take this all of you and eat it

lucacake Rows of suited up young boys and mini-brides lined the first few rows of the crowded church. I was there sitting to the right of them, witnessing my 7 year old godson receive his first holy communion. Although I haven’t been a practicing Catholic since I was probably his age, tears were welling up as Luca gracefully went through the ceremony, hands in prayer position. It was clear he was receiving something beyond just the stale wafer that was supposed to be part of God. It was clear he was growing up.

 

 

 

bikeshopbdayLater that night, with tears once again in full force, I would receive doses of love and gluten-free cupcakes at a surprise birthday party to celebrate my 30th year. I walked into my local bike shop to find rows of friends and family dancing in unison to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

 

It continued from there: Joe sang me songs; friends recited poems and raps and musical performances; speeches were made; family and friends arrived from faraway places; dancing was danced.

 

When I first walked in and realized what was happening, my reaction was to turn around and walk away. “I can’t believe it...this can’t be happening...” I mumbled out loud.

 Shortly after that, I asked myself: "How can I possibly repay everyone for all of this?"

 

The answer I'm coming to is that it's not about repaying, it's about receiving. Taking a lesson from a 7-year-old, I will bow my head with hands in prayer position and just say THANK YOU.

 

I will take in the gifts and trust that the ever flowing cycle of creativity will churn within me, helping me to create whatever it is that might touch or inspire someone else.

 

I hope you will do the same.
The next time someone gives you something, just say thank you and let it into your being.
The next time you feel stuck or poor or bitter about what you don't have, make something to give to someone else and look around you more closely to see the gifts that might already be trying to make their way to you.

 

After all:

“The artist appeals to that part of our being...which is a gift and not an acquisition - and, therefore, more permanently enduring.”

- Joseph Conrad

In honor of this creative cycle of gift receiving and giving, I wanted to share a few highlights of the priceless gifts I received on my birthday.

 

To start:  video compilations by Kevin Kearney and a poem by Emily Whyte.
Coming soon: video footage from the amazing performances that night.

 

My heart pulses with gratitude for you all,
jess

 

Video Art by Kevin Kearney:

....................

"A lot like a Grippo"

poem by: Emily Whyte, of The Alexander Technique, EmilyWhyte.com

 

It’s never too late

I’m right here… I will wait

With some greens on my plate

I’ll risk and debate

And if you deflate

I’ll be there to relate

Cause we’ve got a date

To remember our fate

See you procrastinate?

I’ll give it to you straight

I can’t help it, you’re great

And the world can negate

Or often sedate

When we investigate

Our actions of late

Come on, take my bait

How’d you dance when you were 8?

Feel your heart rate

It’s never too late

Let me translate

It’s time to create

.............

Another video by Kevin: