Thursday, August 7, 2014

I cried...

...more than that really...
I wept hard
in those great gulps that feel like they are choking you.
The air smelled acrid and automotive.
It was supposed to smell like sawdust and creativity.
That's what I wanted it to smell like.
But now the place where I painted was filled with Mr. Jenny's jeepster...
...and my paints and brushes had mostly been hauled off and donated to the school.
"Don't get rid of those things," Mr. Jenny told me.  "You'll paint again.   You'll feel better."
I just kept crying.
And crying.
And finally I mumbled, "I don't want to paint again.  I'm tired of reinventing myself.   I'm too tired to reinvent what I love doing again."
I loved painting those signs, you know?  
And before that I loved painting tattoo style furniture.
And before that I loved painting for my wholesale business.
And before that I loved painting on barnwood for art shows.
Each time illness found me again, I put my brushes away. 
And cried in sorrow.
And waited a few years before I reinvented what and how I was doing something I loved.
This time was no exception.
So I felt sorry for myself.
And cried myself sick.
It's crazy how time seems to repeat itself.
How events seem to spin around and around in dizzying similarity the older you get.
No matter how hard you resist.
After I dutifully drank the ice water Mr. Jenny gave me.
And dried my eyes.
And composed my emotions.
And gave myself the 'it could certainly be worse' pep talk.
And the stern, grammatically awkward warning, 'If I do what I always do, I get what I always got.'
After all that,  
I continued to clean out the garage cupboards.
I found the primed and lettered board for a sign I'd never quite gotten to.
The pencil lines were faint but I could just make out the words.
"This little light of mine...
I'm gonna let it shine..."
I threw the board on the donate pile and went inside.
Today, though, I find myself thinking about the words to that old song.
"This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine..."

The lyrics don't go, "I'm gonna let it shine when things are easy peasy for me."
It's not, 'I'm gonna let it shine when life is treating me well."
These are declarative statement.
There is no question marks after them.
They don't have a footnote with a whine attached.
I wrote out those words on a mustard yellow painted board because they spoke to me. 
And I'm just going to give them a little time so they can speak to me again.
But in the meantime, I'm just going to shine.
In a tiny way.
And perhaps in a way that only my heart can see.
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Viki said...

You're signs are/were beautiful. I've enjoyed putting my Christmas ones up the last two years.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I can see your light, sweetie - bright and clear - it's shining all the way to the mountains...



Linda @ A La Carte said...

Sweet Jenny, your sadness is hard but please let that light shine! It has been a beacon to so many, me included! I love my signs and will always treasure them. They and you inspire me! You will find your way, it's always good to start a new path really it is!

summersundays-jw said...

I'm so sorry you're not able to paint your signs anymore but your writing is still wonderful. Maybe there's a novel in your future. Hope you're feeling better real soon! Jan

fredamans said...

I love your signs too. I will cherish mine forever. Hope your lights shines on soon.

Moore Minutes said...

You've always let your light shine. I want to buy that sign form you should paint it. ;) Why have you stopped painting? It it your health? Did I miss something? :(

Willoughby said...

You're such a talented artist, I hope you get back to painting when you're feeling better. And never stop shining!! Hugs!!

Pam Beers. said...

Your light shines in this wonderful blog of yours where you have connected many people with similar interests. Your light shines in my heart, not only on Alphabet Thursday, but always.

It's important to know how important you are to all of us. You are an inspiration.

Peace, Joy, and Love go with you.

Grantham Lynn said...

Your light is beautiful. You will shine again. Thanks for sharing your heart. I am praying for you.
And thanks for ABC Thursday. Thank you for visiting me.
Have a great Letter L

Grantham Lynn said...

Your light is beautiful. You will shine again. Thanks for sharing your heart. I am praying for you.
And thanks for ABC Thursday. Thank you for visiting me.
Have a great Letter L

Sandy McClay said...

I am right here....always....I wish I could make it better....

Hugs, Sandy

Janie Junebug said...

Don't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine. All around the neighborhood, I'm gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Janie, who has reinvented herself many times

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

You most certainly do shine!!

BECKY said...

Jenny, I can't say that I understand how you feel, because I've never gone through the same things, but I've been down and depressed at times and thought I'd just stay down because what was the use of being happy if it was only temporary. But, I always came bouncing back and I know you will, too. You are strong. You are woman. Let us hear you roar! :)

Betty said...

Jenny, Take it off the donate pile and tell yourself that someday you'll get it finished.

Remember the signs you painted for me? Keith would tell me over and over again, "It is what it is..." I'll admit at times I was tempted to hit him over the head with the signs, but now they make me smile.

Jenny said...

Keep looking to the Light and it can't help but reflect through you. That is what brings joy. If not painting then some other medium. Love is enough. xo Jenny

Pondside said...

The sign that you made for my dear friend when she was battling colon cancer meant the world to her - more that pretty words on a little piece of wood, they really jumped out and grabbed her. The sign still sits on her work table - from you, to me, to her - along a line of strong women. That's certainly what you are, Jenny. It's easy to live a live that runs smoothly along one rail - I image the woman who lives that live turning graciously left to right and waving as the world passes by. She doesn't get off and get her hands dirty - she might even be a little smug. Her tears and smiles and laughter are rationed out - no need or desire for strong emotion. Then there's you - grabbing life, facing whatever's thrown at you, opening the doors you find, reinventing yourself and learning something huge every time. You are AMAZING. Paint THAT on a sign and look at it every day. You are inspiring - you put yourself out there - you're a leader - and it's sometimes just plain hard to be those things.
I'm so glad I met you in this blog world. There a million smug, gently-waving women riding blithely along on their one-track lives but there's only one Jenny.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

You always shine!!!
I have your painted words all over my office and home. They greet me at the front door in my foyer.
You shine on my dear, you shine on!!

Pondside said...

O boy - I just read what I wrote and can't believe the typos. You certainly brought up some strong emotion! Hang in there!

Pam Beers. said...

Pondside really nailed it. Those smug, one dimensional wavers are clueless. But then, they may appear smug and one dimensional; no one really knows what they've been through either.

Wandering Wren said...

I am doing a yoga retreat today on "finding your inner light' I need to find mine after my week and I will look for yours as well whilst I'm there - you know I'm the jokey one in the pack and I love that I can sometimes make you smile. You have touched me again today.
Thank you for hosting
Wren xx

Amy said...

Jenny - Your light shines baby! Illness is a nasty thief, but I know you won't let it steal your joy. If painting is where your heart is, I know you will paint again. One of the first things I see every morning is your "Oh Happy Day" sign. Your light is shining all the way to Texas, and I am thankful for it. Love you friend!

Theresa said...

Good for you Sweet Jenny! Let's look forward to tomorrow and what light will shine:) I have had a bad day today and needed to hear your encouragement! Love you my friend! Sending HUGS and PRAYERS your way!

Rita said...

Your light still shines.
Is there something that feels like pressure or obligation about your art...something that weighs on you when you already feel tired and weighed that, even though you enjoy it, you need to release it at those times? Or do you believe your art has to be done only when you are happy and light so you can't deal with facing it when you are down? Sorry--I am just so curious as to why you get rid of your art when you are dealing with illness.

Sue (Someones Mom) said...

I haven't been blogging or reading blogs, life just got too busy and something had to be put on the back burner for a while. For some reason, I decided to check on you...and your words brought tears to my eyes. I can't know what you feel or how hard it is to do the things you love, but I do know that you have so much talent and so much to offer that you will reinvent yourself again, you won't be able to stop it from happening. All that compassion and creativity will find a way to the surface once again. Just hang in there and wait for it...S.

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Susan Anderson said...

I see it too, Jenny,
In fact, I think it's the kind that doesn't go out...


Anonymous said...

I love the signs you painted. They were amazing and wonderful, just like you.

Splendid Little Stars said...

Oh no, dear Jenny! It's definitely shining! It's reaching far and wide!

and what Pam Beers said. Do you know how much you are in many of our hearts and thoughts and prayers?

Oh and what Pondside said!!

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Annesphamily said...

Love you Jenny!