Thursday, July 16, 2009


I first saw this painting on my friend Gemma's blog ("Gemma's House"). I fell in love with it and asked her to sell it to me. As it turns out, she gifted me with it. Thank you, Gemma!

I fell for this painting for its colors and because I immediately thought the girl portrayed was me. That was the color and length of my hair in my 20s, and I have always envisioned myself as a free spirit who would dance by the light of the moon.

Since Gemma is from Arizona, she was probably drawing her vision of some desert landscape. But when I look at it (especially after I received it), I see myself standing on our short-grass prairie with one of southwestern North Dakota's landmark buttes in the background. (It could be Black Butte near Regent.)

Do you see something else? I didn't see it at first - and Gemma DID NOT add it deliberately. Another reader of Gemma's blog spotted it. See it now? It's a hand - with the thumbnail on the left and the forefinger on the right, holding up the lady.

Somehow, unconsciously, Gemma gave this lady a hand to support her when she falters. Such are the powers of art! Gemma, I love it better in person - even without the moon and the first evening star (via the magic of computers, she darkened the edges and added the moon and star when she posted the picture.)

Looking at that girl in the painting who could be me, I wonder where that girl went. That girl who:

Danced by the light of the moon.

Read poetry aloud.

Wrote poetry.

Made snow angels in the park. At midnight.

Waded in a Colorado stream in her underwear (navy blue set that passed for a swim suit).

Wore bell bottom jeans.

Turned somersaults.

Wore chokers.

Did "the butterfly" mime.

Picked the petals off a daisy.

Had a black light.

Daydreamed about the Beatles.

Looked for shooting stars.

Watched for shapes in clouds.

Knew all the radio hit songs.

Had long, long hair and then cut it into a pixie haircut.

Was shy.

Dressed like a bohemian.

Stayed out all night talking and watched the sun come up.

Made things from macrame.

Wore a silver ring with fleurs-de-lys.

Discussed literature.

Went to avant garde films.

Flew a kite.

Sported a peace sign.

Clipped pretty, romantic pictures to put on my bulletin board.

Went to bonfires on the beach.

Chased fireflies.

Played Frisbee in the rain and mud.

Wore a floppy felt hat and a fringed suede jacket.

Had goals and dreams.


alaine@éclectique said...

A lovely post and I like the painting; it looks as though she's about to lift off and fly.

And I too recognise that girl; I also had long red hair, wore silver jewellery and flowers in my hair.....

Shopgirl said...

What a wonderful gift...I have not been a good blogger for awhile. I find taking care of Arney and keeping him in good spirits is almost a full time job. I have been doing tags from my sofa...what a mess that can be. But it is something I can do while listen to Arney's idea of a good program.
I am so glad you took to the peach Cobbler, do try is really good.
You are still the girl in the are what you want to be. Somedays I am wife with all the chores and now care giving. Sometimes I am Mom, with the wisdom of time. On other days I am Grandma, ready to do whatever my Grandkids want me to, well almost everything. And then there is Mary, with dreams of my very own...touched by my past and open arms for whatever comes. I am living my life, and when I am just Mary, my heart is open to all possibilities. But I can't spell for Beans, Hugs your Mary.

Michele said...

That girl is still there, bet it wouldn't take much to find her, at least the parts of her you still want to embrace. xoxoxo

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Be that girl again - when you can and when you need to - we all need that from time to time.

Kelly said...

Where is that girl? She is in all of us who wear a secret smile, who know that we enjoyed and reveled in those times - the beads, the mood rings, the long hair, the peasant shirts (I hand embroidered mine with my "sign" on the sleeves). Those were our innocent "wild" days. Revel in your memories and keep that secret smile. We had a great, great time!!

Kelly said...

Where is that girl? She is in all of us who wear the secret smile, who revel in the memories, who wore the mood rings, the peasant shirts (I made and embroidered mine with my "sign" on the sleeve)and the bell bottomed jeans with the tattered edges. Remember the leather sandals we wore, the ones that only stayed on by the ring we slipped our big toe through? Ah, yes - those were our innocent "wild" times. No, we aren't gone, just hiding behind that secret smile.

Janet said...

Gemma is so talented and such a sweetie to send you the painting. As for the girl, she's still there. You just have to coax her out.

Lila Rostenberg said...

Something tells me thjat you may be finding that girl again, thanks to the art from Gemma and the forced vacation from the "straight" world!
Enjoy the freedom!

LW said...


What an enchanting painting…
I can see why you wanted its so.
And what a wonderful friend to gift you this treasure.

I found your post most interesting for I too have been
reminiscing about days gone by.

On another blog a young artist just posted about getting a
peasant gown. It brought back memories of when my closet was
full of just such frocks. She also showed a picture of the tag
that was on the peasant dress that said Vintage…to be honest that did shock me a bit
Just when and how did I become vintage… inside I still feel like that girl.


gma said...

That young girl who danced by the light of the moon is still inside you. If you don't believe it... go ahead and choose an item from your list then go and do that thing! Pick a different item every day to do! (Maybe not the wading in your underwear.) LOL
Just pick and choose and continue to enjoy being you!!!!
Love you lots.
Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post :-)

Leanne said...

(off topic here, but Good luck today Julie, Leanne x )

marthaberry said...

lovely picture, lovely list of things that were you.

I share many of them.

I was saddened today to hear that Gordon Waller (Peter and Gordon) died of a heart attack.