This is a photo of a pink tool bag.
Why? Why the pink tool bag???
I was in a store, I can’t remember which one, and Hope and I were in the tool/home improvement section. She was looking for something that would help her in her bike-building process, and I was meandering about as there was nothing I needed.
I came upon this pink tool bag. Now…….I am assuming that this tool bag was meant for a woman. And I am also assuming that the bag is pink because pink is associated with the female sex.
I don’t need a pink tool bag. I don’t want a pink tool bag. Someone, somewhere thought I might want one, I guess. Perhaps they thought I would like the bag, and buy it because it is pink. Would the pink bag help me to take care of my maintenance issues in a more feminine way? Or would I have more fun, feel more confident as a female, fix with flair if I had that pink tool bag at my side?
I have had to get used to fixing some things myself, which is not to say that I didn’t fix things when Andrew was here. In fact, I think it might be safe to say that I have been more of a handy woman than Andrew was a handy Man! Bob, head of maintenance at The Grier School, can attest to that! Andrew didn’t call him for everything, but he called him a lot!
I am not claiming to be handy woman extraordinaire, but I can handle a few things on my own. When there’s something I can’t handle I ask for help, and I’m so grateful to those who are willing to pop over and spend some time with hammer in hand. And I’m proud to say that I now know the “year” of all our cars and when their inspections are due.
Men and women know these things, men and women take care of all that needs to be done, and we don’t need pink or blue bags in order to do them. (That being said, if you like your camo carry-all or your fuschia furniture, who cares?!)
Maintenance issues aren’t the only things that I’ve had to get used to taking care of. Everything has now redefined itself…..every part of my life. I am redefining myself, from the pink bag dilemma to the checkbook register to the way I need to function in the world…….
I’m fortunate to be able to take my time a little bit and look for the direction that I need to take. I have heard people say, “Find out what you love and find a way to make money at it.” Andrew sure knew what he loved. All his “student friends” from all his years at Grier and in Tyrone can attest to the fact that he loved students and was just overjoyed beyond belief to help them find the education they needed or take the best pic to send to parents. And in every photo he took you can feel a bit of the artistic, loving genius that focused the lens.
For me it’s a little different. I love a lot of things, most of them creative…..theater, music, art, writing…… I’ve often felt like that jack of all trades…. How content we all would be if we could make a living doing what we love, right?!
In the days shortly after Andrew’s memorial service, after my brother-in-law flew home and the crowds thinned out, I started treasure hunting for sapphires in Andrew’s gravel (Please see my Gravel Story post if you are confused!). Even though the rough gems I found were far from their faceted end destination I was inspired by the process. I got out some colorful beads and a watch face that I had bought months before, and while the girls were watching TV (I’m not always totally interested in America’s Next Top Model!) I made myself creatively busy…..
One thing led to another, and now I have an Etsy store! I will unabashedly put a plug in right here for myself because people like it so far, and you just might be curious anyway. It’s DarcyWilsonArt.etsy.com. I don’t know how successful this venture will be, but at least for now I’m doing something I love. And I’m learning a lot….it’s really interesting to try to figure out how to make an online store work. For instance, my listings won’t come to the top of searches right now because I’m an “untrusted” quantity. People will have to “favorite” my shop and give “reviews” before Etsy will trust me to make a big enough cut for them! The art is only part of it all…..SEO stuff, choosing the right words, the right items…..
Anyway, I don’t know if this experience will be the defining one for me but it is at least something to get excited about. I like that it’s different from what I’ve done before. Everything I’m doing right now if different than what I’ve done before. And I am forced to become different now, too…..
Andrew was such a big personality. When we went places together I really didn’t have to say much. He was the extrovert and I the introvert…..it was a pretty good match now that I come to think of it. 25 years of not having to come up with small talk!
That’s not true, really. I had to do my share because everywhere I went with Andrew he was looking up someone that he knew from some other time in his life. I distinctly remember him sitting on a hotel bed with the phonebook in his hand when he couldn’t remember if he knew someone who lived in the town we were visiting…..
Andrew was the perfect example of how to converse in social situations. He was totally comfortable because he truly believed that Everyone wanted to talk to him! What confidence! He looked at a group of strangers and said, “What fun!” I would look at the same group and say, “God, help me!” He’d pick up the phone and just know that the person on the other end would be pleased as punch to give him their time. I pick up the phone with a sweaty palm and pray the person isn’t home!
Please don’t think that I am socially inept….the part of my world away from Andrew’s side consisted of many wonderful people that did not make me sweat…..my theater friends, my book club girls, my students and colleagues…. but when I was at a party or just anywhere with Andrew I really didn’t have to say much! In fact, looking back, I think sometimes I didn’t have a chance to say much…… Every once in a while I did have something to say and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise!
So. Here I am. I’m filling in the spaces…..those empty spaces. The dead silences that happen within conversations. Sometimes it’s really awkward. Sometimes it’s really lonely to be the one saying it all. But to be fair, sometimes it’s nice not to have to wait for an opening. I’m stepping into those empty spaces whether I want to or like it…..and I’m doing it. I really am.
I’m filling in the empty spaces all over the place. My friends and family are filling in spaces too. And even though no one can fill up Andrew’s space they fill up the whole entire area all around it. I don’t want Andrew’s space to be filled up anyway.
So I reach into my purple toolbox….Oh, I didn’t tell you that I have a purple toolbox! Yes, I admit it. I love my purple toolbox. Dawn gave it to me; I’ve had it for years. Anyway, I reach into my purple toolbox for the little picture hanger thingy that Jerry and Mike got at Walmart and I intend to put one of Andrew’s photos up in my studio….fill in that big, white space over the piano…..
And then maybe I’ll make a bracelet. I think I’ll make Lori’s. It’s the pink one.