“When they say it’s impossible, remember that it is impossible for them, not for you.” ~ Unknown
Meet Jim Bob Meade (center). Jim Bob is one of the coolest cats you’ll ever meet. Pam sure thought so. She married him. They became known as Jim Bob and Pam Bob. They’re pictured here with another cool cat, uncle of Saturday’s bride, BFF Tracy “Tracy Bob” Hawkins. I’d seen Pam just the week before at Seedtime, so it was a real treat to see her again (we don’t get to hang out nearly as much as we used to). I hadn’t seen Jim Bob in a long time. Naturally, he was a hoot. The man is truly an American original. I sure enjoyed visiting with them all Saturday. These three people have made such a difference in my life. I couldn’t be more grateful for them. And if you ever get to meet Jim Bob, and he likes you, he might just christen you a ‘Bob,’ too.
“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
Lori-Lyn Hurley had an opening reception this evening at St. Raphael’s gallery. Her beautiful paintings lined the gallery walls in few but mighty numbers. I’m so proud of her for doing the work she loves and putting it out there for the world to enjoy and appreciate. And that man of hers, Tracy; still one of the finest human beings ever. The two of them together fill me with more joy than should be allowed, and any time in their presence is a gift. I got an unexpected treat at the reception, too. Stacy and I met St. Raphael’s interim rector Rev. Karen Booth. She was engaging and her story was very familiar. She has a BA in fine art photography from EKU (who does that sound like?); and she left the church for a time before coming back to earn her Masters of Divinity. I don’t have the latter, of course, but I do identify with why one would take an extended break from organized religion. It’s amazing to me how many people I know who have had similar experiences. They’re brought up in the church, leave or become disillusioned for one reason or another, and then called to return. Most if not all are the most genuine, compassionate Christians I’ve ever known, so there was little surprise that I connected with Rev. Booth. I got to see two of my favorite people, hang out with Stacy, and meet a new awesome person. I win Friday.
“One of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy
without the things we cannot or should not have.” ~ Richard L. Evans
It started with a completely out-of-this-world foggy/frosty morning drive to the little hamlet of Ewing, Kentucky. There, at a small gallery called Soul Mates, Stacy Yelton and I attended an extraordinary artist discussion by Lori-Lyn Hurley (above with her soul mate, the equally awesome and talented Tracy Hawkins).
Lori-Lyn is able to talk about art and her journey with it, and through it, with such eloquence. The story of how she broke open her creative shell; I’ve never had a story speak to me the way Lori-Lyn’s story spoke to me. The reclamation of her creative self was eerily similar to my own. She said so many valuable things about the connection between art and spirituality. The one that stood out to me, (I’m paraphrasing here) is that we are made in the Creators image, and as such, we are each Creators. We are bound to create whether through painting, photography, words, cooking, what have you. The mere act of creating brings us closer to our truth. Lori-Lyn was incredibly open, vulnerable really, about how she has come to focus her vision on the sacred feminine, and how it has transformed her life in all manner of ways. I just find her inspired and inspiring. I can’t say enough about how much I love her as a person, and how I value her work. She, and it, are important in this world. Tracy was so right when he said (again with the paraphrase) that this morning’s drive in the fog was the perfect metaphor for art: you’re driving through fog looking for your place, your meaning, and then – boom – there it is.
It was an extraordinary morning filled with good friends, new friends, glorious art, and the sharing of a delicious homemade meal by the incredible Amy Maupin. And that drive through the frosty fog? Heaven on Earth. I couldn’t ask for more.
“As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being directed to something better.” ~ Stever Maraboli
There it is; all that remains of Mamaw’s floor. Tracy Hawkins has been keeping it safe for us until the carpenters were ready. With it, they’re making a kitchen bar from whence Janet can have her breakfast, or just sit if that’s what she wants to do. Did I mention that Tracy is a saint? I don’t think I can ever repay him. A big hug (which he already got) and an ‘I love you’ will have to do for now.
“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.” ~ Buddha
Tracy Hawkins is one of the most gifted men I know; one of America’s best photographers and musicians. More importantly, he’s one of the best human beings on the planet. He’s honest, forthright, kind, compassionate, smart, talented, witty, handsome, the list is virtually endless. I don’t think we’ve ever had a meaningless conversation, no matter how short it was. He has helped me more than once and never asked for anything more than my friendship in return. In fact, he was the person I called for advice after the tornado because I trusted him to tell me the truth. I would trust him with my life. Someday I’ll find a way to repay his faithful heart.