Each year I share a special Thanksgiving message in an email and blog, which seems to go somewhat viral as people email it to their loved ones and post it on their blogs. As long as the signature and links at the very end of this newsletter are included, you are invited to forward this message or paste it to your blog at will.
This year I find myself giving thanks for so many “blessings” that I certainly never asked for and did not want when I got and suffered through them.
I give thanks for the dysfunctional and abusive home life I had as a child and teen that forced me to find ways to stay away from home until my 5:30 curfew on school day afternoons. Looking for safe havens from cold and inclement weather I discover NYC’s galleries and museums, all open and free to me, which became my safe havens. Due to my repeated visits and obvious interest in art I was befriended and mentored by Mr. Wally Findley and Mr. Wildenstein, who taught me how to see the Cézannes, Monets, Picassos, and other great modern painters whose works they showed and loved. I spent so much time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I knew all the guards as I wandered the great halls, looking, looking and storing up a wealth of priceless visual memories.
I give thanks for the chronic and acute Lyme’s Disease that I suffered from for almost ten years. Due to Lyme’s disease being misdiagnosed originally it became acute and chronic. I was on antibiotics for six straight years, including intravenously, which does not include the many times I was on antibiotics during the four years before I was correctly diagnosed. Nor does it include the times afterward when my body’s then compromised immune system failed to fight even infections from paper cuts. I give thanks because during this illness I had to turn to and tune into “that still small voice” and ask, “What do I do now?” continually, as I had so little energy and “up” time that making the best use of it was critical. From this I learned to listen to The Divine in little ways, as much as I can through each day, in what I do and say. I remain a work in progress, but the Lyme’s Disease, which I would never wish on anyone, totally changed my life, although I am fully recovered for over 16 years now.
Without Lyme’s Disease I would have had the strength, energy and time to pursue my career as a dramatic writer, mainly of comedy scripts. I have little doubt that I would have been successful. If I had been a successful script writer, I doubt I would have discovered painting with symbols as strokes, returned to painting to found and create Post Conceptual, especially UnGraven Image art. I would have been creatively satisfied but never artistically fulfilled. In fact, just when I began to experiment with symbols as strokes, I had a script optioned by a noted actress/director. I walked away from the doors that were then opening to my scripts to devote my time to painting and founding Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art.
I give thanks for the financial struggles I have endured as an emerging artist founding a new art theory, which were exacerbated greatly due to how the recession has impacted emerging artists and most living artists, too. I have learned to find abundance always, in any situation as long as I remain open to the moment.
Where I would have charged forth into the art world two years ago, I withdrew, recognizing that a new theory needs to be successful when it is shown. During this time in self imposed “exile” I have created new series, especially involving portraits and discovered how to use digital media in new ways. Social Media has allowed me to meet and become friends with other artists and people involved with art, which has been fun, informational and helped me to learn about the business side of art. I am again strengthened and much more prepared to found a new art theory and movement.
When I have problems, or stumbling blocks that are not brought on by my own actions, but are a kind of unwanted present in life, I have discovered that the true gift is unwrapped by successfully using the problem to learn and grow—and that reward becomes priceless.
So this year I choose to give thanks despite the facts that I still face many problems, including those that can preset themselves as stumbling blocks to goals.
I recognized and experienced the world wide recession that continues to impact me and other artists, plus loved ones who have been laid off or struggle to make ends meet with fewer hours or running small businesses where customers and orders remain limited. I also have several of my dearest loved ones who are afflicted with the “gift” of health problems that they did not bring on through bad habits or neglect. Then came Covid-19. I survived it prior to there being a vaccine or new prescriptions that have proved effective. I have no long-term effects and give thanks for that.
I hear and read the news of war and international threats and actions by Iran, North Korea, the Taliban, Al – Qaeda and Hamas that could pull the USA and the free world into further military action. Who is not directly aware of the problems and havoc of global warming and earth changes that have caused violent storms (including a record breaking blizzard here), floods, volcanoes, and earthquakes that have killed and injured people, wrecked homes and places of work, worship and study?
Facing the these almost overwhelming problems and more, I am determined to give thanks for all the blessings that I can, even if I may not understand them all as blessings yet.
I give thanks for my loved ones, including those who are no longer with us. It is a privilege to have loved and been loved by someone enough to need to mourn them. It is a blessing to have known someone who will be truly missed, because their contributions to our lives, communities and even the world are appreciated.
I give thanks for every extra precious day I have with my loved ones, my friends and family and people who I do not even know, who enrich my life with their contributions of their talents and also volunteer work. While I miss the children who I have lost, I give thanks that this has helped make me especially appreciative of the little ones in stores, on the street and elsewhere who wave, smile and say “Hi” to me, a complete stranger.
So, I give thanks for missing the people I miss.
Ten Commandments (George Washington)
By Judy Rey Wasserman
I also give thanks that I have the blessing of living in a country where I am free to give thanks for whatever I want and worship and create art according to my own conscience and understanding. This heritage of religious tolerance and freedom formally began with the Native Americans and the then European Pilgrims in what became Plymouth, Massachusetts. These blessings of personal religious freedom and tolerance for all, I promote through my art, which is always a vision that we can all share. Wherever you are, I hope and pray that you and your loved ones enjoy your Thanksgiving filled both with blessings you wanted and priceless gifts from facing problem situations with courage, practical faith and Divine grace.
And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let us all pray and work for the blessing of peace, which always begins with tolerance for ourselves and then for others.
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art.
Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.
Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.