With this painting, a whole unexpected story unfolded. This is a mini pastel, about 3 x 5″. I finished it yesterday. Today I had a meeting with Arminda Presgrove, owner of The Walking Horse Gallery in Lansing. I took in several framed originals, including this small piece. It was my first time visiting this gallery, and I spent some time walking around admiring the diversity of the work there. The place had a bright, colorful feel to it, with a selection of equine prints and originals, as well as wood carvings, tapestry, and handmade jewelry. It is such a warm and delightful environment.
I was sitting in the back room of the store, filling out the required acquisition forms, when Arminda came into the room with a customer. “This is the artist,” she told the lady. I shook her hand. The lady was admiring the work on my various packs of note cards which were spread out on the table.
Arminda said, “Nancy wrote, ‘Clifford of Drummond Island’.”
“Oh!” the lady said. “I’m from the U.P.”
“Sault Ste Marie. My family name is Flynn.”
My first thought was, No! Couldn’t be! But I said, “Maybe you are related to my college professor.”
Her face lit up. She was indeed the niece of my wonderful creative writing professor, Michael Flynn of LSSU. I happened to have a copy of, “Holding the Ladder” with me, and I asked if she would take it to him. I signed it and wrote, “This is all because of you!”
Mike Flynn was a wonderful inspiration and encouragement to me, and is a big part of the reason I am still writing today.
His neice spent two hours visiting in the gallery with us, and bought this original piece as a birthday gift for her granddaughter.
I left there with a feeling of serendipity that is becoming more and more prevalent in my days. I wonder if this is a sign of encouragement for my writing efforts — which recently have endured a barrage of almost debilitating blows, due to an unlucky encounter with some unscrupulous individuals.
I could see the sharp, hawk-eyed gaze of Professor Flynn, his quick, brilliant smile, his words of genuine appreciation and encouragement. Of all the influential people to come into my life, this would be the guy I needed to hear from the most. He had once said to me, “As good as I am a teacher, you are equally as good a student.” I considered it the highest compliment.
I told his niece I didn’t know if Mr. Flynn would remember me, but, it didn’t matter. The message came through anyway:
To the Universe: Thanks, I needed that!