Sometimes, I look around and think, "who is this person living my life? She is so brave! I could never do that." Then I realize that it is me. It is me because I have met people through this project who have inspired me to be more. Each person has in some way awed me, humbled me, at times, even humiliated me. Or maybe that was me humiliating myself. Yeah. That sounds more right.These people have given me the gift of an invitation into a life. It has become my crack. All I want to do is listen, reflect and figure out what tremendous things are staring me in the face which I am somehow blind to, things which these people already see. These intangible things make me wealthy.
I have also revisited many people. I went to my old school, Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) to talk about possibly helping out there. I found my voice during my education there, it shaped me. I saw my old boss, Jack, at The Hands On Cafe, usually grizzled and cranky, on a dime, turn sweet and completely humbled. He taught me how to cook eggs properly. Arthur, Gallery Director and Alumni Coordinator, taught me about the market place. I worked for him as well, helping to set up exhibitions and learning all I could about merchandising and presentation. The community of faculty at OCAC instilled in me the desire for more. Not more stuff, but more of myself. No matter how well I ever did there, they expected me to be better. After a while, I believed them. It is incredibly difficult to find a way to let down people who do great things on a regular basis. Though I did try from time to time.
It is the same for the people I meet for this project. These people are worthy of great things. They are generous enough to share who they are. It is pure courage, being vulnerable, showing that vulnerability to the world. We are at our best when we are vulnerable, because our vulnerability indicates a trust that says, "I might be weak, but I am still enough."
Not long ago, if someone had told me that I would be living this life, I might not have believed them. Now, if someone asked me to give it up? That is something I would never do.