Friday, March 26, 2010

"An Open Letter...From Danny Gregory..."

...as taken today from the Everyday Matters Group Blog:

"Dear Friends:

As you have heard, my wife Patti passed away last week. She was a lovely, creative person who gave me strength, inspiration, ideas and love. She was always extraordinarily positive -- despite what the pathetic initial media reports may have told tell you.

A couple of days ago, our friends put together a lovely tribute to her memory. Hundreds of people jammed the place, singing songs, sharing stories, crying, laughing, and celebrating her life and approach to it. She touched so many, and the spheres of her influences all came together on Wednesday night: artists,musicians, school friends, librarians, fashionistas, moms, dads, kids, chefs, florists, all celebrating the bright perspectives and willingness to take risk with which she infected them all. There was huge crowd out on the street that couldn't get in to share the festivities. I was never prouder of her.

Everyday Matters was the fruit of our family's mission to celebrate our daily gifts in the face of the random crap life throws at us. That mission grew from Patti's heart. The fact that she has gone does not diminish the importance of this mission to me and to all of us. Life is wonderful. Its riches don't lie in bank accounts or career success or power or fame. We just need to look around us, at the beauty of a wrinkled orange skin, the ray of sunshine across a wooden table, the shape of a napping pet, an abandoned shoe, a building against the sky. To reap those riches, I use a pen and a small book. I meditate on what I see, and transcribe that reflection in my book. The lines I make , sometimes sure and sharp, sometimes wobbly and vague, are the deposit I make in my account, the way I capture life's true rewards and value.

In the days following Patti's death, I lost my appetite, my ability to sleep, my concentration, my will. I hesitated to pick up a pen. Nothing seemed to matter, let alone the everyday. But then, after some time spent staring into space, I began again to draw. And I must and will continue. Drawing brings me meaning. To abandon it would betray Patti's memory and myself. I hope that if you are hesitating to draw, beating yourself up because you're not good enough, telling yourself you have no time to spare, feeling distracted and down, remember that, though life can be plucked from us at any moment, it is full of wonder and beauty. Keeping an illustrated journal is the perfect way to capture and treasure the gems that lie all around us. A few minutes a day make it all worth while.

Patti was never a member of the EDM group but she met many of its members, and loved the goals of the community. She made things all the time, knitting, sewing, singing, making collages, gifts, drawings, paintings, flower arrangements, photos, and more. Creativity was her passion and she loved people who loved to create. I hope you will help to keep her love and spirit alive.

Your pal,
Danny"

I felt this to be "must read" for all of us.
It was Danny Gregory who started me on this journey.
Through him I met Anita.
She took me under her wing
and introduced me to a whole new artistic world.
I began my days as an artist/blogger...
and
the rest is history.
Every single minute of every single day
really DOES matter.
I rededicate my art to that purpose.

9 comments:

Serena said...

What a beautiful message from Danny. I have been feeling a little out of sync with my sketching lately. Danny's words have struck a chord within and, after reading this message, I am looking at my sketching with fresh eyes.

Funny but my introduction to the sketching world was first through Anita's blog and then, through her blog, I found the EDM group and Danny Gregory. While I'm no longer with the EDM group, I am so appreciative of the wonderful people I met through the group and the encouragement I received to do regular sketching.

Marthann's Musings said...

Oh, thank you for sharing Margaret. I feel you and Laure are my "Danny's" so, I know how you must be devastated. I will always try to remember his wonderful words in this letter.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I wish that I had known of them before this. I was looking up his book last week before she died. I like what he said about keep on doing some thing daily even if we think we cant. Just a few minutes a day makes it all worthwhile. Thanks for posting this.

studio lolo said...

Oh my goodness, how hard that must have been for him to write. What a beautiful tribute.
I didn't know who he was until I saw his books and realize I own one. His wife Patti looked so young. What a sad loss for him and his family...and the blogging/art community.

Thanks for sharing this Peg.
Every day does matter. You're so right.

xo ♥

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am glad you brought this to our attention Peg. What a beautiful tribute to his wife. It makes us all more aware of just how Every Day Does Matter.

Anita Davies said...

Oh wow, I'm sure his wife would be so proud that he managed to find a way to be positive at what must be a heart wrenching spell in Danny's life.
I hadn't seen this Margaret, thank you for sharing it here.
May we all live in order to notice the beautiful amongst the crap.
Thanks for the mention hun! x

Chris said...

Thanks to you. I'm so moved. Thank you for making this difference in my day.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Oh, I did not know them, but after reading Danny's words, I so felt that I had. I will look into the books and thank you for sharing this...

Jane LaFazio said...

I'm so sorry for Danny and Jack, and so moved by his words....yup, keep drawing. art heals.