Something's weighing heavy on my mind. On Saturday we went to Janice's memorial service. I have written a bit about her here on my blog, go on over and check out her website, and you will see what a remarkable person has just left this earth. After the service we drove down to San Diego to have dinner with friends. We spent the night and on Sunday went to visit my cousin, (I don't see her nearly enough).
I'm struck by how important connections are. So many people showed for Janice they spilled out of the church and onto the sidewalk. Me and The Husband drove a good distance to get there and ended up standing just outside the doorway. Many people spoke. A thread ran through each person's observations, Janice was a woman that connected: with her own family, her artist friends, the entire community. She had an unusual gift for connecting with just about everyone she met. How many of us do? Especially writers. I think most of us are introverts. We stay at home and type away much of the time.
Think about it. Do you go out of your way for people? Are you genuine? Will they remember you?
Maybe blogging presents a more comfortable way for us to connect with others. Face it, when you decide to be a writer, you are reaching out, but you're saying what you've got to say with words on paper. There's a separation right there, so the added separation of the Internet isn't a stretch, not really. It's just one more way to get your words, (brought to life sometimes by difficult means), read by others. We are connecting! Yay! Why, we wouldn't have started a blog if we were out and out hermits. I feel better.
It's not that I don't love people. But I'm not one of those that spends lots of time out and about. I'm a homebody, and so is The Husband. We're busy working on our craft, you can here the clickity click of the computer keys. I'm sure my dogs think all humans hunker over glowing monitors. Oh, they see us take breaks, after all we have to eat, go shopping, and we do walk them. Got to get the exercise in.
My point is, I am going to work harder at enriching all my connections. It's time to ditch insecurities, calm the frantic back chatter of the mind, to be in the moment and really see and feel one another. When someone is talking to me, I will not be thinking about how my car needs to be washed, I will stop and listen to them. What they have to say is important. I refuse to ignore a child. How many times has one of your kids been talking to you and you're busy wondering if the chicken you took out of the freezer too late will be thawed out enough to make dinner, (or some equally mundane detail), and you didn't fool them one little bit, did you? They knew. They weren't heard. Janice was a listener. How much better would the world be if we all became listeners?
If you visit Janice's website you'll see her art. People from all over the world buy her pieces to treasure. Her journals are in the Smithsonian. She left bits and pieces of herself behind. She created and created and created. Will you leave bits and pieces of yourself behind? Do you think anybody cares? Make them care. Give them good reason.
(Oh, I know I promised pictures from our short weekend trip, but I was too busy connecting to take any. This is one I did take, of my cousin's little daughter taking a picture of me taking a picture of her. If you saw the movie Little Miss Sunshine, this little girl is a dead ringer for the girl in the movie, sans the chubbiness. And I'm happy to report, we connected.)
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