I was born on a Navy base in Virginia and when I was almost 2 years old I gave up my dreams of sailing the seven seas and moved to Belgium. My parents and my twin brothers followed along. I learned to speak French and attempted to behave properly around nuns. After a few years we left for Venezuela where I was amazed to find that there is a place in the world you can swim in the ocean on Christmas Day.
When I was 6, I went to a Brownie meeting with my best friend. I wanted to be in the troop, but looking back now, what I wanted most were the sashes covered with colorful badges. After that first meeting I went home and made 4 or 5 of my own. I don’t remember anymore what they looked like, I do remember that when I showed up the next time to present my badges, there was silence—a lot of silence—and I was told that if I was going to become a Brownie, I’d need to use the official ones.
I didn’t become a Brownie.
But I did continue to create, because color always gets me where I want to go. I return to it over and over again because it reminds me of stepping foot in a new country, full of promise and possibility.