I almost gave up my art.
I came so close to giving up this spreading joy in art thing.
I thought I should quit. I'd been wrong all this time - I'd unintentionally been lying to myself (and to you). Nothing was going to be okay - not ever again. I saw that there is pain and dark places that no beauty or bouncy color could ever pull us from.
My mother died on February 10th. That heartbreak - that feeling of being pulled inside out and the sense of being beaten from within - I couldn't see how a simple picture could make any of that better.
Mom was larger than life. "She's a planet. Planets don't die."
Well, Miss Exuberance and Shiny Lipgloss, can you justify your old bloated, jolly optimism now? Who was I to send messages tell people that things are awesome?
- and then -
- soft, shy lights - tiny ones.
Flowers to express kindness and sympathy and love. Gentle messages to soothe my aching soul. Donations to hospice in honor of Mom's memory.
Every small word.
The meals that materialized on my doorstep. These expressions of care created a safe, warm glow around my family.
I can still put on a really ugly cry. But I feel so lucky.
Those tiny lights are flares that illuminate happier shores ahead.
Your love and caring proved to me that I was not wrong. The simplest and smallest gestures are the light and we need them most when it is dark.
So. I'm not quitting. I'm only going to get bigger, brighter and louder.
Grab your sunglasses.
But first - let's light up the world. I made a downloadable card (it's free - sign up and get it here!) Print it. Fold it. Give it to someone who needs a lift - especially if that person is you.
Everything is going to be okay. (Even if it is really lousy.)