WHERE THE HEART IS
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An original oil painting on canvas 30 x 40 inches by June Pauline Zent
The attorney’s reaction to my news kept nagging at me.Why was he not excited and happy about something that could launch my art career to a wider audience? If his mission was to promote my artwork this should have seemed like a wonderful turn of events. And why in our meetings was he only interested in my previous and current relationship with Buddy?
The next morning I tuned into the Mike Douglas Show again.There was Tammy Wynette and Mike talking about their dinner at her beach house and her career as The First Lady of Country Music. It was a duplicate of the previous show except that there was no mention of the painting that he had glowingly complimented the day before. Gone was his invitation to have me on his show soon, even though they had spent at least five minutes praising the artwork.My name was not even mentioned. It was as if it had never happened;like a perfect duplicate otherwise.
It began to sink in.Was I just paranoid or was this show intended to replace the first one? Could it be that Buddy, Tammy, and Mike had given very expensive air time to someone unauthorized by the powerful network station and as a result were at risk of legal action? Could Buddy’s attorney friend have convinced them to air a cover up show? These thoughts ran through my mind like a slow-moving freight train but not because of lost opportunity. Buddy and Tammy were my friends and I would be horrified if they were at risk because of me!
I had Buddy’s private number at the Jupiter ranch but he was in California. His habit was to call me. I made the effort to get the number but with no success. All that I could do was wait. I wanted to explain that I understood and that nothing had changed to affect my feelings for him or Tammy. Day after day I waited becoming more anxious as time went on. Finally I had to face it. This mistake was so important that he was willing to ignore everything that we had together. Maybe Bobby Collins was the motivator but remember the promise that we swore to keep: he would not believe anything that was said about me until we talked and I would reciprocate. I hit bottom: now convinced that my suspicions about the show were true and that he would sacrifice everything for the sake of not being at risk. Maybe protecting Mike and Tammy was the impetus. It didn’t matter. He wouldn’t call and we could not talk.
Time didn’t take the pain away. I was heart-broken and felt used and tossed aside like a faded flower of no use to anyone. I needed to be alone so the children’s father came and took them to Virginia for several weeks. I convinced him that I needed to focus on the portrait of Tammy and her girls which was half-true. The huge canvas sat on an easel in the only big window waiting with only a rough sketch. But I had no intention of working on it . I needed to grieve. Contrary to popular belief artist do not create their best when they are emotionally distraught, at least the kind of work I strive to create.
I am a lightweight when it comes to booze. More than two beers results in dizziness,vomiting, and falling asleep. I do like beer however and regularly drink one in the evening after a long day. So because it put me to sleep, as soon as the kids were gone I stocked up, closed the blinds where the canvas sat and drank two beers. It worked! The pattern became two beers, falling asleep, waking up, and two beers again. As soon as I would wake everything would come screaming back. Sorry to say I was not courageous: I couldn’t take the anguish!
This continued for over a week but finally one day I woke up and said, “I miss my kids!” They were wonderful children. All were doing well in school except for Billy but I also missed the focus of dealing with his autism. I missed the smell of them when we hugged. I even missed washing their cloths in the bathtub and hanging them on the line outside to dry. Who knew I could miss that chore!
I opened the blinds, dragged out the paints from the closet and set to work on Tammy”s portrait. The kids came home and the work progressed. My mind turned away from the grief at least most of the time. Tammy called about the portrait which was near completion and then another call came in. It was Buddy’s attorney wanting me to come in for another appointment. He was the last one I wanted to see but I agreed thinking that I might get some answers to questions that haunted me like a ghost and were never completely off my mind.
I had a plan. Buddy’s address in California was something that I could still use. I sent him a mailgram with a return confirmation giving him my new phone number as promised. Then I told Mr. Collins that I was moving away and would no longer be available. He said, ” You mean that even Burt will not know where you are at?”
Mailgram sent to Burt Reynolds. My married name was then Watson. I later took my maiden name Zent
I replied,” Oh no, Buddy will always know where I am and I will keep the promise I made to never disappear again at least not from him. I assumed that he would relay this to Buddy but that is not the way it worked out as you will see in the next continued eleven. Hope to see you here!
Must you leave off at such a tantalizing cliffhanger? Well, I suppose that makes for good storytelling. 🙂 I sense more complications (and perhaps misunderstandings?) down the line but I won’t assume too much. I’m sincerely hoping things will take a turn for the better because I’m sure this was a very rough time for you. Looking forward to the next installment!
Lillian, My life has been marked by cliffhangers so that’s the only way to tell it. Your sense of the direction of the story is correct. You have a knack for this but remember for every bottom there is a top and I have had plenty of both. I just hope that my stories will help other artist when they hit the low points.
I am always eager to see you comments! and I thank you for them.
As usual, you leave me wanting to know what happens next! Can’t wait for the next chapter!! By the way, your painting “Where The Heart Is”, is beautiful! 🙂
Thank you sharon. I am grateful that you like the painting and the post. You take the time to come here and that is very important to me! Thank you as a;ways.
Oh June, I could feel your pain… And there is probably more to come, but nothing can change the fact that you are a very loving mother and gifted artist. “Where the Heart is”, is stunning. I love the light in the forrest and the reflection on the water.
I’ll be waiting right here to read more of your story…
I am just like everyone else except I have had more than my share of ups and downs. My hope is that people will take away the lessons that life has taught me.and especially other artist like yourself. It’s when you get past the pain that you can create and I have at times not been heroic, rather a pitiful heap sobbing. But that is being human and what counts is getting up again. I know that you can relate and that is special to me. Thank you for liking the painting and the story. Did you see the heart in the painting?
I get so much involved in your story,as if evrything was happening in front of me and I was a witness to the turn of events.Waiting for the rest of it.
Everybody calls it a cliff hanger but that’s just the way the story goes. It’s all that I can do to get past the memories and write. I do think that it’s good for me to push these stories outside of myself. I am just glad that others value them and quite surprised, really! Your loyalty is very much valued Mia! Smiles.
Oh, Soumya, No writer could ask for more than to have the stories speak to the reader as your poetry also speaks to me. Thank you my friend, I am always happy to see your comments here!
Gosh….a cliff hanger! Hurry up and write June! I totally agree that artists do not do there best work when emotionally turmoiled. It stops me in my tracks. I love your stories…keep going!!
Where The Heart Is, is beautiful ! I love your stories Have nice day! with love maxima
Thank you so much Stefan; your words always give me a lift and I sure will have a nice day. The best of days to you and much love back!
Reblogged this on heartily recommend and commented:
I love your stories and this completely blog
Because of the extraordinary value that holds this your post I introduced him to my blog http://fondnessoftherain.wordpress.com/
Goodness Stefan, what an honor for you to think that much of this story. I am so thrilled and happy. Thank you again and again!
June, I must say that I wait for the next episode of your creative gifts to appear. You are so true to your talents. Thank you, Ralph
Ralph, I am so grateful that you that you come here with your compliments. It is very special to me when a member of my family takes the time. thank you so much!
I love the painting, June. The light in it is beautiful.
I am so glad that you like it and it’s lovely of you to come here and say it cclle. I am facinated by light and love to play with it on canvas. It is not easy to do however so when people like you enjoy it I am delighted!
I can only imagine how hard it must be to capture the light the way you did 🙂
Beautiful painting and a thrilling story. good wishes.
Thanks for the awesome comments and taking the time to come here and say them. My best good wishes right back at you my friend!
Nice to see that you got here Harshit. Thanks for the like and I hope your problems are solved now!
Hope all is safe in your area. Just making sure things are good with you. Sandy is headed my way, NY. While I still have access, wanted to wish you well.
I am fine here Zee and I hope that you have gone to a safe place. I am watching on TV and very worried. In addition to you I have family on the Virginia coast. Please let me know how you are doing. Keep the faith!
ahhh the trees,,, feel like they just woke up from a long resting sleep… 🙂
Rishabh, Thank you so much for the beautiful comment. that is exactly how I felt when when seeing this light through the trees. I very much appreciate your taking the time to come here!
I love this painting June, the way the light shines through the trees has a haunting beauty, and the trees beyond take on an ethereal quality that is just beautiful. Waiting eagerly for your next installment. 🙂
Great to see you here Liveinstone and thank you so much for the compliments. Yes, I love to play with light through trees and it has become one of my signatures. Sorry to take so long with the continuing story. It takes a long time for me to write because it’s so personal and remembering the details brings it all back. Also I am not the proficient writer that you are but I will get there. Thanks again , your comments lift me up!
Hi there! How are you? I wish u a great month,
Hello Sorina, I am fine but in the weeds with too many problems especially with this computer but I will catch up! I hope a wonderful month for you too! Hugs!
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That is another beautiful painting.