There is so much to love about being involved in KMWP, my local NWP site. I love how I am rejuvenated as a teacher. As a writer I am inspired, challenged, and validated. Also, I find a place where I am among friends and community, a group of similarly minded teachers willing to give up their time to inquire, research, learn and grow. Even as a person on this continuous journey of life, I find myself finding voice for my introspective self. Summer time at KMWP is about being rejuvenated without mentally relaxing. Mental relaxation–July will give me time for that.
“How could you do that?” How could you put a price on the bridge, a gift from me?” my mom asked looking over the price list I had made for her art exhibit at the Smyrna Library. She laughed, but I could tell she was chastising me, her 45-year-old daughter.
On the defensive, not acknowledging defeat, I respond, “I put a high price on it. It’s Cartersville, a place close by—someone might want to buy it. I can change the price list if you want.”
“No, that’s okay, but you’ll have to split it with me if it sells. Then, I can use the money to buy supplies,” she retorts showing me that I can’t really sell her work and keep the money for myself.
My mom’s paintings are like her children, so she doesn’t sell them, and she rarely gives them away. Some pieces were coded Not for Sale, NFS; however, the expectation was that she offer some of her work for sale. Mom didn’t really want to get rid of her children, so she charged prices she thought nobody would pay.
The chastisement continued through opening day of the exhibit as Mom shared with the rest of the family how I had the audacity to put a pricetag on the gift of her art.
Why I put a pricetag on my bridge I still don’t know? To get a laugh? To make a quick buck? To show my mom that her art is worthy? I really don’t know.
What I do know is that the special gift from Mom should have come with a tag that read “NFS” showing Mom that her gift of love to me is more precious than a pricetag and is not for sale—not now, not ever.