Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. -Pablo Picasso
Interesting week. Last weekend I was chatting with a new acquaintance and the conversation came around to the book manuscript I’ve written and the fact that it was on it’s second edit at the time. I haven’t said much to people and it’s sort of exciting to tell someone, “I have a book coming out early next year.” Exciting and daunting.
The next day, our computer crashed. Completely died. Tech support couldn’t help me during the two hour call and we had to take it in for service. In the process of reloading the operating system, everything was lost. I did have a backup copy of the manuscript, but I’d lost my journal, my documents, my digital portfolio…everything. Because, of course, I hadn’t backed anything up. Completely my own fault. But I wasn’t worried, because the manuscript was with the publisher, I had a backup copy, and I would just have to let everything else go. I was reminded of my mother-in-law whose condo had been flooded and all her records were lost. She had been the family historian and baptismal records, birth and death records, ordination papers, and photos were all gone. While she was sorry to lose everything, she adopted the philosophy that she was coming out of that flood lean and mean. I am determined to follow her example.
A day later, I got a call from the publisher about book design. He’d like me to submit some photos of my artwork to incorporate into the cover design. I’d given up my art career to take care of Mom, and including a painting would tie the story into the design. I have the perfect painting in mind. It was a watercolor of my Grandmother’s crochet work and the type of roses she used to grow. Grandma raised my mother, and then she raised me. It seemed perfect. I no longer have the painting, but I did have photo documentation of all the paintings I did over a twenty something period of time. I did. Once. Can I find the slides and records? No, I cannot. I’ve lost my written journal and my visual journal.
I haven’t given up the search, but we may have to move to Plan B for cover design. Stay tuned.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.