When colors help us live better.
Malgorzata, Maggie to her friends, was a very curious woman.
We crossed each other on Etsy when I had a shop and very soon besides becoming my client, we also became friends.
Maggie was a daily presence in my life. An educated woman, always ready to tell me about a book she had read, an exhibit she had seen.
She was in Poland and I was in Italy, but that didn’t stop our communication which was done via email, I wasn’t on social media yet.
Maggie was sick with leukemia and wrote a lot.
She began buying my notebooks and I also designed her many personalized notebooks.
She was thrilled with my use of color.
An enthusiasm that for me bordered on fanaticism.
But it gave me enormous pleasure.
I’ve always loved drawing notebooks because they are a prelude to something that will happen.
I draw the outside parts, but the pages inside are to be filled with words, with ideas, with notes.
There are still people who write by hand, not just notes but even books.
It is important to use the pen and your hand on the paper to stretch your brain and imprint the ideas and notions in your mind.
I am a big fan of handwriting and so was Maggie.
We were very close in this, I understood her needs because I for one was used to writing by hand.
I understood that dealing with the disease, the very hard disease, was difficult and I did my best to add many gifts to her purchases.
I went wild with color.
Color has its own importance in disease. It helps us feel better.
Have you noticed that when we are sad we never use color? We prefer black, gray, rather dark colors. In reality, this makes us feel even sadder, but it’s like a vicious circle, the more we feel bad, the more we use dark colors.
Maggie, on the other hand, acted the opposite way. She used a lot of colors on herself and in her daily life. She fought her illness with color.
She was full of dreams, full of energy. She loved my Art very much.
She dreamed of having me do an exhibition in her city, Torun.
She worked in the cultural field and told me about the beauty of her city, which she said was perfect for my work.
Then one day she didn’t write and another.
There was always the fine line between feeling better the worsening of the disease. But I was hopeful, I felt her very determined.
Instead, she came back more full of energy than before, saying that my colors were curative, so much so that since the last tests at the hospital, her leukemia had improved.
She had explained to the doctors that she was being cured with culture and she had a friend in Italy who was contributing greatly to her recovery.
For a few months I hoped that with what I was creating, I could work a miracle.
Miracle it wasn’t.
Maggie died one summer, I found out while I was in a restaurant celebrating the beginning of the vacations.
It was a morning of heat, sun and no plans.
That left no room for sad things.
And perhaps his choice to die in the middle of the most colorful season of the year, was not accidental.
Ten years ago, while the cicadas were chirping and in the head the lapping of the waves.
When everything becomes light, evanescent and carefree.
I still keep her messages in which she feels better, laughs, is convinced that culture and art are an indispensable medicine for anyone.
Many times I go with my thoughts to her, really I hoped for a miracle.
I come back to her when I ask myself the meaning of what I do, when I receive your compliments and I tell myself that maybe everything has a meaning.
Why do you make art?
Probably because life without it has no meaning.
And colors help to give a direction, a way to our life.
Maggie is not forgotten, every summer when the sun is strong, here she is in my mind and all the emotional charge she gave me.
We have never met, but in the end is this what counts? Or understanding each other despite distances, different languages and different fates?
Remind yourself every time you’re down, that what you’re doing is your life, it’s your way of being in the world.
And if you can, give colors, emotions, words, shapes, to those who are struggling, to those who don’t have a long way to go, to those who hope to still be there. To those who lose the meaning of life.
And why not, it also gives to yourself, the belief that everything has meaning and that we are here to embrace life, with ups and downs, but full of color.
I’m sure Maggie would yell at me for mentioning her.
She was a very coy and shy woman.
But I’d like to think that some bells are ringing up there to tell her that we remember her here.
Maggie and I suggest that you pull out colors, papers, ideas and pens from that drawer: out there someone needs to find a balance, to color a gray day.
Culture, art, can do great things with very little. All it takes is a pen and a sheet of paper.
And the conviction that anything can happen, in beauty.
If you’re curious to see what kind of notebooks I make now, all you have to do is click below.
Tell me in the comments what you think and if you have an idea of your own that I could make for you.