Sunday, September 12, 2010

Man in My Life

It's true. There is a very special man in my life. Who knew this could happen after fifteen years of contented singleness? I wasn't looking. I enjoyed a good life, filled with friends and causes, daughters and grandchildren, very old parents, challenging and energy sapping jobs, several installations of my work, lots of travel to the Pacific Northwest, a trip to Istanbul and of course, free form crochet, blogging, Netflix and long walks.

My very good life was quite full and quite enough. Until it expanded to incorporate a love affair. Who knew I would meet this man with whom I was acquainted long, long ago and whom I had tucked neatly away into a 'memories file'? After all, I attended Diverse Works' annual fundraising gala simply because they'd supported me with a grant for Second Seating. Seemed like the right thing to do. Surprisingly, there he was, standing by the silent auction tables, a gala honoree, no less. Earl Staley and I reconnected.

Fate, karma, coincidence, serendipity, synchronicity. Take your pick. I hadn't spoken with Earl in twenty years, as he reminded me that gala evening.
The two of us have always been about 'conversing'. Conversation and his paintings drew me in. Conversation in the 1970s was intense and in passing. We were young and married to others and saw each other at dinner parties.
I bought one of his paintings, paying for it out of household funds. The gallery owner delivered the painting to my studio, where its energy and mystery filled that very compact space. The man who shared conversations with me at parties telephoned to say he was curious about the woman who could live with a painting he deemed so dark. Could we meet? I said yes, we could converse and furthermore, he could see the painting in its new setting.

Earl arrived, we spoke, his painting suffused the room. I left to pick up kids from school. Shortly after, he moved on to Rome and a fellowship at the American Academy. I spent years as a single mom with three teen aged and college bound daughters. Our lives intersected again for one brief summer, twenty years ago. That was it until that chance meeting across a silent auction table.

We've been together since that gala, yet I've not written about Earl on this blog and there's been very little evidence of him in the photos I post here either.

But it's high time to introduce him and his paintings, since I love both the man and his work. He is sharing significant parts of my life and I'm sharing his.

My house, always filled to the brim, now incorporates dozens of his paintings. That Dzubas in the dining room still holds its wall, but it's got competition.

There were good reasons for omitting his presence. One is called privacy. He divorced his wife to be with me. I waited for that to happen. Then, I waited all summer too, just because. Now it's fall, a new season. It's about time that he made an appearance on Rockbridge Times. By the way, Earl's blog is Professor Art. Yes, the man blogs since the day he wore his badge from Lone Star College into my house and which portrays him as 'Professor, Art'. I told him to take the comma away and he'd have a great blog title. He began his first post that evening.
Over the months, Earl's met friends and family in Houston and in Seattle. He's met my brother, my old boss, many of my women friends and now two of my three daughters and my four grandkids. He's met my mom and dad. Sang a few tunes with Dad too. They're both tenors. So, yes, it's high time.
From now on, I'll be writing about the things we do together, the laughter and conversation that fill the days we spend with one another. From now on, he'll be mentioned on this blog and you'll see his presence in my life.


Sharon said...

Well, what do you know. I never would have guessed. How wonderful for both of you. How romantic....

Mrs_H said...

It is easy to see why he lit up at the mention of your name. Sincerest congratulations to you both!

Mrs_H said...

It is easy to see why he lit up at the mention of your name. Sincerest congratulations to you both!

Kate said...


So glad you've made this post. Much love to you and to Earl!!!

Caroline said...

I love you, mom. So glad you are living the life that you are. xox, csh

Caroline said...

I love you, mom. So glad you are living the life that you are. xox, csh

Irene said...

Oh my gosh----one post and each photo is more beautiful than the next.

I am so happy for you!