A little Sunday Story in Sketch for you…
A few years ago while in between jobs, I decided to use the time to take a staycation in New York. I went to the Rockaways almost every day. I would pack a lunch and just hang out and surf (I learned how to surf in NYC!) and read on the beach. It reminded me of my first summer in New York when I was working temp jobs in depressing mid-town offices in between opera gigs and auditions. It was during this time that I discovered the particular joy of taking the subway out to the Rockaways in the middle of a weekday. I’ll never forget the first time I went and was surprised to look out of the windows of the subway to see ocean on either side of the tracks as we chugged our way from the edge of Long Island to the tiny strip of land and sand that makes up Rockaway Beach.
The beach is pretty deserted during the weekdays and this hazy August day was no exception. By late afternoon the only people on the beach were myself and two women sitting near me who had been enjoying a girls’ day at the beach. While I was glad to be alone with my own thoughts, I was enjoying the proximity of their company and I made a few sketches of them as they lounged in the sand. The tide began to lap away at the seashells on the water’s edge, reclaiming each tiny treasure back to the bottom of the ocean whence it came and signaling the end of the day at the beach. The sun began to dip lower in the sky and I packed up my things to leave. I considered giving them the sketches, but for some reason, I felt too shy and anti-social to share the drawings with them. I walked the 15 minutes back to the train and waited on the platform. When I got onto the train car I looked up and realized the girls from the beach were also in my car. I was kicking myself for not having given them their sketches and so, after riding with them for a while, I introduced myself and gave them the drawings.
A few months later, I was riding the train to my new job. I took out my notebook to sketch, as I always do, and suddenly the girl sitting right next to me turned to me and said, “I knew it was you!” I looked at her and realized she was one of the girls from the beach. I had sat down right next to her and not even realized it! We chatted a bit and then a few weeks later I got a note from the gallery space she worked at saying they’d found out about me from someone I had drawn and they’d like have me show my work in their space. And that is how I got my first NYC gallery show!
I once heard a Ted Talk about luck. The speaker said you have to take little risks to get lucky because it’s when we open ourselves up to others that we can make those connections that help us — even if we don’t realize that’s what’s happening at the time. She said that taking those little risks are how you “build a sail to catch your luck.”
Build your sail my friends. If something as simple pen and paper can catch the wind, imagine what your own talents and soul can do. ❤️