The year began with my leaving Mexico on New Year’s Eve for a year in Italy. But 2017 actually began October 1, 2016 when I formally retired from the company I founded on October 1, 1981 with Tom Meyer and Garth Rockcastle: Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. I began the gradual disengagement in 2013 when Lea and I moved to Mexico full time. I am grateful for all of the people at Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd., the clients and friends that enabled us to collaboratively create a special place for creation—and equally grateful that the enterprise is continuing to grow and prosper under new leadership. It was a beautiful 35-year chapter in my life and one that I will have embedded forever in my soul. While I try everyday to close the book on this chapter, I must admit that everyday there is a little pang expressing a desire to continue to be part of this enterprise. The act of pushing this impulse out of my life requires much energy and refocus.
Deciding to spend 2017 in Florence, Italy meant I would, of course, be away from Lea. Lea chose to stay home to work on her own art, travel in Guatemala and learn about what it would be like to live alone in Mexico. While the year began apart from Lea, it ended with my being with her 24X7 because of the break in her elbow while she was visiting me in Florence on the 27th of November—resulting in surgery and 12+ weeks of recovery.
The intensity of the work in the art studios and our separation revealed many things:
- That our relationship was strengthened through absence;
- How complementary we are;
- That we both could, if need be, live independently;
- Our artistic life was more important that ever;
- Now is the time to double-down on our dedication to be focused on creating in our own separate ways.
When we bought the property in Mérida in 2010, we had every intention of living here full-time—until we died. We even joked that it was “our elegant coffin.” We spent 2 years designing what would be our final resting place—ensuring that it was a close to perfection as we could imagine and execute.
In the summer, between my art semesters, we visited Portland, Oregon considering it as a part-time summer home. After our visit, I had to return to the US for business and, while there, I kept thinking about Portland. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It became clear to me that Portland just felt right—for our full-time home. When I returned, it turned out Lea was having similar thoughts. Ironically, we had looked at Portland in 2009 before finally settling on Mérida. We have decided Portland better matches who were are and how we want to live. While we did think about keeping the Mérida house was a winter place, we decided, realistically, that we are not a two-house type of couple. Lea and I also realized this year that we are constitutionally uncomfortable with living apart from order, efficiency, real organic food in abundance, cooler weather, greenery, hills, fresh air, public transportation, cultural and educational offerings. But more critical than any of this, we need a place where we can better take care of our health—both in the short- and long-term.
We will, of course, miss the lovely Mayan people and their centuries of traditions. We will miss the friends we made—people we never would have met otherwise but have enriched our lives. We are grateful for the life-lessons we learned from the local people including the importance of family, dedication to one’s culture and respect for traditions.
It will take me a long time to let go of my sadness at leaving our “perfect” home. I learned a great deal about both of us in designing it. It met nearly all of our needs beautifully. It will likely be the last building I will ever design—and this conjures up some powerful feelings of sadness. By nature I am an optimist and will face this next chapter optimistically. I will jump full force into the art that I crave to explore—with the wonderful skills taught me in Florence this year. I will celebrate the renewed relationship with Lea and support her in her artistic journey. I will devote more energy staying in touch with my three daughters and granddaughter.
One last note. I will be migrating this blog to www.schererworks.com. This is the site of my artwork. Since I have now ended my formal studies, I will focus future blog posts on my actual art making. I will post an entry when this migration is complete.
PEACE for 2018.