Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In the Shadow of the Divine Goddess

Goddess energy.

The divine feminine.

In the past five weeks I have worked for five different women. Not really that unusual if you paint.

Women rule the nest.

Women redecorate.

What was unusual was that the last two women were eight and a half months pregnant and nine months pregnant (actually overdue but I'll get to that later). And all five women were accomplished professionals, successful and self-assured.

I feel as if I have been swimming in a sea of estrogen. Each of the jobs started out with a very specific quote and a list of things to be done. Every job began to expand exponentially once I was started, each wall or room I finished seeming to lead inexorably to a new one. This is not a bad thing. But it is interesting to experience as it unfolds.

A personal space or a home is clearly different for a woman that a man. Shelter is shelter. But a woman needs to 'own' the colours she is surrounded with. Many men like colour, and have an opinion about colour in their home, but women tend, on average, to be much more passionate about the subject.

I find colours and the palettes that people choose to surround themselves with endlessly fascinating. I think the colours of a home - if the individuals in the home actually chose them - can reveal a huge amount about who lives there. I like people who like colour. Of course on one level, it feeds me and helps to pay my bills. But people who like colour can be said to be colourful.

Women make great bosses. If you show up on a construction site I can assure you that you will not be offered coffee, or cookies, or snacks or be asked at Noon if you would like a sandwhich or a bowl of soup. It will not happen. It happened on every single job where my boss had breasts.

If you show up on a construction site you will either be given a can of paint to put on the wall or a list of colours that need to be purchased. More often that not, a woman will show you a colour chart and then ask you what you think. Your opinion is not only sought after but expected. And you had better have an answer ready that is more involved than, "I think it looks great". Because that will promptly be followed up with a "Why?". Generally speaking I am loathe to inject myself into the decision over what colour to paint someone else's home because it is such a personal decision. And if the colour doesn't 'work' in the space I don't want anyone pointing a finger at me. I try to limit my comments to what I have seen work and not work in the past. As in, on the West Coast it can be pretty bleak and grey on occasion from November to March so you might want to consider that when you choose a dark colour...

I couldn't get over the feeling that with these women clients that it was important that there be a 'relationship' of some sort with the painter. And these women were married and it was all very professional of course, but being in someone's home was such an intrusion of personal space that it was clearly important that we be sympatico on some level.

I must confess I felt a strange twinge every time I finished a job and moved on. It was the damnest thing. I felt like I was losing a friend.

And spending two weeks in a row around two exceedingly pregnant women was practically a life altering experience. It was as if the air I was breathing was redolent with hormones. These women were like hyper achetypes of femininity. I felt surrounded by uber-females. I am gushing here like a school-girl but the power of a pregnant woman is something to behold. Husbands, family members and friends just kind of got out of the way of the estrogen juggernaut. They reminded me of the fertility figures so prominent in many early primitive cultures with their exagerated pendulous breasts and great bellies bursting with life. Icons of life.

These women were brimming over with energy and life and creativity and one of the ways it was expressed was in ensuring that the 'nest' be ready for the imminent arrival of the next generation. I just tried not to get in the way. And being a man of a certain vintage myself, of having my own ticking biological clock, it was hard not to fall madly for these paragons of ripeness. It makes you think, when confronted face to belly, with the cycle of life... Especially when my last job ended with the client not being present on the last day because she busy giving birth!

It is good for the ego because you have to confront the knowledge that life is not really about you. Life doesn't begin with you or end with you. There were those before you and there will be many after you. Your time is fleeting. Make the best of it.


Anonymous Frenchie Lamourfou said...

I can't agree more

11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Pedro said...

Hey Vince,
Sorry to hear about your Dad.
Margy is effusing more hormones on a daily basis, and blossoming! Alec or "Pingu" as you prefer, is very much excited about the baby!
Take Care

4:06:00 PM  
Blogger Lora said...

Beautiful expressions! You are quite the artiste!

What do you think about the color "mustard" for the main living quarters?? :)

2:43:00 AM  
Blogger Vince Hemingson said...

As long as the mustard is more Dijon and less French's....

8:25:00 AM  

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