The Angel from Romania
She was clearly from another planet, and she had my complete attention from the moment i saw her.
It had been just another Art show until then, but now the crowds shifted into the background as she stepped slowly but pointedly towards me. Some sort of energy seemed to pass between us as I held my hands out in an open way
and said "I love the clothing you are wearing...."
She was dressed all in white, a tunic sort of thing, with long pants. A weird peach-colored headwrap, not quite a turban, but close.
A strand of pastel beads hung low, with a sort of Coptic cross worn closer to her neck. Dark sunglasses
that seemed to hide a dark pair of eyes that I wished i could see a little better.
A coral colored purse and high-heeled sandals added some normalcy, but not much.
She was dressed a bit like a stylish Sikh, if that tells you anything.
If I had to guess, she was maybe 80 years old, maybe much older, and I was mesmerized.
She was almost translucent with age, and from what I could sense, a deep wisdom
emanated from her.
She spoke quietly, with a heavy accent, a bit like Dracula might speak in a Hollywood movie.
" I ahm frhom Rohmania...I ahm travaling zee world....only yesturday, I haff come to Denver..."
In the midst of the bustling show, we entered a world where just the two of us seemed to exist.
She told me she was also an artist, and said that perhaps it was not proper for her to comment on my artwork. I told her I would love to hear her comments, good or bad.
As usual, my tent was full of a variety of things, as if I shared the tent with a few very different artists, instead of just me. She spoke quietly, and I needed to lean in close to hear her.
She pointed to my painting of African women, which I think looks like a gathering at a harvest.
"This one eye like, thar iz a community.....", she then looked at my Tuscan landscape, and touching me on the shoulder, pronounced it "restful, a place you could visit many times, but zere is eeh great loneliness..."
'Last light on Tuscany"
It was something I had always felt, but hoped others did not sense, I had never articulated it in my mind. She seemed to see right through me.
My more edgy paintings were hanging on the back wall, and she gestured from across the tent at the one that had gotten tons of attention that day that I call "Still life with Cataclysm," but she did not really even look at it. It is crammed full of extreme detail that demands a closer look, but she seemed reluctant to come any closer than she already was to it. From her distance, she seemed to sense all she needed to know. She grimaced slightly.
" Thes whan, eez the product of an unbalanced mind...."
Well, I guess she got that one spot on....
"Still life with Cataclysm"
I rallied to my defense..."It's about the complexity of the modern world...."
No dice. Her distaste was unwavering. uncompromising.
She was perhaps uncomfortable even being in the same tent with it.
I picked my book up, to show her a strange painting I had done, where a small snippet within a larger painting had appeared to me after I had painted it. I always thought of it as a past life collection, and I wanted her take on it. Figures and faces had appeared in it, like another world seeking a portal into this one through my artwork, while I was unaware that it was happening..
She listened and looked.
"All ove us, we haf lived many lives, many demensions, and you cannot portray only but a small portion of these..."
Suddenly our small enclosed world was rudely interrupted, "Grandmother!! Come with us. where have you been??!" Her granddaughter was dark, young and beautiful, in a halter top and shorts.
And she was absolutely and completely uninteresting to me.
Her grandmother on the other hand...
I felt like I should kneel and kiss her hand or something, but, I didn't do that, of course.
"But!!" I cried "You can't take her away from me!" Half in jest, but completely serious as well.
And then she was gone.
The crowd filtered back in to my awareness, and I shook my head.
Later that day, I decided that this would be my last show at an Arts festival.
I would never do another one.
But I will always remember the Angel from Romania.