You’re looking at f***ing determination and truth and creativity. You’re looking at loss and sorrow and the effort for a deeper perspective. You’re looking at satisfaction and happiness. You’re looking at a manifestation of a connection so deep and rooted that it’s more real than I am. You’re looking at my face.*
“Ultimately, it’s how do I respond to what to happens (that matters) not what actually happens. That is your area of freedom. You can choose to respond consciously and then you are not at mercy to what happens to you.”
One of the foundational threads of advice throughout all the art courses I’ve taken is to add details “for interest.” I’ve noticed that small brush strokes here and there add a lot to the piece.
Everything I’ve done based on my “interests” has borne great fruits: teaching, relationships, art, spiritual growth, and writing. When I pursued activities or work based on anything other than an authentic engagement, it never worked out.
“Interest,” it turns out, is essential to true joy.
About this poem: as I age and raise teenage daughters, I realize the stage where I was distracted by the issue of physical appearance played a “hyped up” role in identity. All that time and energy directed toward something I was really not in control of could have been invested in cello playing, writing or reading a good book.
I’m also keenly aware that I still care more than I would like to – I exercise now with the goal of building and keeping muscle/strength but aesthetics still has some play in my intentions.
Our culture idolizes the young, which is silly because being young is fleeting and not based on wisdom or experience. It’s just dumb luck.
We receive holiday cards, mostly from friends and family but also the occasional acquaintance.
We received a card with one of “those” letters in them. You know what I mean, the ones that review the entire year for every family member in 8 very full paragraphs in 8pt font. Everything that happened was fantastic. Each family member is on his/her way to great success.
This card/letter came from a family with whom we don’t have a personal connection. We never speak on the phone, we never meet up. We are not even Facebook friends. They happen to be real estate agents in the community.
2016 is almost over. I’d like to see some authenticity happen in 2017.
Communications (email, phone, social media, etc.) are time-consuming, both for the sender and the recipient. Wouldn’t it be nice if every attempt at reaching out was genuine? Do you really care to forge a relationship with us? Then be real. Invite us for a meet up. Call. Even an email invitation is acceptable these days.
But please, don’t send a generic “personalized” letter and assume we care. Why should we?