Wednesday, August 02, 2006

In the Light of the Sun

Yesterday, the topic of 'reunions' came across my desk from two directions. One in an on-line discussion of whether to attend or not. The other from a member of a committee which is planning the annual 1954-1960 classes reunion from my local high school.

After my class's 45th reunion, I created this painting, "Rivals for the Passion of the Sun" -- hidden under the sunflower leaves is a big 59 for my class. Most of the things in the painting respond to the light of the sun -- as did our class.

It was a beautiful day when the old high school class gathered in reunion on the hillside by the barn. So many years ago, each of us had walked that auditorium stage in our own little bubble, yet knowing that our class was touched by the sun. Now we came with a better understanding of our places in the universe and the absence of some made the presence of others even sweeter as we reminisced. On this day, we understood that, for some of us, the sun's fiery passion is fickle. Late in the evening, we left that glowing place by the light of the moon.

Two observations about reunions:
One of the most disappointing things about reunions is who doesn't come -- usually the locals. Folks who have been out of touch, but who have often wondered about others, make the journey with anticipation only to find those who only had to drive a few miles weren't there. It's really why they came -- to see those who kept the 'homefires burning.' As one friend said, "You opened a door to my past. Thank you."

Secondly, it is often surprising who has looked forward to seeing whom. At our 45th HS reunion, I was surprised at those who said, "I hoped you would be here. I couldn't wait to see if you were the same." and then they added an anecdote which I didn't remember, but which was important to them. I found that the 'sameness' they were looking for was not in appearance, but in personality.

The committee would like to use the painting and it's accompanying quote in the souvenir booklet for this year. Interesting request. Before giving permission, I need to decide if the painting/quote will be memorable for the 1000 or so who will attend the barbecue or if a photo of classmates would be more appreciated in the space. I have learned that exposure of my work is not always a good thing. Will having the painting in the brochure open doors to the past, will it make someone feel that I am just the person I used to be, will it make more good memories? Or not. . . .


Martha Marshall said...

There will be plenty of photographs, so I say let them use the image! They will enjoy it over and over, and possibly think of you when the need arises for a special piece.

Pat said...

I agree, Annette. That's a very special painting and thought. Let your place in the sun shine for others.


Joyce said...

I love the painting and may be inspired to do something for my 50th class reunion in 2008. The last one I attended was the 20th and I agree with your observations about who attends and who doesn't.

Annette said...

Thanks for the comments. Funny how the painting started out as an abstracted landscape with the hint of the little red barn and its sign, then I added the electrical pole and the boxes and then. . . and then. I suddenly had one of my 'novels' in the works.

I gave them permission to use the quote, but will only allow the painting to be reproduced if in color. They 'don't know yet whether the budget will allow color - they have so many photos to use. . .'