I first met Cindy Christian Rogers when she interviewed me for a senior editor position at The McGraw-Hill Companies. An accomplished young editor, she had been tapped by management to launch a brand new journal for physicians, and my background nicely matched the qualifications she sought. So, she invited me for a first interview.
I came dressed in a light blue seer-sucker suit over red top. I walked into her office, resume in hand, and we were both taken a little aback. She, too, had on a light-blue seer-sucker suit over a red top. We managed to get beyond that odd little coincidence and had an excellent conversation.
Invited back for a second interview, this time I showed up in a white skirt, pink top, and navy blazer. And, yes, she had on the very same combination. Not only was the second coincidence odd, it was just plain eerie. Clearly, something simpatico was going on. But not just because of the clothes; something bigger was at play.
I got the job, and at some point, we learned that we were both married to men named Randy. (It gets even better!)
Cindy and I worked together for the next 9 years, surmounting some amazing professional challenges and building a wonderful, enduring friendship. Eventually, I moved on to a different organization, and several years later, she left the company to pursue her own business and other interests.
We both went through rough patches in our lives about the same time, and for a while, we lost touch. But true to form, when we reconnected after several years, we learned yet again of surprising coincidences.
We discovered that we had both been named finalists in the fiction category of the Loft Literary Center's Mentorship program (Cindy in 2007, me in 2006) and were jazzed about the prospects of finishing our manuscripts.
We also found that we had independently acquired a fascination with the phenomena of the aurora borealis, the Northern Lights. And of late, we had each devoured a trilogy of books (the first being the Golden Compass), which, though intended for a younger audience, had captured our imagination with a magical story line built around the beauty and the mystery of this celestial light show.
For Cindy, the Northern Lights had become her muse.
Next Friday through Sunday, Cindy will be exhibiting her striking oil paintings of the the aurora borealis. Her growing body of work will appear in the annual Edina Art Fair, a juried show that occurs on the first full weekend of June at the intersection of 50th Street West and France Avenue South.
If you're in Minneapolis or anywhere near the area, I hope you'll stop by and meet Cindy and take the opportunity see her lovely work. I know she loves watching people's reactions to her art as much as loves painting it. And she heartily welcomes anyone who just wants to gaze. In fact, some people have been known to stand transfixed for half an hour or more, taking in the brilliant colors and mystery.
Tomorrow: Find out why it's a miracle Cindy is physically able to paint at all.
Image: "Full Moon Fantasy" by Cindy Christian Rogers, water-based oils on canvas