It was raining the first time I had a meeting with Brett Waldman at his new office. He had just left his father's publishing business and was starting his own. A new company. A new life. It seemed appropriate that it was raining. Things needed to be nurtured. This company needed to grow.
We had a good meeting. I read him my newest book -- Believe (I guess that was the appropriate book in all this rain). It was really coming down when I was about to leave. Brett pulled out an umbrella from the stand by the door. It matched the decor (of course it did) -- that was Brett -- every detail. I shook my head, no that's ok. No, he said. Take it. Keep it. Forever. Brett is not a temporary person. When he gives you something, it is forever, like an umbrella, or his support.
I was outside of my apartment, making sketches on a n umbrella in front of the door, in the rain. I would paint that umbrella. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy. But I knew it deserved the permanence of paint and canvas. This was not an umbrella, but a promise. One I still believe in.