Letter: A tribute to April Clark
I woke up this Saturday morning with a blazing headache, more than likely caused by all the stress of trying to plan for my next art show which is only a month away, dealing with the constant pain in my damaged knee and the financial burden that comes with trying to be a successful artist. As I slowly massaged my aching forehead, I could feel the discouragement begin to take hold. How can I keep going? My health seems to get in the way at every turn.
I sat down, sipped my hot tea and picked up Nov. 21’s Post Independent, which I had not yet read.
I rubbed my aching forehead. I scanned the articles page by page. There sure are a lot of pot ads in here, I thought. Shoot, maybe that would make this headache go away. I smiled and chuckled to myself.
I turned to page 6 and instantly saw April’s familiar, cheerful face. Immediately my mind darted back to the day I met her. She was interviewing me about my fabric sculptures. I always get a little anxious before an interview, but April soon set my mind at ease. Her enthusiasm and excitement about my artwork made me feel I was talking to someone I had known all my life.
Her article, “Thanks for the lima beans,” felt as if she was speaking directly to me. I, too, feel life keeps “dishing out lemons.” I hear the familiar quotes, “It will work out,” “Make lemonade” or “You can do it.” It’s really tough sometimes trying to keep my chin up when every step forward is sabotaged by my health or financial problems.
I, too, have lost much: my best friend, my daughter to cancer, my parents, my home and my healthy, strong body. But I have discovered much more on this journey. I have found myself, my voice and my creativity. I have learned to be more empathic and gained a determination in making my dream come true. I also have met some really great people, and one was April Clark.
I have learned the joy and self-satisfaction of having my fabric sculptures bring smiles and laughter to others. I am now learning photography and finding I’m pretty good at that, too — at least, that’s what I am told. I have my first photography show in January, and I hope it also brings pleasure to others.
Today, I want to say thank you to all who have helped me on my journey, especially thanks to April Clark, for her wonderful and insightful article that spoke from her heart to mine. That made me realize I am changing, and maybe that’s why I really have a headache, because change is hard, it’s stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks.
Personally, I have a thing about Brussels sprouts, but add a little ham, sauté in butter and drench in a horseradish cream sauce, and they are delicious.
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Who: Natalie Spears & Lizzy Plotkin