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. There was a huge crowd out on the street waiting their turn to get in to share the festivities. She touched so many, and the spheres of her influences all came together on Wednesday nigh: 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 were many people who were professionally creative— artists, musicians, photographers, authors, directors, ad folk — but also lawyers, doctors, accountants and stay-at-home moms whose creative juices were stirred by Patti’s inspiration 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, 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 curve 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 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.