It's Sunday morning. I am in bed, with coffee and the cat, thinking about this past week. It's been a week of up and down emotions, of dark places, of decision and change. It's been a roller coaster, with my hands in the air and lots of screaming.
I spent the week searching for studio space here in New Orleans, knowing I need to get to work as soon as possible. I decided to at least give it a try to stay, even though I have the house and studio space in Orlando. It's more logical to return there, but logic has always taken a back seat to my emotions. My heart wants to stay here. I searched most of the week for a space to work and I searched just about everywhere in the city. On Monday I saw a storefront space on Oak Street, which is just three blocks from my house. Through the week I kept getting drawn back to it and on Thursday I made a decision to lease it. It's large enough to have a working studio area and also a gallery space, which is something both Ellen and I have always wanted to do. It's a big, risky, grand, and crazy adventure.
Ellen would be so happy I am choosing to do this. She was always supportive of my work, encouraging me to "take it to the next level". I have no doubt she has been guiding me in my search this week, no doubt she would have wanted this for me. Before we moved here from Orlando she told me she was going to do something special for me when we got home to New Orleans. She wouldn't tell me what it was, wanting it to be a surprise. She declined so quickly when we got home she never was able to follow through on her promise and I never knew her secret. Now I know. I would say I am sad she won't be here to share it with me, but I know better.
I hide out under the covers in bed, I take long walks, I talk out loud hoping Ellen can hear me. The cat stares at me while I cry in my cereal. I miss her every minute and I am very sad. But I know, I really do know, she is here with me. She wouldn't want me to lay around and wallow, in fact it would really annoy her to no end. If I am going to carry her name forward, if I am going to become something better because of her, this past week was the beginnings.
I believe she can hear me.