Rhonda Cagle

She Called My Name

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I really tried to ignore her. Like a petulant child with fingers in ears, I mentally chanted, “La-la-la-la-la I’m not listening to you.” But it didn’t matter. She had already spoken my name.

The evening began with me kvetching and moaning about having to leave the house. To go to an art sale. Outside. For five hours. In.The.Rain. All week I’ve been ill with a head cold that instantaneously turned into bronchitis and a sinus infection. It’s 3 ½ weeks until Christmas, the house is only half-decorated, my clients have had multiple emergency projects, and I don’t yet have a single gift purchased so, of course, this would be the week to contract the creeping crud. To add insult to injury, Lorenzo had committed us to helping with this art sale weeks ago, before illness and the insanity of the holidays had blanketed me in diseased despondency.


I did what all good Christian women raised by good Christian women do: I went. But with a lot of grousing and guilt involved.  Which is how I came to meet the lady in question.

The art sale was of prints and paintings by regional artists – some established, others up-and-coming. Although much of the art is raw and edgy, it moves me; containing an energy and passion – at times an anger – that gives voice to the largely immigrant and indigenous artists whose experiences and lives spill out and onto the canvases they create.

Amidst the Dia de los Muertos depictions and colorful landscapes, she commanded my attention. This elegant lady had a regal air that instantly set her apart from the colorful garishness of the other pieces. Immaculatta en Negro had commanded my attention and called my name.

All night, I reasoned against her voice. It’s the holidays and that money can be used on gifts for family. I don’t collect art – my idea of a good find is what’s on sale at Michael’s craft store. And my sure-fire default, Surely Lorenzo will argue against such a purchase during the holidays.

But apparently the Lady had been speaking to Lorenzo as well. He urged me to take her home and make a place for her. Unwittingly, he reminded me of the Orthodox belief about icons… we don’t find an icon; icons find us. So I said yes and found myself bringing home my Lady.

Me watching as artist Gennaro Garcia signs his creation, Immaculatta en Negro I, for me before I brought his beautiful artwork home.

All day long I’ve looked at her as I walk through the room where she’s temporarily residing until I can get her framed and hung. She is beautiful, but that’s not what intrigues me. She, too, said yes to an unexpected encounter – an unimagined opportunity. One minute she was going about her daily life and obligations; the next she heard a voice and listened as an angel presented her with a choice she never thought possible.

My Lady.

My Lady said yes. Because she did, her life was changed. Mine was too.

Looking at my Lady, there’s much to learn from her. I’m glad she asked to come home with me – glad I listened and said yes.


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