Je Regrette

 Kirk Richards tonight in his home

This morning Chup informed me that we were going to a meeting this evening called "Gathering of Creative Friends" held at our friends Kirk and Amy Richard's home. This gathering was to include food, beverage and a dozen artists, painters, film makers, musicians and writers. And we were all commissioned to present a ten minute sharing of our art.

"What should I present?" I asked Chup.

"What should I present?" Chup asked me back.

Chup's problem is that he is too talented in too many areas. Actually, I don't know if that is a problem. Come to think of it, I was mostly likely invited because I am Chup's wife, not because I can string together sentences on an online journal. Never-the-less I thought all day about what I would share with the group. I decided I really wanted to share the first chapter I wrote for a book I'd like to finish writing someday.

I wrote it a year ago, and Chup is the only one who has read it. I can share my soul with the world everyday, the real me and yet, I have a hard time sharing my fiction. But there was something about being around other creative types, those people who feel deeply and respect deeply that made me contemplate sharing. All day long I pep-talked myself into the bravery.

Until it was time to go.

"Should I print off my chapter and read it?" I asked Chup as we were getting our stuff together.

"Do what you want to do," Chup never makes decisions for me. Even when I beg, plead and offer money. 

I want to share it. I don't want to share it. About equal. I want to share it because I am proud of it. I don't want to share it because right now it's tucked away in a safe place and belongs to me only. What if they like it? What if they dislike it?

So I didn't bring it.

As promised there were presentations of creativity in enviable proportions. Music, paintings, books, illustrations, documentaries and print making. Connections made, 

"That painting is yours? I've loved that painting for years!" 

and "I've heard about your project, it's nice to finally meet you" 

also, "We've met before through our mutual friends . . ." 

And of course there were plenty of confessions of depression, mania and self doubt as per usual in a gathering of "Creative Friends."

I sat soaking it all in. Loved all of it. Swam in the creations of other people. Asked, discussed, watched and clapped.

When it was my turn to present I showed the group my blog, talked about how I like to write, how this blogging world has changed our lives, how we've been able to help the Provo community (with my Provo blog) but I never mentioned the first chapter in the book I'd like to finish writing someday.

Everyone was really nice. They listened, had a few follow up questions and that was that. When I sat down in my seat I couldn't help but recognize the disappointment I felt for myself. I should've shared the chapter. Not because I wanted praise, but because I would've been sharing something beyond my secure limits. I should've gone there

I missed a pure opportunity.

When I got home I went upstairs to change the baby into her pajamas. I made a silent resolution that I wouldn't let an opportunity get away so easily next time. Then I prayed for more opportunities.

I also thanked Heavenly Father for giving people talents. And for letting me be in a place where I could partake in their talents. And I thanked Him for a head full of new thoughts.  Lastly, I hoped the creative people who shared knew what a gorgeous act of service they were doing for me.

Someday I will return the favor.

See Kirk Richards' work here. It is inspiring and original and truthful and somber just the way I like it.

Kirk Richards' 40 Small Christ Portraits--a must see: 

I am c jane and I love creative friends.
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