Monday, September 24, 2012

Tradition. TraDItion, TRADITION!

I waded in my mind through tons of various family traditions that I could discuss on a blog about tradition.  There are homemade baked goods at every holiday, Christmas light joy riding, motorcycles galore, and a whole other wealth of family traditions.  But I asked myself, what is the one thing we all have that really binds us together and keeps us coming back?  It made me realize, I truly come from a family of creators.  I have also had the honor and pleasure of marrying into a family of creators.  Virtually everyone in both families can boast something creative that he or she does, and we are all connected and linked through our projects. 

My mother comes from from a host of singers and piano players.  I can remember as a child, watching my grandmother, my aunt, or my mother at any given time, sitting at the piano tenderly making music and singing in their soft voices.  They loved hymns and music from days gone by.  My mom was always so proud of the upright piano that she bought when I was very young.  She later gave it to me and it became a casualty of my divorce.  Such a sad loss of a beautiful family tradition and a cherished memory.  On a brighter note, you can view where my mother is now with her musical talent, and with her gifted musical husband in this video:

My step-dad, Guy, is another thoroughly talented individual, as mentioned.  He comes from an American Indian family and is a Chickasaw.  Perhaps this is part of what lends to his rich, bass, magical singing voice or his intense rhythm as a drummer or any other of the numerous instruments he plays.  I had the pleasure of learning to play the trumpet from my step-dad and the times we had together as he taught me his music, and the times I've had playing the instrument since are all nestled in my bank of treasured memory.

Guy also had a beloved brother who passed away many years ago.  Over the years, I haven't known Guy to talk much about his brother Ross.  But, since I have been working so diligently to become a professional author and artist, Guy has revealed to me what a creative and talented person Ross was.  I had the extreme honor extended to me of being given a satchel of Ross's art and writings and have plans for incorporating his works into some of my own.

My mother's side also included creative sorts of other natures.  Both of her parents were creative in the way of making people beautiful.  Papoo was a barber, grandma was a hair dresser.  She had her own shop right there in her house where she beautified the women of town and watched her soap operas when there weren't customers.  This resulted in a fine tradition of interesting hair for a lifetime, including some interesting styles on me!  Grandma also loved to knit and sew.  She taught me to knit when I was very young, and how I loved to spend afternoons in a small rocking chair in her shop knitting and listening to the gab.  That little rocking chair now graces my own living room, and so do her knitting needles and bag, and several of her beautiful handmade creations.

The union of my mom and step-dad resulted in the upbringing of their super creative children; me, and my brother.  My brother and I represent a perfect (frightening, demented, flawed) culmination of every creative element of either parent.  My brother, Zak does everything creative.  In him you can know an actor, a singer, an artist, and a writer.  He has even enjoyed time as a circus performer!  Watching him do his circus acts, some find him thrilling and entertaining, and occasionally the thought may cross your mind that there is something wrong with him mentally... 

 I also know many loves creatively, but my greatest creative joy is writing and art.  I have been pursuing a career in what I love to do for the last year.  I no longer feel capable of doing anything effectively other than creating.  I have a free ebook of poetry and art published, and I would simply love if you cared to download it here.  Even if you only look at the pictures...  However, I do also love to play several musical instruments and to sing. 

My dad, Dave is a self taught piano player.  When I was little I used to love, love, LOVE watching him play the boogie woogie, tickling the ivories.  Dad also draws lovely pictures, and is the master of the dry with form of humor.  Another favorite memory is many Saturday nights spent snuggled up with dad, watching stand up comedy shows and Saturday Night Live.  I found him to be the most funny person on Earth.

Dad also married a beautiful lady, my step-mom, Beth who is a gifted piano player.  I love to watch her at her upright piano making music.  Beth is a dental assistant, but honestly, I have no idea why.  She could easily don elegant gowns and grace stages playing to packed houses.

Now I have married the lovely and talented, Adam Gatton!  You talk about a family with a tradition of creating!

Adam also comes from a fantastic and long line of creative family.  The lady pictured at right is a legendary Gatton, the famous Carmen Gatton (aka Mamaw).  She is so famous infact, that Adam and I named our daughter for her!  Mamaw is the embodiment of a family matriarch who imbues a line of creativity through generations of family members.  Carmen has children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who are artists, crafters, quilters, musicians, and photographers.  She loves all that represents freedom, singing, dancing, making music and merriment! The Gatton
 family surely boasts an amazing chain of talented and spirited musicians. 

Adam's mother's side is also full of musicians and artists.  Most everybody on that side plays guitar, piano, and sings, not to mention the painters and artists...  Adam's sister is a talented crafter, DIYer, and artisan.  Adam himself is self-taught in all that he does because of his marvelous natural, God-given abilities.  He plays guitar and sings like singers from the forgotten days.  He is a masterful music engineer with amazing ears for sounds.  I'm so proud of him, check him out:
 Finally, from mine and Adam's union comes the continuation of the family tradition of creativity through our own children.  Jacob is our son who is 6, and our daughter Carmen is 2.  They stun us daily with the creativity they already demonstrate.  Jacob definitely has the music bone.  He loves to play music with Adam, and he once thoroughly shocked us by picking up Adam's harmonica and playing it like a pro from out of nowhere.  He also loves to get up and perform with Papaw Guy's band.

Though both kids are artists, my daughter Carmen definitely seems to be taking after me in the art and painting.  She's been painting and coloring since she could barely hold a brush, and rarely on walls!

Creativity is definitely the tradition that weaves our families together.  Over the years, we never fail to all convene for all our various performances and shows.  We stay bound by ideas and inspiration.  We love to share supplies and instruments.  We all keep ourselves sane through our own creativity, and we use our art forms to speak to one another when there are no words.