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Angels Among Us!

I am the baby in a family of five siblings. For years I was known affectionately as “Baby Gayle.”

You’d think with that kind of upbringing it would be easy for me to receive.

But it didn’t turn out that way.

Maybe it’s because I’m a woman raised by older parents with old-fashioned ideas of give and take. For years my generation has been known affectionately as “Baby Boomers.”

Or maybe it’s because I just didn’t learn how.

Either way, receiving does not come naturally to me.

So when Denise Kerb phoned offering to teach me how to paint with alcohol inks, I stumbled over my tongue. I had never met Denise Kerb. I had only seen her art work hanging in our local art gallery, North Valley Art League.

Denise Kerr's Alcohol Ink Painting

Denise Kerb’s Alcohol Ink Painting

I had been to the charming art gallery (nestled riverside in Caldwell Park for you locals) that very day and raved to the receptionist about Denise’s work. I mentioned that I had purchased some of the inks but could find nothing online to show me how to paint pictures with the vibrant medium. She passed my ravings on to Denise.

Denise phoned and said it would be her pleasure to come to my house and teach me how to use the seemingly uncontrollable medium. She came on Sunday, the day I reserve for art. She got out some ceramic tiles, showed my “painter” friends and me how to manipulate the inks and then guided us as we blew through straws, stamped with felt, tilted our squares, squiggled and giggled.

Charlie, Christine, Denise (standing), Shirley, Joan

Charlie, Christine, Denise (standing), Shirley, Joan

Now, Denise makes her living by selling her art and teaching classes. I certainly want to support her in her endeavors, and I was quite humbled by her generosity of supplying everything we needed, so I took her aside later and offered to pay her for her precious time.

She responded, “No, thank you. It is something I want to do for you.”

“But you are doing it for my friends, too,” I insisted.

She looked me in the eye and said with the grace of an angel, “Then it wouldn’t be the same.”

I stopped. I looked at her and back at my happy friends.

Denise had brought bottles of colored ink to share that day, but she shared her heart.

She had come to teach me how to smear the colors into a beautiful picture, but she taught me how to give and how to receive.

God must have sprinkled the earth with Master Teachers so that the rest of us can learn the true lessons of life. Maybe we could all be known affectionately as “Baby Beginners.”

After all, aren’t we all in the infant stage of growing into our own angel wings?

 

 
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25 Comments  comments 

25 Responses

  1. Joyce

    Giving and receiving with heart… a wonderful life lesson to practice. Few reach perfection, but hearts always smile with the awareness. Thanks, again, for sharing, my friend.

  2. You too are an angel among us, Gayle, reminding all of us, just as Denise does, to reach out and touch others with our gifts.
    I awake some mornings with you on my mind. I say a prayer. I wonder how you are doing. I go to your page and check the health updates. I’m glad you are finding relief from the edema, that you find joy in each day, that you are able to share with others the gift of art. You have shared your journey so faithfully and so honestly, you have touched my heart and blessed me. Thank you.

  3. Some “boomers” are definitely angels walking and living among us and they teach us to work on our wings by their beautiful example of how to “be”. Might I add, Gayle, you are definitely one of those angels on Earth?

  4. Canda Williams

    What a great gift you’ve been given, Gayle. The gift of receiving, and as always you do so with grace. Denise’s alcohol painting is fabulous! What a fun day and a blessing for you and your friends. Thank you for sharing your “Art Sunday” with us. Love you!

  5. What an angel indeed! She is a wonderful teacher and what a fabulous way to spend a Sunday morning letting the colors of the rainbow flow freely, giggling, oohing and ahhing over unexpected treasures and surprises.
    What a special gift of herself…the best of all!

  6. Jan McCracken

    I am drawing the inspiration from your message and it’s good to know what’s alive in you. I’m learning that giving and receiving enhance our connections with one another, without any stories attached – just acceptance and love.Thanks for giving us perspective – it’s gratefully received!

    • gayle

      Sweet Jan, giving and receiving are really the same–are they not! And I love your phrase, “without any stories attached.” That’s the secret.

  7. Kat

    Love, love, love!

  8. liz davis

    My Dearest Gayle LEE LEEEEEEE! I love this picture of everybody. They look so engaged and and joyful- completely in the flow. I WISH I WAS THERE IN THE FLESH TO SPLASH AROUND SOME COLOR WITH YOU!!!!! I am with you in my heart. And am nourished, as always, by your words, images, thoughts, reflections, love, interest, and insights into the stuff of life that really matters, that which makes life delicious.

    You are my pie.
    xooxxo

  9. Peggie Linville

    Wow! Another method of beautiful art. What a joy Denise must have felt
    sharing that with you Gayle. Sounds like a great creating time. Blessings!

  10. judy

    Gayle, good and wise thoughts as always. Your enthusium and joy of life are always uplifting. Thank you.

    Judy

  11. Pam Kuykendall

    I have some of those inks too. Guess I need to dig them out and get inspired. It looks like you have a good time. Her art is awesome!

  12. Cheri Beck

    Your blogs are so interesting and inspiring. Keep up the great work.

  13. Denise Kerbs

    Gayle, Thank you for your lovely post! It was a great day! Great because I met you and your dear friends! It was truly amazing how it all came about because I went to the art league later that day after you had been there and when I heard that you were interested in some information about the inks I just felt compelled to call you and the rest unfolded so easily!

    You and your friends left such an impression on my heart! Your spirit filled the room and sitting there, at the beautiful lunch that your friends provided, I felt the love that endures all things between you all! It was (for me) like being in the presence of all that is right in the world. The vibrancy of these inks were dull in comparison to the love that fills your home! Thank you for allowing a stranger into your home and giving me such a beautiful gift! You are right — we are just Baby Beginners growing into our wings! Yours are more beautiful than any colors on earth!!!

    • gayle

      Oh dear, Denise…It looks like I spelled your name wrong. (Looks like I need a hearing test.) Will go correct it right now! Thank you for your lovely words, and again thank you for the lovely day filled with your grace! You’re great.

  14. Jane Trammell

    My sweet friend Gayle, you write with such beauty. Hope your old Air Force sweetie is doing fine. Mine is and hopefully we will get together one of these days. I am still taking care of the animals weekly. The Tiger, Cheyenne, is 17 now but she looks great and is a happy gal. Losing the Lion, Savannah, was hard on her for a while but she rebounded. We think we are in for a hard winter because the animals have started getting their winter fir earlier than usual. Our 3 young dogs are doing great. We just can’t afford to get old. Love your blog. Love

    • gayle

      My gosh, how lovely to hear from you! I do so adore both you and Al. I remember the risotto you made especially with me in mind when we visited you two. Yes, Mike is doing well. He has his hands full taking care of me, but he takes care of himself as well. Glad to hear you’re working with the animals. Maybe you could send some of that winter to drought-stricken California. We’re in mighty need of water. Even the preying mantis who hangs around the front porch has turned brown to match the landscape! Happy to know you’re reading my blog. Hugs to you and your sweetie.

  15. Nancy Geer

    So glad you are still able to enjoy those things that you love. Luv U Nancy

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