Life is the First Art

Where I'm coming from.
Life is the First Art!
—Rosemary Fogarty McDermott
When I would become overly enthused about pursuing my interests in art or music, my mother would usually say, "Remember, Suzanne, Life is the First Art!" Being the bratty teen that I was, I would sulk because I thought that she was trying to thwart my dreams. In fact, my mother was probably trying to realistically adjust my expectations. Regardless of her actual intention or its effect, she was giving me her best advice. And what better advice could I have?

That phrase, like many of my mother's phrases, has run through my mind ever since. I always thought she was quoting someone (and maybe she was) but when I recently looked high and low for the source of that quote, I came up with nothing.

The bookshelves in my family's house were lined with Shakespeare, biographies of composers, volumes of poetry and histories along with Gayelord Hauser (Look Younger, Live Longer), Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich), Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People), Dr. Herman Taller (Calories Don't Count), Thomas Merton (The Seven Story Mountain), William James (The Will To Believe), Carl Rogers (On Becoming A Person), The Wisdom of Confucius, and other gems on health, spirituality and human potential.

My mother was a poet, painter and musician who never fully realized her talents. I always thought that was a shame and I have spent most of my life trying to realize my own.

My father was a health nut. He jogged before it became a craze and swam a mile a day. Our kitchen was stocked with black strap molasses, honey comb, protein bread and grapefruit. He went to six o'clock mass every weekday morning and never said a word about it.

Both of my parents would often break into cheery song. My cousins thought we were whacked and, in some ways, we definitely were! But it was a rich experience and laid a solid foundation for me in spirituality, health, culture, arts, and human potential.

It's no surprise then, that here I am, just about the same age as my mother when she reminded me that Life is the First Art, at the beginnings of my new blog by the same title.

It's her phrase so I'll dedicate this blog to her. To my father, too. I wouldn't be here without them.

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Visit the source at Suzanne McDermott

Take some Basic Drawing Lessons.

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