The rooftop pulsates with a music I do not know; Moroccan men in djellabas serenade under moonlight while strangers find their way toward new friends. A stunning blonde greets me, both of us a part of a week-long jamboree of American Artists for Diversity hosted in Marrakech by our mutual friend, Meryanne. Later that week, I glimpse her watercolors and I'm taken utterly by the most striking, powerful brushstrokes born of water and pigment I've ever seen.
Isa Catto becomes my friend. The handsome man at her side proposes a lifelong jamboree a few days later in the desert quiet; I am soon at the top of a mountain in Colorado witnessing their wedding vows. When it comes time for me to say my own wedding vows, we ask Isa for her parable of stripes to grace our invitation - how gloriously her colors touch and separate, bleed in eruptive joy, then back away into parallel lines. Like marriage, I think.
Through the birth of her two children, the loss of our parents and siblings, through challenges of health and business and artistic enterprise, we keep the faith.
Today, 20 years later, I am standing on the same mountaintop where vows were spoken, now a home where Isa and Daniel host an Ibu event, turning their fantabulous gardens and rooms into a setting as magical as the Moroccan rooftop where we first met.
As if not enough, Isa brings out three of her paintings and puts them up for sale - offering 100% of sales to the new Ibu Foundation. I am moved by 20 years of faith in one another.
Here's to the power of sisters who run parallel lives, who, like hand-painted stripes, sense and touch one another's lives, then back away into individual pursuits, then sometimes explode in a beautiful mingling, a jamboree of celebration. Like today. Putting down stripe upon stripe.
All the Best,
Susan Hull Walker
Isa Catto, center, wth co-host Donna Barksdale at an Ibu Trunk Show in Aspen.