But there is also that beautiful sense of relief - of completion - of putting it away again - safely into organized bins, labelled and ready for the next time.
This is also that time of review: What did we do? Was it worthwhile? What were the low moments? What could we have done better? What were the moments we will cherish?
Of course we could have done it better - like - having a baby two weeks before show opening might not be a good idea. Scheduling a trip to Victoria for Capstone examinations right in the middle was also not helpful. Taking on a flu that left one completely exhausted was definitely not strategic. And then of course, losing Dancing David right before the Art Talk evening was certainly not good timing. Even though the sculpture wasn't pivotal to the evening - the empty plinth did leave a gap in our show that unnerved all of us. Suspicion undermines the ability to remain invitational and generous. We know all about that.
But what are the moments we will cherish? There were many moments. That moment we put everything up and looked around the room. Wow! For someone else it might not be that meaningful but for us it took our breath away. We saw our lives laid out. We saw the connections, the emotion, the miracles, the sadness, the anger and the resilience. All of it, standing, hanging, and even sitting.
There is a gift in seeing it - knowing it - and then that internal adjustment of healing. One piece might grow our faith, our confidence, another piece might signal time to move on. That part of our life is over - we need to do something differently.
The best moments were the conversations we had with our guests. I'll never forget the two women who came, one struggled with infertility - the other with the death of a child. As I toured them through, we cried through the whole show.
And it was during one of the lowest moments - when it just hurt almost too much to bear, I said something that I hope was appropriate. I told these two young women, "feel it, all of it, the anger, the sadness the frustration - just don't get angry with God."
Everything stopped. It was the question that had been bothering them. How can you not get angry with God - the all-powerful God who let's this all happen?
I wish I could explain it. I fail miserably every time I do. But yet I think that is the message behind this show - at least it is mine. "just don't get angry with God, because the minute you do - you cut off the presence - the only guide - that can help you make all things beautiful again."
Knowing that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I can say with some confidence our show was beautiful, and it is hard to say goodbye.
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. - Anne Frank