We spent this Thanksgiving out on Martha’s Vineyard where my mother-in-law lives. I love the island off-season. Every time I get on the ferry in Woods Hole and we pull away from the mainland, I can feel my shoulders drop about an inch. It is a great escape, a much-needed antidote for the speed and stress of our hectic lives at home.

Perhaps this was true even more so this year. I was getting ready to make my movies for and nearing the end of a really intense teaching semester. It was no wonder that my body decided to retaliate. Without getting into too much detail…my ears turned red and swelled, a rash crept over me and then my face ballooned. Not a great look, especially when you are meant to be on camera in 10 days. Stress makes you sick.

So off to the island we went for some R&R in hopes that I could exorcise this mysterious illness. Slowly it subsided. I made myself stay in bed and rest between baking pies and hiking the late autumn beach. So much to be thankful for. On Thanksgiving afternoon, my daughter Celeste came into the bedroom where I was sketching. 

She said, “Mom, can you draw me while the potatoes are cooking?” So I did a little sketch of her. She is an excellent model. I haven’t really drawn her much although I used to try when she was sleeping as a baby. Somehow it has always felt heart wrenching to separate and try and observe her with objectivity. She is my only true masterpiece. 

Later that night, I saw that she had posted my drawing on her Instagram account. The caption read, “I’m thankful for my artistic mom.” Drawing her was a gift. Until next time, draw someone you love. You will never forget the curve of their nose or the curl of their hair. CREATE.

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