I’ve lived in Texas for five years now. Safe to say, no native of the state would remotely consider me a Texan, though. Being a true Texan, I think, is not so much a matter of hometowns and habits as it is something that exists in the ethereal zone where there is an overlap between a spiritual state and an art form.
I don’t begrudge this; I merely stand in awe of it. It’s as intense and intrinsic a form of identity, I gather, as any birthright. I also believe that regardless of where on earth you had your nativity, you either are or aren’t born to be a Texan. Some people born in the state of Texas can take it or leave it, some just need and can’t wait to leave it, period, and can’t take it at all. And as the slogan here goes, there are non-natives who swear that ‘I was born in X, but I got to Texas as fast as I could.’
Kind of the way of all callings, I suppose. Some have a clear sense of destiny or vocation, and some don’t. Some adore what that purpose promises them, some are indifferent, and some will go to the ends of the earth and beyond, if necessary, to escape it as if it were Toxic Doom, Incorporated. We all have our ways of ridin’ the fences.
So if I can’t be a real-live ranch hand no matter how that suits my romantic image of what it ought to mean to be a Texan, at least I’ve found my ways to make living in Texas suit me just fine, for as long as I desire to live here or the Real Texans don’t hogtie me and ship me out of the state in a rickety hay-wagon with a busted axle.
I’ve long wondered why you aren’t illustrating children’s books, or any books, for that matter. Then I realized I have no idea what you do to earn a nickel, so maybe I’ve assumed incorrectly. Either way, I truly do enjoy your seemingly endless variety of different styles and textures and colors as illustrated with your art and your inspired posts.
Most people that know me think I was born in Texas, since I’ve been here more than thirty years now, and litter every conversation with the traditional ya’ll of which I’m sure you’re familiar, but truthfully, I was actually born up north. Meaning I was born a Yankee, but think like a Texan. It’s one of those things I’ve learned to keep to myself. Most of the time. Those looks of disdain make me laugh, when people learn the truth. You would think I just told them I have an extra belly button, or a third ear hidden under my hair. They take “being a Texan” entirely too seriously. 🙂
Yes indeedy, there is a certain je ne sais quois that is apparently associated with Texan-ism, for good and/or ill! Ha!
As for the way I make a living, I taught art, English and freshman core classes (research methods, etc) for nearly 17 years at a little private university in WA before I “retired,” with Richard’s support and encouragement, to become a Kept Woman. I have been free to be a homemaker/blogger and practice my own art & writing since then. As we don’t have kids to support, we can get by well on R’s salary if we’re (a very tiny bit) sensible about it, and I am so grateful! It lets me go with him to many of the rehearsals he’s conducting with both school and church choirs, as well as any concerts and even some business expeditions, where I can just be a car companion if the road’s a bore.
Meanwhile, my only publication so far is the book I put up on Amazon in January this year: Miss Kitty’s Fabulous Emporium of Magical Thinking is a collection of my silly poems and graphite creature-type drawings, so it *is* suitable for little kids as well as big ones of my age and tastes. 😉 I’m working on a variety of others and will likely post about them if and when….
Thanks as always for your sweet comments and presence here! I so appreciate you!