One of my favorite questions to ask friends is “If you could invite any 6 people in the world to dinner, who would it be?” or “If you were the host on the Tonight Show, who would be your guests, your comedian and your music performer?” To both of those questions, Bono has always been among my dream guest list as someone I’d love to meet and talk with.
In my last blog, I shared the story of my friend Sheila and I collaborating to create the “New Creation” limited edition necklace. About that time I got another one of my crazy ideas. So I texted this to her…
“Goofy thought. Do you think you could maybe make one with one of my iris paintings in it for a rock star? I’m going to see U2 in NYC in July. Front row. I’ve long wanted to get an iris to Bono. It’s his mom’s name and they have a song titled Iris on the latest album. See!! Goofy!”
Her response was:
“EEEEEEK! Girl. Let’s dream big and do it. Get me the pic/file/whatever. We have nothing to lose.”
For years I have dreamed of giving Bono one of my iris paintings. I knew it was his mother’s name and thought he may like it. Silly perhaps, but a dream I would think about when I would paint and listen to U2 in the studio. It’s not easy to carry a painting to a concert and then try to find a way to hand it off to a major rock star, but the idea of incorporating my iris painting into a necklace seemed doable. So, several emails, texts, and decisions later we came up a very special one of a kind piece made especially for Bono. Sheila used a gorgeous cross and Christ charm of an antique rosary that belonged to an Italian immigrant and hand strung gorgeous beads. A special touch is on the reverse side of my iris painting, a piece from an vintage song book titled “A Mother’s Love”. It is truly beautiful!
What were the odds that I would actually meet him and be able to present this? I mean, seriously? But it was one of those “why not?” situations in life and it was worth a try. And what on earth would I say if I had his attention? All along this journey I received encouragement that this was really going to happen. Even on the flight to NY when I shared the crazy idea with my neighbor when asked where I was going, she too said “It’s going to happen!”. Saturday, my friend Taffy Jo and I found our way to a place where we thought we may have a chance to meet him. And this happened…
I said something to him something like “This is an image of an iris I painted from my mothers garden.” and I told him about the cross and the charm and then showed him the back of the iris where the music is and then I said “My moms favorite flower was the Iris. She passed away this past year.” I was touched by the amount of time he spent listening and talking with me. He was truly touched. He said “Oh my gosh. How beautiful.” several times and then handed his hat and to me to hold so he could put it around his neck. After he placed his hat back on, I remembered I had a box too and handed it to him.
In the box were letters Sheila and I had both written to him because I did not know if I would have a chance to explain. (I included a few photos in my letter, one of them was my mom and I and told him a little bit about her.) When we were finished talking he gave my hand a squeeze and moved on. Thank goodness for Taffy Jo! She captured all the photos and was able to tell me more about his reaction and about the hand squeeze because I couldn’t remember much of anything. A fan standing nearby also took a video of our visit. I hope to hear something from him but of course I understand if I don’t. And I still would love to ship a large painting to him one day.
After Bono came out to say hello, Larry made his way around. He shook hands and said thank you to everyone. I thought that was so kind. And boy what a strong handshake by the way. And soon after Larry, Edge came around and shook hands. On my way out the door to leave for NYC, I literally at the last minute tossed one of my small egg paintings in my bag for the Edge just in case I met him. I mean, really? Well, we did meet him! And we took this selfie.
He was moving so fast, but Taffy Jo somehow managed to get the egg into his hand. You can see it here. I’m sure he was wondering what it was. On the back I had written the title and a scripture and my email address.
What I posted on instagram sums it up best. It’s indescribable when you have the opportunity to share your gift with someone who has shared theirs with you for as long as you can remember. Bono was not wearing the iris it at the concert we attended Sunday, but his performance of “Iris” meant even more to me after our conversation. Here’s a video someone else took of the songthat night here (the song starts at about the 3.00 mark). What he said about his mom is also true of me, so when he said “She left me an artist”, I unexpectedly lost it which completely caught me off guard. I think it was ultimately just a therapeutic experience.
Thank you for letting me share my adventures with you! I hope the Edge will enjoy the Egg oil painting and that Bono will enjoy the necklace. It sure was a blessing for me to share with them and I hope it blessed them too.