“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden
Like a rose garden bursting with color in the warmth of a June morning, my heart is glowing with wonder and gratitude. Let me give you three reasons why:
1. Bricks and thorns hurt, but People are wonderful.
After the theft of the van and it's contents, we were devastated. It was like life had thrown a huge brick at us. But, we didn't cower or run and hide, and we certainly didn't stop moving forward. With encouragement and support from friends, family, customers and colleagues - and even a few strangers - we were able to keep rolling through the first few weeks as we restocked and rebuilt. We borrowed painted scarves from one of our students to use as samples, as all of ours had been taken. We "made do" with a limited supply of paint which we had on hand at home; folks didn't complain when they had to share! One of our patrons made a generous pre-purchase of 20 scarves, just to help get that cash flow moving. With this outpouring of love, we just knew we couldn't let folks down! We were able to meet all of our obligations and didn't have to miss a single event!
2. Serendipity happens. So do superheros.
Although grateful to have our van back, it just wasn't the same. We knew it was time to start looking for a replacement van. Unexpectedly, some of Phil's old friends (AKA superheros in disguise) from his days as a car dealer came forward to help us get a far better deal on a brand new van than we could have even dreamed of getting. And this one has all the features we really need to serve more areas and larger groups. And as if to prove it was the right decision, the day we picked up the van was the day we got a call confirming a large corporate event in Arizona this summer. We couldn't have done it in the old van!
3. When life throw bricks, use them to build upon.
Adversity makes us stronger, wiser, and more aware of the things in life which mean the most.
As you may know, our Phil continues to heal from his battle with throat cancer in Fall of 2016. It was tough, but he is a proud survivor and we are so grateful to our team members and students who helped us fill the gap.
(Update: As of April 2019, everything looks stable and no cancer has recurred!)
One week prior to the van theft, I (Star) was diagnosed with Stage 1 uterine cancer. Shocking news, but my doctor said we caught it really early (note to self: listen to what your body is telling you). Prognosis is excellent, treatment requires surgery but likely no radiation or chemo!
(UPDATE: Everything went well and the cancer was eradicated! I'm cancer free!)
These kinds of trials and tribulations do make you think about the ways that life is priceless and special, so mysterious and important, so ABUNDANTLY BEAUTIFUL.
We make bricks into marshmallows, and share them with the world.
Update: Through a GoFundMe campaign and the kindness of friends, family, customers, and former co-workers (okay, all of these folks are friends in the true sense of the word!!), we were able to sell the remains of the old van, purchase a beautiful new van, and keep on painting scarves with a minimum of disruption to our work and mission. In hindsight, all of this served to prepare us for the next great moment in the Mayu Silk Art saga - the release of the InsiderStyle video in September 2017.
All of these things are just thorns to support roses. Or bricks to be turned into marshmallows.
The real takeaway from all of this is a resounding YES! Together, we can do this - this magical, mystical, marvelous thing called the Mayu Silk Art Experience.
The seeds of friendship, resilience, hope and hard work have grown into something truly beautiful. Thank you so much for being part of it - and for reading this far!
Update: We celebrated all this with a big thank you party - complete with roses and a marshmallow roast - in celebration of our 4th anniversary!
"Gel-Git" is a Turkish phrase meaning "back and forth," and is the name of the basic chevron-like water marbling design formed by pulling the rake, comb or stylus back and forth through the paint.
We hope that this phrase will also describe our relationship with you and the many other folks with whom we have enjoyed sharing this beautiful art form.
Please feel free to contact us at any time with your photos, ideas, questions, event inquiries, or custom orders.
Star McCain and Philip Greenwood took a leap of faith, abandoning lucrative professional careers to follow their dream of working together to share the joy and beauty of water marbling on silk with others.