I spent last evening in the company of some amazing women. I knew going in that it would be an evening of amazing women; after all, the title of the evening was AWE: Amazing Women’s Evening. And it was.
First were the wonderfully creative artists who were represented. Curlin Reed Sullivan, who utilizes bits of nature in her wonderfully humanistic figures, is an equally delightful person. I had seen her name around town and knew her charming work, but I had never met her before. Anyone who wears a sunny yellow jacket and smiles broadly is a friend of mine. Quite different in style from Curlin is the work of Elaine St Marie, a counselor and artist and coach and more. Her abstract expressionist works present color and motion and depth. Listening to her speak about commissions she takes on– intuitive pieces where she works with the client to create personal, meaningful works of art– was inspiring. If only everyone were bold enough to commission an artwork and then be brave enough to honestly accept the product…
The main event of the evening–and the main reason for my wanting to go in the first place–was a reading by Jeannie Ralston from her memoir The Unlikely Lavendar Queen. I had seen a newspaper article about Jeannie and her adventurous life as a lavendar farmer about six months ago. She seemed to have an enticing balance of wit and kindness, which is especially difficult to pull off in print. I’m pleased now to know that her personality is filled with an effortless grace, as she is simultaneously respectful of both her power and her humility. Listening to her read snippets of her memoir was captivating, and I look forward to reading the book in its entirety soon. As someone who has moved frequently and built relationship communities repeatedly, I feel a kinship with Jeannie’s “bloom where you are planted” philosophy. Her reading filled me with confidence and inspired me to work hard for my dreams and not fear where they will lead.
Many thanks to Soul Coach Marianne MacKenzie for organizing the event and to the women of Soma Vida for hosting. The evening was a much needed reminder to me of how one short evening can transform a group of strangers into a community.