,it must of been made up of over a hundred candles and yet it stayed lit. All around us-the many people and many candles.
I was taking this in and all of a sudden I felt as if I had sat down in another land. The faces of most every body in the crowd were from China. The girl who was speaking down by the candles on the stage area spoke in Chinese. On the film screen were images one right after the other of the back packs of the children lost-all dusted with debri and after those images were more-sad sad images of the earthquake there.
Then the crowd broke into song-the girl speaker must have said thats what we were to do as the crowd began so automatic. The crowd sang in Chinese,again I felt transformed to another land.
It was a very strange-good strange…sitting there looking around at each of these people all from a far home and being helpless to know the awe of what has taken place in thier homeland.
It was provoking to have just left the ‘survivors art exhibit’ and be speaking together with a friend about the phobias that crowds and recepetions bring on-agreeing as to the anxieties,and then God just takes us out one exit and not the other.

Bill and I have often in our friendship exchanged thoughts and realizations of God in our lives and a Greater Spirit that leads us through one thing and another. After the song we set or candles on the on a spot where they would be safe and walked on out into the evening. We walked away with a profound feeling.

That was the reward. In perfection of what a reward can be-that indeed was the most needed to able to be humbled about ones self in such a perfect manner-to be able to recognize the significance of where we were and where we had come from and being guided into a larger vision of grief.

I am full of praise to have been given the direction we went Friday night. I remember we hesitated on the first floor lobby,which way do we go to get out of here?. The Reitz Union is a very big place. The boost to exit to the east was purely Spiritual. There is no doubt in my mind.
And that is the finest reward one can ever get.

4 Responses to “the gallery and the event and the reward”

  1. Austin Says:

    This is so awesome.

    There’s what’s called a blog carnival where abuse survivors link to entries on various survivor’s issues. This would be a really nice addition to the next blog carnival. Here’s the link to Marj’s blog.

    Survivors Can Thrive! You’ll see info there about the blog carnival.


  2. Charlotte Says:

    beautiful.. I heard it was a very special, intesting night. Sorry I couldn’t be there that night. Hope to go tomorrow night. As usualy, Jay, you find your dimes. Charlotte

  3. Austin Says:

    Have you ever considered selling prints of your work?
    You could sell on or You could put the originals (if you wanted to) for sale on different art sites. They are without a doubt quality.


  4. jayherron Says:

    …considered? Gosh yes,and will try to program things so my art does get seen more and hopefully even purchased (could use 2 dollars right now-zero coffee and thatsa cash crop!)
    Indeed I will take your advice and search these sites you offered up-thank you Austin,as a fellow artist…you hit the right spot!!
    And…you betcha Charlotte…those ‘dimes’ I find are better than real money!

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