For Thursday, March 17, 2016:
“In order to be created, a work of art must first make use of the dark forces of the soul.”
Chapter Four of my MA thesis started with this quote. I don’t remember the title of the chapter now, but the purpose was to explore the common perception that artists are – must be – at least a little ‘crazy.’ Looking back, it’s almost as if I knew what was going to happen.
As many people observe and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, I remember a friend who was in the same MA program I was. Anne Marie used to love St. Paddy’s Day. Every stitch of clothing she wore on March 17th was some shade of green. On this one day of the year, it didn’t matter if the shades matched – if it was green, she wore it. She put jeweled shamrocks in her ears, on her fingers, around her wrists. She was half Irish – the other half was Italian – and proud of it. She even named her foundling dog Biddie, a nod to her mother Bridget’s nickname.
Actually Biddie found Anne Marie. At a particularly dark time in Anne Marie’s life, this little malnourished and partially lame dog somehow found the strength to jump into Anne Marie’s car in the middle of a snowstorm. Anne Marie did all the right things: she notified Animal Control and all the local veterinarians, she called and spoke to neighbors, she put a notice in the newspaper and on bulletin boards in her area. After two weeks of no responses, she and Biddie finally settled in and helped each other with pure shining love.
Anne Marie was one of the most creative people I have ever known. She had a lovely voice – both her Irish and Italian sides really came together there – and she played a beautiful guitar. She wrote songs and composed poetry, both funny and sad, both biting and touching. One room in her small house was filled to the rafters with her stash of fabrics for the stunning quilts she crafted (where all the greens and other colors matched and complemented each other) and materiel for any possibility of something creative. Her IQ had to have been off-the-charts high, and her imagination was right there with it.