I have a fantastic friend I’ve never met and I recently learned that she has a relative who lives near me, so sometime in the not-too-distant future, I will be able to meet and hug and jump up and down like a schoolgirl with the Amazing Lillian Connelly at her blog, It’s a Dome Life (which she often says gets found in searches for “it’s a do me life”; I tell ya… some people…)
Lilly is an artist. I would like to say that she paints in oils, or that she’s mainly all about acrylics on canvas, or that she’s committed to watercolors, or pen and ink on parchment, but the fact is that she’s all of that. And more. She has won me over as an artist and as a friend; and her pieces that are collages, are truly, some of the most fantastic and whimsical stuff I’ve ever seen. Her colors are life-affirming; Lillian is what I would describe as an actively optimistic artist. She is fiercely happy and amazingly resilient.
The best part of what Lilly does is that she lets her darling now three-year-old daughter, Tiny-Small, get in on the action. My own mother was an illustrator and a water color artist and I’m sure she dabbled in oils because I’ve seen her art, but I was forbidden from touching her things or her pens and so I never got a chance to do what Tiny-Small is doing: growing with her mom as an artist herself.
We, these perusers of the internet, blog readers and writers, talk about relationships a lot; we have our “IRL” (in real life) friends and we have our online friends and then we have this special class: the friends we’ve made online who have patiently graced us with their trust, their humor and their wisdom in a way that no IRL person ever could.
Could it be the relative safety and distance of the internet that allows us to foster these trusts and relationships without fear? I don’t know, but I doubt it. I think for me anyway, it is a sincere and authentic meeting of the minds and true comity and friendship that engenders these relationships. Lil and I have spoken on the phone, she’s posted a video of herself and her Tiny-Small for me when the FeatherFish arrived and it melted my heart. We’ve chatted online or on our phones at least once or twice a week about ideas, art, writing, problems and it’s always a blessing. But I know this friendship is true because when I don’t talk to LC or my other online friends for a few days, I earnestly miss them. They are as important to me as the friends I have over my fence line, on the walk to school, or at the PTA meetings.
A few posts back, I wrote about the FeatherFish. Lil fell in love with them. The day prior to that, I wrote my poem about the microwave, the likes of which I have a soft spot for because my mom would write poems about food. My favorite poem of hers about food was one about linguine with clam sauce. My poem about the microwave is an homage written on the fly about the crisis we all go through at the dreaded dinner hour: what to make and how to feed the masses.
The long and short of it is that I offered to trade Lillian a set of FeatherFish for a collage made of my poem and we were off to the races. Three days later, I went to buy her FeatherFish and I wrote about it in this post; and she started her collage. About a week later I went for a row and I returned home to a package with my name on it and I was so excited when I opened it that before I could chance into something more presentable, I insisted my husband take a picture of me beside our set of FeatherFish holding the collage:
But that photo doesn’t do the collage justice. Here is a better one:
The post that Lillian wrote about her perspective of how this whole thing went down can be found here. It’s all about how she lifted the images of me and my family from my Facebook page and then grabbed the appliances from somewhere else. This little blog post isn’t as lovely as hers, but I couldn’t let another day go by without my sharing how talented she is and how lovely she is and how grateful I am that she and I found each other on Twitter one night last fall. It’s been one of the nicest things to have ever happened to me.
Thank you, Lilly.