Friday, July 4, 2014

The joy of giving

   I am cleaning out my basement. I've taken a few false starts at this over the years, but I've had it, and I'm doing it. Being down with bronchitis and left without a car meant that last weekend I made some real progress.
   A very real part of being an artist is having an attachment to things that inspire you. Things that are well-designed and that you're curious about are very attractive. Along with that, artists are continuously creating—generating new stuff. And there are a lot of necessary supplies that go along with this. When it comes to keeping a tidy house, this can spell disaster. Some days I feel like a controlled hoarder, with all my various collections. And as I've been in my house for nearly 10 years, I haven't done regular clean-outs. And even the stuff that I love starts stressing me out. Something has to give.
   On Sunday afternoon, Abby and Scott came over with their son August, to pick up bags & bags of clothes that I've decided I'm willing to cast off. It's all stuff I like, but I don't need it, and I don't have room for it all. I decided it would make me happier to give it to someone who could use it. My neighbors are on a budget; they have a kiddo, and Abby stays home with him. She doesn't have the luxury of spending a lot of money on new clothes. And aside from that, they are regular church-goers and know others who could benefit. So I felt great about letting them have it all.
   I had them come back in the evening, as I was opening boxes of treasures that hadn't seen the light of day in years. This included my large collection of larger-size robot toys, both tin and plastic. Some are as much as 45 years old. And I don't NEED them. But, the family is thinking of having another child, so August will graduate to a toddler room. And how cool would a robot-themed room be? They happily agreed. And I'm SO HAPPY to see my old robots enjoyed again.
   Then I ran across my old Breyer horses. I bought these when I was in high school or college (at least 17 years ago), intending to use them as models for drawings. They're very nicely sculpted and detailed—really beautiful toys. But it was time for these horses to travel to new pastures. And I immediately thought of Ariana, Ginny's niece, who takes riding lessons. I see Ari's huge smile on Facebook, as the tiny girl sits atop massive beasts, with her huge (on her) black riding helmet and riding garb. It's adorbs. So I asked Ginny if she'd like to surprise Ari with them, and here's her response: 
She even drew some horses for me (by tracing the little figures):
   I may not be very good at parting with objects that I love and appreciate, but it is SO MUCH EASIER when I see them go directly to someone who needs them. I still have a lot of work to do, but I think I can get used to this.  :)