since 2:00 am
hand clamped over my eye
to keep it from
popping out of my skull
beneath the unyielding pressure.
It went on and on
for hours and hours
coming in terrible waves..
When relief came
I was bursting with gratitude..
how wonderful it is
when pain stops.
So I ran to my easel
and painted and painted
with such great joy..
The headache did not return..
banished like a demon
in the light of God’s gift.
Several years ago I was sitting at my desk
in my high-level corporate job
and I had a terrifying vision.
I imagined myself far in the future
sitting at the same desk..
doing exactly the same thing
and wondering to myself
what life would have been like
if I had decided to pursue my art instead.
Not long after that, I quit my job..
and let my path take me to where I was meant to be
instead of where I thought I should go.
In life, as in art
we must be fearless.
Trust the gift.
The desire to create is a gift from God.
The ceaseless passion to paint and draw
has been with me since childhood..
and by embracing this gift
it has defined my path in life
and led me to my purpose.
the gift is selfless.
It has nothing to do with
the empty pursuit
of fame and fortune..
it is so much more than that.
I met my husband
and forged relationships.
I became a volunteer drawing teacher
for a group of inner city kids..
and began working with young adults within the autism spectrum.
As an artist
I’ve found that’s it’s not all about me..
I am just a paintbrush in God’s hand.
I remember making a book when I was little.
I vaguely recall the story had something to do with a family of animals living near a beach.
I made drawings of weird dog-like creatures on pieces of paper that I folded to look like pages.
When I showed it to my grandfather
He knelt down so we were face-to-face
And looking directly into my eyes
He said to me:
“Michele, you have a gift from God.”
Believe me, the drawing wasn’t THAT good…
Sure, I drew recognizable objects
But that’s a far cry from being like some child prodigy drawing like Michelangelo at the age of 4.
Did he see something I didn’t?
Was it a glimpse of the artist I would become..
or was it something else?
My husband I volunteer to teach art
To a group of inner city kids in downtown Phoenix.
A couple of days ago
Something beautiful happened.
Surrounded by kids,
talking and drawing together
at a crowded table..
I saw a small boy.
so small, and quiet
he practically disappeared.
His tiny head was bent down
on the drawing in front of him.
I glanced at what he was working on
and I felt time stop.
All the chaos in the room
faded into the background.
There was something different about this child.
Something rare and beautiful.
I saw it.
And in that
seemingly small and insignificant moment..
I understood that there was something tremendous
that brought me here.
“That is a great brontosaurus, “I told him
“and what a terrific volcano!”
The boy looked up..
clearly surprised that I noticed him..
that I was talking to him.
“You draw really well,” I continued
“I can see your wonderful imagination
in your drawings.”
With a tiny smile, and light in his eyes
The boy whispered. “Thank you.”
I asked him his name..
“Jesus.” He replied.
I leaned in real close so we were face to face..
And looking directly into his eyes, I said,
“Jesus, you have a gift from God.”