This past weekend I was exhibiting the photos once again at my local farmer’s market. It was a beautiful day, sunny, mild temperatures and plenty of people. My neighbor was a wood crafter who made various items from turned wooden pens to pepper grinders to these exquisite canes and walking sticks made out of various woods like hickory, oak, and laminates of exotic woods.
We both sat around for most of the day not making many sales at all, but all the while both he and I entertained our visitors with anecdotes about how we made the items we did. Many would come through my booth commenting on how great the photos were and then wish they had “wall space”. For my neighbor, his visitors, after eying and even handling some of the canes and sticks, would simply say ” I am not ready for cane just yet”, even though some clearly were as they limped away.
One of my long time patrons, Shirley – a lovely elderly woman who is, or maybe I should say was, an owner of a Museum Series sized After The Rain, came in and informed me that her house and everything in it had burned to the ground! She did not live very far from my home studio and about three weeks ago, one morning I heard a cadre of sirens from various trucks and emergency vehicles. I wondered what they could have all been rushing to. Well I found out – it was Shirley’s home. Fortunately she had been out that morning walking her dog and was not home when the fire started. The authorities are still not sure what could have started the fire, but they are pretty sure it started in the garage, as Shirley related, and they are suspecting the batteries in her hybrid car, which of course is no more either. Shirley, thank God is fine and is staying with a friend until everything is sorted out. But she came to realize just how precious life is and she kept reiterating that to me to make sure that I understood that. Thanks for the reminder Shirley, it is understood.
So as the day came to a close, one patron enters my booth whom I had spoken to a few weeks before. She and her husband were interested in No More Words and I had offered to them the option of borrowing the photo for a week to try it out in their home. At first I think they were taken aback by such an offer, and said they would think about it. Well she came back to take me up on that offer, and told me that they have not stopped thinking about that photo. She is borrowing it and has a few more days to decide. Lets hope.
When that transaction was over, the market manager came up to my neighbor’s booth, the wood crafter, and pulled out one of the smoothly sanded, finished hickory walking sticks. Grabbed it by his right hand, put some weight on it, then pulled out a couple of twenties from his pocket handed to my neighbor and with a great big smile on his face passed me by way of the back side of our booths. All of this without nearly any hesitation on the manager’s part. As he passed me I said, “You got yourself a really good stick”. To which he replied “Yup I sure have!” and he walked down the street stick in tow.
When we value something it is of little importance how much it “costs”. In fact when we value something it is really priceless. Shirley learned the value of life – and that should go without saying as a price cannot be put on life – for it is far to precious. My patron found solace in the photo No More Words and took up a no cost offer to enjoy the photo for at least a week, before making the decision of whether or not it is worth in value what I ask for it in price. And the market manager found great value in that good stick, a stick, a piece of wood that one could pick up for no cost in the forest, but one that would not be as handsome or as useful as the one he bought for a couple of pieces of paper.
Find what you value, whatever it is that enriches your life in some way and then really value it, consciencely and I am sure that you will find it worth much more than you ever paid for it.
Value is Hard To Find