Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rejection and Consolation

The universe can certainly be interesting. Four times I have submitted work to the Portland Museum of Art Biennial, and four times I have been rejected. I received my most recent Dear John letter yesterday, and I'd like to say that this didn't bother me, but I felt very discouraged. I didn't have too much time to wallow in self-pity, though, because when the mail arrived I was in the middle of a kitten rescue mission. Yesterday I found two tiny stray kittens outside of my apartment here in Portland! They might be from a wild litter, or maybe someone dropped them off - so far it's a mystery. For almost two years I have been without a cat - this, after living with cats for my entire life - and I was just getting ready to go find a new one. Well, instead, two found me. It was a pretty funny scene: while I was fixing a plate of food to lure the kittens out from under my neighbor's porch, Raquel the squirrel kept hopping on my back, trying to get my attention to feed her! I had to run upstairs and fetch her some almonds so she'd let me carry on with my mission! Then the squirrel and the kittens were all peacefully gathered around the same plate. (Too bad I didn't have my camera on me at the time! )
So, the wildlife here in Portland has reminded me of what is truly important.
(One kitten is a male tiger and the other one, I think it's a female, is black and white.
Any ideas on what to name them?)

Recently a friend recited this beautiful poem to me.

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees,the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

6 comments:

artslice said...

Aww, that is the cutest kitten. Keep submitting, you never know if the juror(s) are cranky, in a certain mood for something (as in a style of art) or just hungry for lunch!! :) I'm sure you know that already!

Your new website is really nice, congrats! I hope you're not going to stop the blog now that you have the official site.

Hobocamp Crafts said...

I've only just found your blog- but really enjoy your artwork and blog.
Don't let yourself get too discouraged- I have some Dear John letters myself- their loss!

Don Gray said...

Take heart! Your work has beauty and meaning to many more people than you know--whether the museum recognizes it or not.

How fitting--the animals are coming to your emotional rescue!

Martha Miller said...

Thanks, Brenda! I know - juried shows are often a crap shoot!
Love your accordian book!

Martha Miller said...

Hey there, Hobo!

Thanks for the support and thanks for dropping in! I had fun looking around at your cool stuff!

Martha Miller said...

Thankyou, Don! Yes, I felt like I was Cinderella with all the little sympathetic creatures scurrying around!
I'm very much enjoying your new portrait series - haunting and mysterious!