You know how most families have an eccentric aunt or uncle who is the keeper of the oral traditions?
Even the ones that everyone else would argue never happened?
In my family, it was my Aunt Em. She was my Gramma Elsie’s older sister.
(How much older is a matter of considerable debate!)
Aunt Em was full of stories. Many of them Elsie wished she wouldn’t tell, though we heard them pretty often growing up.
Today, though, I want to tell you about Great, great, great, great…Uncle Epictetus, even though you may have heard about him before.
He’s one of those uncles that you adopted because your family needed him, even though nobody you know ever met him.
Uncle Epictetus lived a long time ago. In fact, he passed on in about 135 C.E.
Born a slave, he grew up to become a Greek philosopher.
(As I mentioned recently, in my opinion Philosophy is a pretty hard thing to wrap your head around!)
If you look him up on-line, you’ll find that there are stone carvings of him, complete with curly hair and a beard.
I’d be kind of surprised if Hallmark has an Epictetus holiday, but if they did, in our house it would be this weekend.
You see, we’ve been pretty caught up in the, “do what you have to do” part of Uncle Epictetus’ saying, which was, ironically, one of my first painting projects, quite a while ago.
More stuff to sort and furniture to move and wires to hook up, all so I can come closer to being the artist and teacher I long to be.
I’ve dreamed and sketched and pondered but, in my world, I have to feel these things, so Bill and I have to shove this here and pull that there and wait until the sun goes down to figure out where I’m going to need more lights.
We’re making progress.
The dogs are having panic attacks.
I keep trying to explain that furniture moves but dogs stay. Treats help.
It’s all going to be ok.
Right now, most of my house looks like a combination of an antique store and a library that exploded.
And, in the midst of the sorting and toting, I keep stopping to check on a couple of friends who are having weekends no mammas/grammas should have.
Then I sit and feel the space and check the reach to my journals and the recycling basket.
We’re making progress.
I haven’t had a nap today.
Or painted even a drop. (Except in my head.)
There are lots of things that would be easier than this.
But I have said to myself what I would be and it’s time to do what I have to do.
I wish Uncle Epictetus were here to tell my girls that story.
I guess it’s my job now.
It might be your job, too.