Sue Berkenstock

Bethlehem, PA

Superman Saved Me From An Artless Abyss
By Sue Berkenstock

This Lois Lane owes a big debt to her Superman for restoring her creative spirit and helping her unlock her latent superpowers!

When I was young, my hands were always busy- always making something…..that was me. I just loved it when my Mom made paste out of flour and water for my artistic ventures and I always had some sort of needlework to occupy me on long family road trips.

By eighth grade, the Future Career poster I made for an assignment proved that my future involved some form of art. Helping others with their macramé projects in high school art class showed me my best career path- I decided to become an Art Teacher. Unfortunately, college art assignments somehow put my personal creative urges to rest. Having to fulfill the requirements of my professors took away my childlike creative freedom. I “grew up” to write lesson plans and teach my students how to create….not a terrible fate by any means. It was a fate I enjoyed.

For many years I wondered why some of my Art Teacher friends were “real artists” as well as teachers, while I was merely an Art Teacher. An artist visiting the Elementary School where I was teaching related that she had been very sick with the flu and went a little nutty because she couldn’t work on her art. Again I wondered….where was MY need to create, my creative passion and joy?

I soul searched and rationalized and settled into the thought that I created through my students- dreaming up art lessons and tweaking the process along the way to ensure (mostly) successful outcomes for my kids. That thought helped me to accept my own artistic stagnation and apathy for a very long while.

Enter Superman! (played by my husband Ken) His dream to spend his retirement years creating stained glass and mosaics was the force that surprisingly re-ignited my spirit and unlocked my playful childlike visions, my desire to express myself! We now create in glass side-by-side and he is my greatest champion and cheerleader.

A classic Superhero Tale with a Fairy Tale ending….

Thank you, Superman!