brave journey – carpe diem

A beautiful fall day was ours and LaDonna and I headed out for an adventure.  Just on the outskirts of Charlottesville, Va, we took a turn up a winding road.  All around us the magnificent colors of that day shouted out to us.  Our destination – the grand opening of Maryah’s art studio and gallery named Carpe Diem.

Tucked into the side of a hill is a house that has been transformed into studio and gallery space. Outside the entrance, the decking showcased a living art space full of plants and rocks with special meaning, magical gardens created in the form of potted cactus and fairy gardens, The gentle playing of a guitarist was a perfect touch.  Inside, each and every room was full of art and jewelry created independently by mother and daughter.

I believe being able to create is a gift.  Being given the ability to heal through art, is a magical gift these two ladies have embraced.

The daughter, Kara and I went to high school together.  Thirty years later we are getting to know each other.

Being able to take part in watching someone follow their dream – open a studio was fun, It was a pleasure to spend time with my friends enjoying their company while experiencing creative expression unfold room after room.

However, it was the very brave journey that I witness Kara make that will forever be in my heart.  You see, Kara has endured the unthinkable, the loss of a child.  It was this gift of art that she used to work through the most difficult time.  A deeply private and painful time, that I don’t pretend to know.

I first saw a tiny glimpse her paintings several months ago and was so touched by her abilities.  Knowing how difficult and yes bitter-sweet it was for her to put her paintings out there and attach a price to them is truly inspiring to me.  I am humbled by her brave journey and realize how petty and insignificant in comparison my own insecurities are.

I am reminded again of the power of art.  The ability to transform any space into a gallery and a place of great happiness.  It too has the ability to heal and bless us with a brave journey.

How fortunate I am to have a piece of this healing in the form of a painting, hanging on my wall in my office – a reminder to be brave and follow through and to carpe diem!

Until next time,



Carpe Diem is open on the weekends, and by appointment by contacting Jaclin James, Wolf Trap Road, Charlottesville, VA.

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