Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Sometimes in life,
a path appears
and you just know that you must take it,

even though it makes absolutely no sense
in a realistic, logical or financial way."

Ry (at 2) with his Uncle Weston, photo taken by his uncle Danny

I'm leaving for Spain tomorrow and following that kind of path...

It all started over a year ago when Ry, my oldest son, came home from school and announced to me, that he wanted to go to Spain. "Hmmm...Really?" I replied "Spain?" Now, Ry is a REAL "homebody", in fact he rarely likes to leave the house. So for him to decide that there was a place somewhere out "there", that he wanted to see, came as quite a surprise to me.

A few months later, I read an announcement for a caricature mini-convention in Girona, Spain for April 2011, and the wheels in my brain start turning....Wouldn't it be amazing to go to the convention and take Ry with me! He has seen videos and photos of the conventions that I have been to, and has always been fascinated and interested in them. Just so you know, Ryllan has never been an easy child to parent (right from day one) but in the last year, we slowly seem to be figuring out how to really connect to each other. I actually feel closer to him right now, than I ever have. I know kids are supposed to get more difficult as teens, but Ryllan has always done things his own unique way. Spending time with him, right now, at 14, in a place that has a special reason for both of us to be there, seems very important and like a "once in a lifetime" kind of thing.

But how would we ever be able to afford to go to Spain with our financial limitations?

So, months go by and I just keep the idea carefully pinned to the cork board in my head.

I plan my winter/spring teaching classes to end the week before we would have to leave, you know, just in case we go to Spain.

I don't book any gigs during that time, also "just in case we go to Spain".

In January, I make a "new workout" play list on my iphone for running and to make it different from the other "workout" play list, that I already have, I label this one "Workout for Spain".

I agree to do the solo art show in April, because after the opening, I would be free to go to Spain.

But slowly my optimism gets worn down with the whole financial aspects of being an artist and the struggles that go with it daily, even after 27 years of doing this.

Then 6 weeks ago, I was talking to my brother Weston, and suddenly during our long chat, I begin to tell him about all this Spain stuff and how much I had been hoping somehow to go with Ry, but things weren't looking too good. He asks what part of Spain is it in, and I say "We would fly into Barcelona and make our way by train to Girona, an hour north".

There was a pause...

and then Weston tells me that he and Danny had had a trip bought and paid for, to Barcelona, about 5 years ago. It was to be their first, big executive trip together, but unfortunately it got canceled because of Weston's work with ebay. They tried 2 more times to do the trip but work always prevented it from happening.

Danny died last January from Cancer.
They never went to Spain.

Within moments Weston said...
"We're going. You, me and Ry. He and I can hang out while you are drawing."
Then he said, "I will help you out with the plane tickets if you can manage the rest."

And just like that, the decision was made.

So, a couple weeks ago, I withdrew all my measly RRSP's and we leave tomorrow. Ry and I fly to San Fransisco to spend a couple days with Weston in San Jose and then the three of us fly to Barcelona on Saturday night.

I really can't afford to go,
but I also know that I can't afford to miss this kind of opportunity
to go to Spain right now with my teenage son and my only brother,
to a place that has individual significance for each of us to be there.

Life is so short. I need to live it.


Jane said...

Okay - I'm feeling a little teary as I read this but mostly with happiness for you, your son and your brother. I follow a blogger who lives in Spain in a beautiful blue house. Hope you will share the beauty you find on this great adventure. Can't wait to read about it.

Jeremy said...

Erin and I leave for a Seattle weekend in 2 days because I got tix Paul Simon in a small club on a fluke, and we've applied for the kids passports, which we will pick up the day we will hopefully fly to Florida to catch the shuttle launch & some general goofing around in the warmth. Enjoy your trip, live life, you don't often regret the things you do as much as the things you don't!

Niall O loughlin said...

Can't wait to meet you and your son, and I'm sure he'll loads of lovely drawings!!

Marlo Meekins said...

beautiful story! have fun!!

Cathy Barney said...

No question, Cathy, this was meant to be and I am so glad you were courageous enough to see that. When I was stewing about money this winter, Tad said, "What if you take money out of the equation?" Makes ALL of the difference, doesn't it? Have a wonderful time and take notes for us ... we may go in the fall for our 25th.

nadia said...

awww. you can't afford not to go! what a beautiful story. can't wait to hear all about it when you get back. I popped into your show last thursday. spectacular! happy day! ciao!

Tony Mac said...

Blown away by this have a great time all three of you x