"What is REAL?" the Velveteen Rabbit asked the Skin Horse one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit .
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. But once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."
One of my fondest memories of being a young Mother was reading Margery Williams' book "The Velveteen Rabbit" to my daughter - and this was my favorite passage.
Truer words were never written. It takes a very long time to become Real; to become loved and cherished for who we are, to come to a place in our lives where what truly matters is the love we feel, the love we give, and the love we inspire. It's a journey, and if we're very, very lucky, we become.
It was such a blessing to paint this piece, and it's one of those I'm sorely tempted to keep, and to eventually pass on. But part with it I must, and trust that it will find a home where it is cherished, with someone who loves the book and the quote as much as I do, and someone who aspires as I do, to one day be Real.
The original wooden platter measures 18" in diameter, and is available in the Etsy shop. UPDATE ~ SOLD.
Thanks for visiting, and I'll be back very soon with new work and/or more ramblings. ;)