I am sitting in McDonald’s in Bemidji (my most recent haunt) and a busload of young people just came in. Suddenly, the quiet stillness is pierced by that particular energy that only belongs to the young adult. I love it. I look at each face individually and am struck once again how there are no ugly people. Each one’s face is as unique as a snowflake and so much more precious. I know they can be cruel, impetuous, wild, and troubled. I know they can torture themselves inside without mercy. I was like that.
I remember once sitting in a 12-step meeting and looking one-by-one at each face. That was the first time that I realized that the human face is forever interesting, mine included. I’m not sure how or when or why I once thought that my face was unacceptable. Now, it grows lines and wrinkles and it is a bit of a challenge to continue to see that it is a nice face, but it is.
Today my sister gave me a picture of her and I in front of Santa Claus with our father looking down on us with a sweet smile. I was three, white blonde, curly, and chubby cheeks. I have my fingers near my mouth as if I’d like to keep them close for comfort. My whole life is yet to be lived. How amazing is that? Becky tells me the Santa in the picture was probably our Uncle Tom. He was a big man and often stood in for the good, jolly man.
Rambling here, but with a purpose. Whatever you may think of your mind, your body, your face, it is exactly as it should be. We should celebrate all that we are. We should celebrate the years that give us voice and weight as human beings.
When I first sat down here tonight I opened my email, Chris from Devil’s Tower had sent me a picture of me in front of that enormous bit of sculputured earth. I had done a fun book signing out there for Washaka—The Bear Dreamer last summer. Everybody was so wonderful and excited to have me there. But when I looked at the picture, out of bad habit, I first noticed my age, my baggy shirt, whatever—and then I looked at my own face and remembered how I felt on that wonderful day. It is impossible to feel bad at Devil’s Tower—its sheer size diminishes our pettiest thoughts. That is how life should be.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this blog lately. I want it to be a place of story and heart, but I also want it to be a place filled with practical tools that can transform the way we see ourselves in the world. Over Thanksgiving I started sifting through old posts and putting them into a single document just to see what was there. Within a couple of hours my document was 350 pages. Here I thought I was just scribbling a bit here and there. In this next year I want to be more purposeful with my blog. Another writer suggested I ask what you would like. What do you get from visiting my blog—and what would you like more of? I have such an overful toolkit after 30 plus years of study. Let me know what brings you to No Ordinary Life.
BTW, my life is above all else a most ordinary life. It is only when I pull things in close (like coffee at McDonalds and a busload of teens) that it shows me the extraordinary elements.