Monday, April 11, 2011

Contributing to Beauty and Wisdom

We had a whirlwind of a week with both expected and surprise visitors. The weather went from constant pouring rain to a day and a half of sunshine then back to pouring rain. Between the wonderful visits and the day and a half of sunshine after not having seen the sun in ever-so-long, I did not spend much time in the studio. I did get to life drawing on Sunday and today will get a couple of hours in. I will settle back into studio practice now that I have caught up on the life necessities.
I do have some exciting news though! A bit of back-story first.
The little village I live in does not have home delivery of the mail so us local townspeople all have PO boxes at the post office. I walk the two blocks daily to pick up our mail. I have to laugh, as this is the closest our mail box has been to our house in 25 years. It used to be half a mile up a gravel road, or, more recently, across the town of Ashland.
Today my husband and I walked to the library and then the post office to pick up books and mail. I am expecting a couple of books in the mail and sure enough, we had a few packages. When we got home, I wondered which book came, the art book or the running book? Much to my surprise, it was neither. Instead it was a new book by Patti Digh, What I Wish for You.
This is a very special book because, I didn't order this copy. I received it because I am one of several contributors to it! I had sort of forgotten about the book so was surprised when I opened it. Let me explain how I ended up contributing to it.
I had come across the wonderful website and books of Patti Digh at 37 days. I find her work beautiful and inspiring. I follow her blog and website and one time she put out a personal call to gather wisdom and advice from her readers to give to her daughter who was graduating from high school and entering into a new phase of her life. I thought that was so beautiful but didn't really think much more about it until one day, not long after,  I was doing something completely unrelated when I had a powerful thought and connection around Patti's call. I suddenly found I did had something to say/contribute. I never had a daughter but if I did this was something I would want her to know. I submitted it even though I was moved by how profound the writing that others had submitted was. I felt mine was pretty simple and humble but it was from the heart.
It turned out Patti's publisher was also reading what people were contributing and they decided to put it all in a book. I, along with the others, was sent a form to give permission for consideration to put what we contributed into a book. I must confess, I almost didn't send it in. Funny how our minds work. I was thinking that what I wrote was so simple, surely they wouldn't want to include it. Then I realized how silly that was. I had given the words as a gift and it wasn't up to me to make that decision. I sent in the permission, and they decided to use it. My contribution is on page 95, exactly as I had written it.
This has been such a gift, not only to her daughter but to me and many others as well. In addition, I  learned an interesting lesson about giving. Patti's work has always moved me and I keep her books where I can grab them when I need a shot of beauty and inspiration.
So here is what I wrote, which is now on pg. 95 of What I Wish for You by Patti Digh,

"Find the beauty.
It is everywhere and in nearly everything.
It is in truth and in places least expected.
It is right in front of us where we sometimes cannot see.
Find the beauty.
It is always worth living for." -R.L. Delight

The book is filled with stories, insights, and beautiful art. A sweet and lovely little book worthy of gifting to someone you love, or yourself!
Now, back to the studio!
-Renee

5 comments:

evelynoldroyd said...

So beautiful that your heartfelt gift gave back to you.

Theresa said...

Beautiful book and what a lovely contribution you've made to it.
Congrats!

Renee said...

Thanks Theresa and Evelyn, the whole book is filled with thoughtful insights and beautiful art. As I too am in transition, I found it inspiring even though I am not graduating from high school!

dana said...

What you wrote is so you. I know you have said similar things to me, although not so completely expressed. Thanks Renee.

Renee said...

Hi Dana, so good to hear from you and thank you so for the lovely compliment.

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