When Bill Moyers asked Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) – ‘What does it mean to follow your bliss‘ and ‘Do you ever have the sense of being helped by hidden hands?’ – this was Campbell’s response.
“All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time – namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” Joseph Campbell.
Back to 1987. Recently divorced, I had no money other than an old carriage house studio that I owned in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The studio was a fifteen minute walk from where I had previously lived.
At that time, I made a life-defining choice to live and work in my studio, the only problem being that there was no heat or running water!
My Prescott Alley Studio, West Chester Pa. mid eighties. I worked on one side and lived on the other. I had recently been introduced to the writings of Joseph Campbell – Philosopher/Mythologist and discovered the term – Follow your bliss.….His books spoke to me. I knew that it was time to stop straddling fences and to begin following my life path as a serious artist/creative, and that’s when amazing things began to happen, including Bonnie Paul coming into my life.
Although I was exhibiting and selling work, plus teaching, I needed to make more income. Almost immediately after I made this decision, an artist friend from Philadelphia sent her art consultant/agent to my studio to see if she might be interested in representing my work. The art consultant was Bonnie Paul,
Years later after Bonnie and I had worked together on many large corporate murals and private commissions, we would laugh about our first meeting. Bonnie so very glamorous, and I was definitely an artist living and working in my studio !
Bonnie and I together in Wales years after our first meeting – a place where we always relaxed and had so much fun. Along with private commissions, Bonnie got me into the Corporate mural area….which at that time was very much in vogue and lucrative. She also became a very good friend.
Other people within my field of bliss arrived from seemingly out of the blue. I can’t write about this without mentioning Jean Frohling who helped me enormously with the heat/water issue and much more, and became a life long mentor until her death last year.
The living side of the studio on Prescott Alley – after heat and water was installed….An episode that deserves a book. When we follow our bliss is doesn’t mean that everything will be easy.
I have found that when I follow my chosen path, my needs (not necessarily my wants) are met in ways that I can never have imagined.
I have learned that when I stray from my path and try to control life….I usually get into trouble. I don’t feel right – and my creative flow dries up! It is when I tap into the unseen energies that the magic happens – (symbolised by my signature image, magical hummingbirds).
Dear Bonnie Paul departed the world this past weekend. She had achieved so much. A great lover and supporter of the arts, she has left a wonderful legacy for all who knew her, including her devoted family and many friends. She will forever be part of my field of Bliss.