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recollections of an artist

It took me a long time to realize that I don’t have to go it alone.  There was a time when I was convinced that asking or needing help was unsafe.  It meant I “didn’t know” and that someone else did.  What did I need to do to earn the help?  What if I needed more than someone could offer?  It all seemed so uncertain, so vulnerable and so trusting.

Today I had coffee with a friend that has been there for me over the years and who I think would also say that I have been there for her.  She is someone who has helped teach me that I can show the darkest parts of my life and be held.

During our meet up, she paused the conversation and motioned toward her bag, saying she had something for me.  Out of her bag she pulled a key on a bracelet.  She called it a “giving key” that was once given to her during a time when she needed strength. The word strength in inscribed on the key as a reminder.

Giving Key

She explained that I take the key, wear it and hold onto it until I feel that someone else needs it and then I give it away.  And right now, strength is just what the doctor ordered for me.

As the Beatles originally put it, I get by with a little help from my friends.  This week’s song of the week, a remake of the classic, is a reminder of the strength in love.

To my friend, thank you for helping me get by.

“The Real Work” by Wendell Berry

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey

The mind that is not baffled is not employed

The impeded stream is the one that sings

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