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By Hand, Ink

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Stars in My Eyes

Posted on 1 October, 2014 at 10:50

The stars were out when I came to work this morning. We’ve had so many rainy/cloudy days lately that it was lovely to see stars glittering against the darkness of the pre-dawn sky.


Often when I wake up very early and am unable to get back to sleep, I head over to the studio. I’ve always loved getting to work early, before the world is awake; I seem to get so much more accomplished before everyone else is out and about. When I managed the Lowcountry Cottage, I’d crank up the music – LOUD – and sing along with Clay Rice.

If you are not familiar with this Renaissance man, please take a few minutes to check out his website (; Clay is a gifted singer/songwriter (he was once a "tunesmith" in Nashville!), as well as a talented silhouette artist whose work is on permanent display at the South Carolina State Museum.


Much as I admire his silhouette art, I love his songwriting, especially the ones involving Gullah folklore and/or the South Carolina Lowcountry. If my beloved Pat Conroy wrote songs instead of books, these are the songs he would write, full of passion for the land, and sorrow over traditions and a way of life that are fast approaching extinction. These two men tell, in different ways, what is deep in my heart . . . a visceral, overwhelming passion for this part of the world that brings me to tears whenever I think about it.


Another local treasure of a man is David Lauderdale, who writes a  column for our local paper, The Island Packet. I heard David speak at a women’s luncheon on Monday – a treat I take advantage of whenever possible. He has the enviable task of talking with long-time residents, learning of their involvement with nature as shrimpers or cast-net artisans; he chats with men and women who were the community leaders who built and/or managed the development of this area; and he shares all of their stories with passion and fire and love. I really hope he writes a book someday!

That I get to live and work in such a place - populated as it is with such inspiring figures as these three men – never ceases to amaze me. So when I arrived at the studio, and just before I went inside, I looked up at that velvet sky and searched for a star to wish upon. What did I wish? Sorry, if I say, it won’t come true! But I will tell you that my wish for you is that every day is a wonderful gift whose every moment you open and enjoy fully, savoring whatever comes your way, and appreciating the simple, magnificent people and things surrounding you – that’s why it’s called The Present.


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