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Lisa Beth Liel

(born April 12, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois)


In all my life, I've only once loved a piece of art so much that I had to own it.

This painting was done by Marina Shikhman. It was the first painting she'd ever sold. Instead of giving it a name, she gave it a poem:

Ex Ponto - The Last Letter of Ovidei to Rome

To you, whose attractive features,
Are probably not afraid of aging,
To my Rome, unchanged, as you are,
From the last date,
I write from sea. From sea. Ships
Aim here after the storm,
To confirm, that this is edge of Earth.

And in their holds the freedom not to be found.

- by Josef Brodsky (translated by Marina Shikhman)


This is what I see in the painting:

There's a girl sitting in that chair looking out the window. She wants so badly to get outside that all you can see of her is her vision of the outside. That's all she is. Take away that hope, that dream, and even the little that's left of her will be gone.

She knows what's out there. She sees it accurately, if somewhat simplistically. But that's not all that she sees: She sees bars, trapping her inside. Keeping her from her heart's desire.

And the tragedy is, those bars aren't really there. She only thinks they are. And so she sits, alone in her room. Hoping and dreaming, but never daring to think that her dream might be attainable. A prisoner of her own fears, her own despair.

When I saw the painting for the first time, the words that popped into my head were, "The Girl Who Wasn't There." That's my own name for the painting.

Does that seem sad? It isn't. Because this is a story with a happy ending. You see, the girl in the chair? That was me not all that long ago. And the day came, as it had to eventually, when I realized that those bars were only in my mind.


I sign all my e-mail and newsgroup postings with a .sig taken from a song that appeared on the TV show Fame. I'd use the whole song if it weren't for the length. But here I can afford the luxury of posting it in its entirety:

I Still Believe

I thought I had it this time
I thought the dream would be mine
Hoping to fly, I fall
Oh, how I wish I just didn't care at all

'Cause if you don't care, you won't cry
It won't hurt if you don't try

But I still believe in all my dreams
And all that I can be
I'll learn from mistakes, do all that it takes
To make it eventually
'Cause I still believe in me

I'll find an unbreakable heart
To help me get through this part
And I swear I'll never rest
'Till I am standing up there with the very best

Oh, but there's no heart that won't break
And sometimes it's a heartache

But I still believe in all my dreams
And all that I can be
I'll learn from mistakes, do all that it takes
To make it eventually
'Cause I still believe in me

I'll have more as soon as I can.

If you want, you can e-mail me at lisabeth@bigfoot.com.

Seeya,
Lisa

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