lessons in giving and receiving: the tale of "Oliver May-I?"

You know what irritates me to no end if I'm working the till at the cafe? People who argue over who pays. No me...no, you got it last time...I don't care, I'M paying!....No....(to me) don't take her money.... Like, really?

To combat this I just grab the nearest bill or debit card that is hovering near the till. It stops most of this nonsense I it's tracks. Blame it on the barista. Now please move over so I can start helping people the people in the ever growing line behind you...

Also, gift giving obligation. You know...you give a gift, and then the person gets you something in return as a thank you...and then there is this guilt about having to get them something else for the something they gave you. People stress about this. It's this awful cycle of giving and receiving and having to keep track....who needs it?

Right. Who NEEDS to be keeping track? I love giving stuff. I love giving it publicly and secretly. It releases inspiration. It makes me want to give more. It's like painting or creating of any kind. The more I exercise this ability, the better I get at it and the more I want to...create...give...whatever. But receiving is tough. There is a natural obligation to reciprocate in some manner....even though it's not a necessary action in the giver's mind

Over to the right is "Oliver May-I?". (I'm not sure if my friend would agree on his name...but that is the name I am giving him for this blog.)

Oliver is part of an almost year long collaboration with my friend Elyse in Calgary. She sent me the little canvas in the mail with something on it...then I sent it back with some additions...then she sent it back to me with another addition. It sat in my studio for a few months, then I moved, and it has been sitting in what WAS my studio (before I moved the studio from the back of my new flat to what should really be the formal dining room....but hey, it's just me and my dog, we don't need an ENTIRE dining room to eat supper!). I haven't seen Elyse in a while...and I figured it was time to send Oliver back...with another addition. (Oliver...may I add something more to you?) Maybe he's done. Maybe Elyse will keep him a few more months, add something and send him back to me. Maybe not. That's not the point. The point is...it's fun. We get to interact. We get to send things in the mail. There is no obligation. There is not guilt. I'm keeping track of the progress of the little painting....just because I'm into the creative process...but nothing more.

This summer I got randomly given a few special gifts from people I don't really know, because I was going through a rough time with the end of my engagement. It was hard. All I had were tears to give. But it made me better at receiving...which is odd, but we really aren't that great at it are we? From compliments to gifts. It's not a rant...it's just something I've observed in myself and in situations around me...and like all things in my life, I find ties to it creatively.

So, thank you for your comments on my site or in person if I have met you! I appreciate them. Yes, it makes me blush and no, it's not why I paint....but I'm glad to know you like my work and that it provokes thought and good memories or forces you to take another look at the painting that's been hanging by the condiment stand at the Garneau cafe because you didn't notice something before.

THAT'S why I do it...that and creating is a compulsive thing.