you ever hear of The Artist's Way? it's this book that helps artists unblock and get their creative mojo flowing, and you're supposed to run it like a reading group...anyway, I'm doing it with a group of women, and one of the tasks is to 'write a letter to the editor in your defense'. and I don't feel like wasting a stamp, or the post office's time, actually mailing it, but I recognize the importance of doing the exercise, so I figured I'd write it as a blog post instead. we're also supposed to write a thank you letter to someone who gave us 'one happy piece of encouragement', so I'll tack that on the end, as well. who should I address it to? 'the editor'? no, I got it ~
Dear Universe ~
Once upon a time there was a flash, and a part of you became a spark in my mother's womb. and I must say, I am one of your better sparks. I haven't invented anything (yet), or saved a village of children, eradicated war, disease, or hunger. I haven't made millions of dollars and donated them all to the poor...I haven't funded a space colony. but I recycle, I raise a good boy, I think about things and teach him to do the same. many people would think I was an idiot, but I would try not to think the same about them. I love music and art, practice kindness and understanding...in theory, I'm not great in practice. I love stories and storytelling, mythos, legends, and fantastic tales. I have smooth skin, alluring eyes and hair, I'm open and honest, drawn to new experiences, sensual, exploratory and joyous about delightful Earthly pleasures and esoteric ephemera. I respect all life and living things while recognizing the inherent evil...I leave it to be, within reason. while I haven't done as much with my divine talents as I could have so far, I am still moving toward those goals. I had to take some time to raise the boy, you know, and that's a dance all it's own. I'm honest and hard working, if a bit lazy, but only because I'm playful, and just like to have fun. I've pursued education, and worked to improve my understanding of all things on all levels to what extent my small, limited brain might be capable. I am amusing, I totally have that going for me, and I'm a good dancer. what else? all that comes to mind are resume-type phrases, such as 'fast learner, good with numbers, excellent cash handling and phone skills, data entry, wide range of knowledge, artistic, articulate, attractive, intelligent well-read, adventurous, sexy; juicy, even (sales skills), well worth your time and consideration!
sure, why not? I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be defending myself in the name of, but I seem a pretty okay sort from the above paragraph, don't you think? I can be trusted with the Keys to the Kingdom for a finite period of time, no? granted, virtually no one would get in during that time, as I wouldn't feel authorized to allow it, being the bearer of such a monumental responsibility, I would have to be extremely selective and cautious...
right. so task completed, on to part two - the thank you letter. this one will be addressed to a high school art teacher, the lovely:
Mrs. Muth ~
thank you. I took every art class my schedule allowed, and even a few that it didn't, but I never took yours. what did you teach, anyway? you always had kind words for my work, and took time to stop and chat with me whenever our paths crossed. you told me fun stories about how and when you made your art. in my yearbook you wrote, "To the best and believe it or not the only true flower child I know." so corny, but you probably thought it was the highest compliment you could have paid to groovy little high school hippie me. but what counted was - you saw me. you looked at me, and you saw something that was worth responding to. I wasn't your student, so you weren't required to notice me at all, really, but you did, and I'm glad you reached out in kindness. it made me feel visible, important, relevant, and cared for. my own teachers didn't make me feel as competent as you did. you, like your art, are surprising and wonderful, and thank you for caring enough to inspire a young artist: Linda Longo-Muth.
there! all done! I have completed my assigned tasks for the week, as they pertain to that particular corner of my life. huzzah! now on to one of the other hundred pressing tasks I must attend to - huzzah! did you have a fabulous Mrs. Muth-type educator who took their job seriously and jump-started young minds? tell me about it in the comments!