24x24 Austin, Texas
I wonder a lot what it will be like in 20 years from now. Explaining the year 2020. You turned three this year, on March 7th. A week and a half later Governors of the United States were given the impossible task to begin shutting down their individual states. In California, that is what happened. I was waiting tables in a San Diego restaurant in Little Italy. They told us to come and pick up our tips that day because we were all going to be unemployed tomorrow. I was prepared a little for that. What I wasn’t prepared for is how they were barricading the building and hiding everything inside of it in the attic. I felt a fear I had never felt.
I made this painting for you because your Grandmother Laura is one of the most special people in my life. She teaches me about hope, and being grounded, and praying, and finding the good. Your Grandma doesn’t judge me or act like there is anything wrong with me, even though I have told her some of my scariest, darkest secrets. She invites me to places and makes room for me in her life. She gives me hope and a sense of belonging and familiarity that has been vital throughout this crazy year. I know the hardest part of this whole Covid-19 situation has been that she is separated from you and your brothers and can’t really fly or visit.
In the early days of the pandemic, children across the world were making pictures of rainbows and putting them in their windows. Lots of people were suddenly walking around their neighborhoods for the first time because there was so little to do and so few places to go. I can say from experience it was special to see those rainbows hanging in windows. It felt like knowing we were all in this together and there was hope.
Recently I was struggling with a painting and your Grandma told me to find the hope and paint that. She has a stillness and calm when she says all of her wise things. It was one of the best things someone has ever said to me. So I thought I would start by painting the hope for you first.
You will probably never meet me. But every single day I see the joy that you bring into your Grandma's life. You are a radiant, magnetic child and I imagine that will follow you throughout your life. They call you sparkle for a reason. I hope you can see yourself and all of the love, hope, and good that surrounds you when you see this canvas.
But for now, since you are three, I hope it just lives as a happy, bright addition to the space and life of a beautiful little girl.