Yesterday, after the apocalyptic sunrise, I started on the next stage. Stephen May’s exhibit was coming down today so Bill and I wanted to go to Gallery 78 to see the work again. While there I paid my November rent for my office. The new gallery administrator, Germaine, said, “I hate to take your money. You never use your office. Inga [the owner] phoned you about it.” Yes, she did, and afterwards I agonized over whether to give up the office or not. Bawled my eyes out, actually.
I replied to Germaine, spur of the moment, that I had decided to give it up, that I would take the month of November to clear my stuff out. I gulped and fought back tears. She was surprised, and my husband was even more surprised. I was surprised. But relieved. Mightily relieved. The end of a stage. Sixteen years at my wonderful office, but time to move on.
It is a beautiful space, at the top of a tower of a Victorian mansion, with thirteen windows overlooking the Saint John River, the green, and the Cathedral. It is – was – all my own. Several years ago my daughter gave me a box of Asian decorations to spruce it up – a rug, a strange hanging thing, miniature Chinese garden artifacts, a carved book rest. Over the years I had put up posters. An artist friend had given us a self-portrait, which I love, but which my husband couldn’t bear to look at, so I put that up. I had my religious reference library there, a table that had been in the kitchen of my childhood, a desk. Chairs. A chaise lounge.
Germaine and Inga had already decided that if I gave it up, they would make it into a lounge, where people could go and be shown art work from the bank.
After we saw the exhibit (we were gratified to see that most of the paintings had been sold), we went up to my space and gathered up some of the belongings to bring home.