Saturday, January 15, 2022

A Story For Right Now: Barbara Earl Thomas / More of one thing leading to another

Barbara Earl Thomas has been an inspiration to me since I first learned about her on the cover of a Real Change newspaper and found that if I traveled south about 100 miles, I could see her art work in person.

A few days ago, a Bellingham friend texted me a photo of art work by Derrick Adams from an exhibit at the Henry Gallery on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. She and her husband had driven a friend 90 miles to the UW Medical Center for a procedure and, while waiting for the procedure to be over, had walked over to the Henry Gallery to see what they could see.

Immediately after receiving the text, I went to the Henry Gallery website and was rewarded with the information that the exhibit featured both Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas, which led me to the above video and immense gratitude for the many unexpected gifts that come when needed.


I'm going forward into 2022 with the intent of drawing the circle for each new mandala with my right hand using a colored pencil but completing the rest of the mandala with a 6B pencil using my left hand.


Today when I talked again with the friend whose random visit to the Henry Gallery with her husband led me forward to Barbara Earl Thomas, she told me a story about having had a strong desire some years ago to hear Beethoven's Third Symphony in a concert hall, She had taken a class at UC Davis in 1969, taught by John Cage, in which the students were asked to color the musical score of Beethoven's Third Symphony, using a different color for each musical instrument. John Cage knew the symphony by heart and could easily tell if a student had actually listened closely to the entire symphony. My friend said that in doing the assignment, she found that she was able to learn the symphony by heart.

She envisioned that the symphony might be performed in New York City or Boston and was willing to travel that far but found that it was not being performed, within her timeframe, in either place. She searched the internet and found nowhere that it was being performed.

Some time passed. One day she went out to her mailbox and found a flyer for the Bellingham Festival of Music, announcing that Beethoven's Third Symphony was going to be performed at the Western Washington University concert hall right here in Bellingham.

Unexpected gifts.



Colette said...

Unexpected gifts are the best kind. Grace.

beth coyote said...

What an amazing assignment!!!


Sabine said...

I am looking forward to this year's mandalas.