I just received an email from Wendy, who was missing the week-end blog as well as inquiring as to how I responded to the fan mail I posted last week from Donna. As I began to email a reply, I realized how nicely my answer fits in with my gestating blog thought: hospitality.
Including friends at our table several times a week is d’habitude . C’est normal. And for a little band of us, it’s reciprocal. It’s the essence of our social life; a time to catch up, laugh, heal or regain equilibrium. When we were younger, Jim and I felt we weren’t doing anything if we stayed home and had dinner. Now, it’s one of our finest luxuries. We choose our table with the seasons: the garden arbor, the living room fireside or the round dining room table, where all have arm chairs and any number is the right number.
Sometimes, like last night, spontaneous combustion occurs between a piece of my art and a dinner guest. This large painting of a pique-nique in Normandy several years ago instantly called to Hunter like a little pup picks its new master. I wish I could tell you how incroyable it feels to see that happen. This large canvas will be living in Williamsburg within the week.
But back to the fan mail from Donna. Here’s my response to her lovely letter last week.
Dear Donna: Thanks so much for taking time to write that sweet email. As an artist, there’s always business to be done to move to the next step, whether it’s training, creating or beating the bushes for a sale. How nice to receive feedback that reinforces the reason people like myself do what we do. It sounds like we run similar households. There’s always someone sharing our table. We always know it was a good night when the last guest leaves and we look at the candle-lit dining table filed with empty plates and glasses.
I hope none ever has to run back into the house to save the Aiken plate.
By the way, Donna’s bought the Shakespeare plate that was featured with the blog about her letter!