I am taking an art class to learn how to do a particular mixed media technique that takes my breath away. The end result will be a dragonfly and I’m excited to get there. But there is a lot of repetitive practice before my drawn dragonflies are ready for the next step. Right now what I’m doing is training my eye and hand by drawing a lot of dragonflies from photographs, which forces me to study them closely.
They are all disabled. Each one has a wing that is slightly torn or imperfect or a complete ragged mess. After a while, looking around the world I realized that it is true of everything and everyone. We clean things up in art, we abstract the design, but the truth is far messier. We are all a little bit broken. And that’s ok. We can still be as beautiful as dragonflies when the sun makes the wings sparkle.
This is true in fiction as well. There is no perfect story, but they are wonderful nonetheless.
It’s true of people most of all. There is value in helping each other, in making time for other people, and in doing what we can to alleviate pain and difficulty. This focus on our broken bits is helpful. But there is even more value in recognizing that we are all just a slight angle of the sun from being breathtakingly beautiful.
This upcoming year, I’m going to examine people closely, watching for that glint of truth that takes my breath away, that sudden moment when the gestalt shimmers and transforms the parts into a whole.
We are less than a week from the new year. I’m finalizing my goals, choosing a challenge, and focusing my intent. I’ll tell you more about my plans as we get closer to January 1.
One quick update before I head off for more writing and drawing. I’ll be releasing a book of short stories about Miriam the Thief in the first week of the new year. Here is the cover and sales copy:
Miriam, a high-end thief with a kind heart, steals from the filthy rich to sell to the morally deficient rich. Every now and then someone needs her special talents. A lock genius, Miriam opens any door, safe, or house. In the snap of your fingers.
In these five stories Miriam the Thief meets four new friends who need her help. She comes to the aid of her family in “Hour of the Puppy” when Miriam’s sisters ask her to break into one place that may be impossible: her father’s heart. In “Letters of Love and Larceny” she finds a brilliant artist oppressed. In “The Train Job” Miriam plans a heist on The Spirit of New Orleans train but two people in her train car have other ideas of how Miriam ought to use her time aboard. In “Five-Fingered Teamwork,” she rescues someone with hidden talents. And in “Passing the Torch” Miriam returns to her starting place to rescue her mentor.
If you love stories that leave you warm and happy, invite Miriam the Thief into your life. She steals hearts with the same cleverness she uses to open safes.
May you have a beautiful New Year with health, happiness, and prosperity and may you find your beauty.
Be well, friends!