Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who is Daruma?

Wow. Time absolutely flies. It was exactly a year ago, when my fiancée Steph was having one of the worst days of her life. She was pulling triple duty at work, wedding-planning and trying to schedule a date for her knee reconstruction surgery (torn ACL).

That particular evening, Steph and I were meeting for dinner after work. It was also the opening night for the "Lonely Robot" art show. Steph didn't go because she was on crutches but, knowing my love for art and robots, she insisted that I attend. Unaware of her highly emotional day, I quickly popped into the show before dinner.

There was some amazing artwork by 20 local artists, however my highlight was a delightful piece by Hyein Lee.

I picked up her promo postcard which featured a cute, but strange creature with only one eye that said: "Make a Wish."

On the back of the card read, "Daruma is a Japanese wish doll. It's a symbol of optimism, good fortune and strong determination. Your Daruma only has one eye. Make a wish or set a goal for the new year. Draw in the missing eye when you achieve your goal."

It was perfect. I don't remember what we had for dinner, but I'll never forget Steph's reaction to the Daruma. It was a huge emotional release for both of us. It was a light at the end of a dark tunnel. It was the promise of a better day. Steph closed her eyes tightly, made her wish, and set her goal.

Staying true to her goal, we worked hard at rehabilitating her knee after surgery. A year later, we are now happily married and Steph is back on the field competing again. Plus she got a promotion at work!

I never thought that a one-eyed Japanese doll on a postcard promoting a local Toronto artist would have such a profound effect on our lives, but it did. The daruma will always have a special place in our hearts. After drawing in our missing eye, I created a design that will allow others to find optimism, fortune and determination in the eye of their own Daruma.