i have a really lovely friend named erincita. we met in spain. at first we were a bit apprehensive: she was small, quiet, and BRILLIANT, i was big, boisterous, and totally creative brained. think: of mice and men. right. when we met on January 31, 2005, we were both totally unaware that someday we'd never be able to forget one another. she was from florida and i was from virginia. now we've both traded in those passports for ones that read "world citizen." but that's a longer story than i think you're willing to read.
i was just looking at a card she sent me from my birthday---a red, pulped paper card with a gold stamped burning heart on it. a milagro for those of you who speak spanish and know the jargon. this card, wonderfully crafted in latin america, serves as a reminder in many ways. it was sent with an incredible matching image silver magnet, some discos, and a lovely scarf by vera. tons of awesomeness in one package but more than just a gift. a simple reminder of presence.
i also have a really fancy friend named julie leidner. i hope she doesn't mind me posting her name on my blog, because i'm doing it for simply selfish reasons. i do believe she will be incredibly famous someday and i want to be able to say: "see! i knew you when..." well anyway, she's the totally admirable type; the kind that makes you hold your shoulders a little bit more sweetly, dab on your favorite lipstick a little more often, hold your pen a little differently hoping your handwriting will resemble hers. she's just THAT type- THAT wonderful and THAT real and THAT talented. well she sent me on a little treasure hunt to retrieve my birthday gift, and i should say at first i was a bit apprehensive. a strange request has the ability to move us outside of our comfort zone, and we would NEVER want that. or would we?? it was the extended celebration of my 24th birthday, so i figured...whyyy not. off on the treasure hunt i went! really it involved a trip down her lovely street, some admiration for those home that are history, the sneaking up some creaky front porch steps, and the opening of the vestibule door. not so scary after all and the treasure was completely worth the exploration. it was a wonderful surprise, a watercolor original done by the lovely julie, titled: "He fashioned her with hands of gold." its a retelling of german mythology (correct me, please JL): a girl's father cut her hands off, and he offered her golden hands to remedy his mal behavior. so there she is, handless, gazing at the golden hands created for her on a darling platter, and the banner over her reads: "He Fashioned her with hands of gold" in lovely, ONLY JL script. even paul said: SHE has amazing handwriting.
(side note) JL, i can not even believe that you remembered by ancient request and i SO appreciate this gift. i will, officially, treasure it for all my days. and i fully intend to will it to my most creative child. dear peasant beauty of a friend, thank you so very much
i guess these gifts, both incredibly memorable and meaningful, were intensely good for me for a plethora of reasons.
reason #1: it is so good to be KNOWN by people. to be open to sharing with them about your life and to receive their love and affection and admiration. i feel so deeply blessed with their kindnesses, as with many peoples', and reassured that they are knowing the parts of me that are true, through and through. when the day is over, i am known, and still loved. that is such a good lesson for us all.
reason #2: sometimes i have to be really intentional about practicing receiving. paul is constantly working on this with me, and getting all this love surrounding my birthday (aka my life celebration) was really keeping me in constant practice!
reason #3: presents are so fun! we forget to play like we're kids once we get cubicles and VOIP phones, fancy white-out applicators and busy schedules that involve: grocery stores, post offices, and bills. i am so incredibly guilty of this. but it's interesting: everyday that i sit in my cube doing work that only benefits someone else's dream, i think of myself in this place experiencing the complexities that lie between these two ends of the spectrum: dying or incubating. I can keep on, keeping on in this place: Head Down, no voice, no creativity, my soul squashing under the weight of somebody else's vision, OR I can stay here to make the means for that which I fiercely believe in--the thing that calls my spirit out to play, my gifts our to be given, my self out to be know.