Went up a ladder barefoot to train climbing roses. Thorns, vertigo, and a headache from the sun. Pink peach tree blossoms the chant to be present even in the unpleasant moments.
“[F]ind some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less. The person may have keener eyesight, a better ear, the person might have a more live body and can dance, but the person cannot be more human than you,” Maya Angelou.
Inspired, I glue-sticked a Stieglitz portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe into my notebook. She’s all natural with armpit hair and her artist hands up against a painting. She’s exposed and brave–allowing herself to be seen. It was a sloppy paste job that ended with as much glue on my own hands as on the page. I rubbed the glue off my hands in peeling layers–my fingers becoming unstuck.
In this one I am brave in boy boots and soot. Grandma Vera let me climb coal piles. She gave me a children’s bible she annotated beside the red Jesus parts about lost lambs. Taught me to read by flash cards in her junk shop. Mom liked me indoors but Grandma handed me hollyhock seeds and opened the door.
Every great artist knows the magic of defying reality and frailty. At her peak, Whitney Houston was the greatest enchantress.
Her voice was her life’s purpose. Then she lost her way. We all have a purpose and we all lose our way sometimes. Her death is the biggest news because her story is a parable. Whatever it is that makes you soar, do that.
Good stories–fun and engaging stories–hold up a welcome, well-lit mirror to our faces. We seek them and delight in them even as we examine the flaws–a wrinkle or a stray eyebrow. And they give us good value in return.
Great stories arrest my breath. Like waking in bed in pitch black midnight to discover a stranger sitting in a chair watching me and taking detailed notes of my every dream and my every nightmare. Giving me more than I wanted, but everything I need.
“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in the ruling.
What does it feel like to have one’s dignity and humanity and equality justly validated?
- A morning walk on fall leaves in the woods
- An ice cold beer on a hot day
- Staring at stars on a mountaintop deck
- Peace and love and everything hippie
- Rain on a tin roof
- Making friends laugh uncontrollably
- Finishing a run
- A smile
It’s a joy that tingles to the toes. Love is love and being is being. It matters. The momentum is on the side of right. These are marvelous times to celebrate and to be shared. Clutch it and enjoy.
When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. ~Chinese Proverb
My grandpa wouldn’t spend $10 on a garden tool but he’d spend $12 on used parts to invent his own weeder. I spent my favorite summer with him and my grandma in Grantsburg, Wisconsin when I was a girl. They lived in a mobile home on acreage—half woods, half open field. And with a workshop for my grandpa.