Her mother hadn’t a clue. It was just an invite, after all, for dinner. She regularly asked her mother around for dinner, so why would it be any different this time?
But it was.
Her mother knew I would be there. But there was nothing much different in that either, since we had met aÂ couple of times before, and had eaten meals together in the past. So, nothing different in that.
But there was.
We stoodÂ chatting as she prepared the mealÂ before her mother arrived. We both knew my part in the arrangement, although we didn’t discuss it. It lay between us as aÂ tacit arrangement.
Her mother arrived, full of chat. We exchanged greetings, and talked as women do about many things.
The meal was served, the wine flowed, and the chat continued. I wasn’t nervous, I’d done it before. But notÂ beforeÂ in this particular way……
After the meal, we sat around the table, and she told her mother that she had something for her, and nodded at me.Â I left the room and went to collect it, returning aÂ couple of minutes later. I could see her mother hadn’t a clue as to what it was. IÂ had expected her to guess, but I think she was thinking future tense, not past. SheÂ had askedÂ her daughterÂ to ask me for a print of the picture I had done of her, onÂ the understanding that she would pay me for it.Â She hadn’t expected thatÂ her daughter had already arranged it with me, and that the frame and mount had already been chosen a couple of weeks ago, and that I had taken them away on my last visit, to put the print in all ready for her birthday. So, she showed surprise when she was presented with the picture. And delight. Absolute delight. She kept looking at the picture, her eyes couldn’t leave it. I watched her watching it. Her eyes returning again and again to it.
And I felt that warmth in me, that I sometimes get when I get the chance to see what I saw then.
Sometimes I don’t get to see it, like when a picture is sold through a gallery or at an exhibition. The buyer does it all without my presence needed there. But, I saw it today. I saw someone fall in love with one of my paintings. They keep looking at it, their eyes keep returning to it. The feelings that they feel then, will cause happiness for them, it will fill them with warmth and comfort. The bond between them and the painting will be forged, and will be strong in those first few moments.
That’s the feeling I love to see. Because, I’ve caused it.
It’s better than winning the lottery for me, to see that.