I’m feeling a bit sad tonight. After a great weekend, and an ok day at work, I come home and find some words that left me feeling empty. There’s a story here. It involves you too, now. It’s a long story and you’re now part of it, because you’re reading this posting.
When do stories ever start? When do they finish? I believe they’re all already started and they never finish – at least not while there’s a story teller, and someone to tell stories to.
This part of the story starts back in about 2003-4. Marica told me about blogs. Blogs? Woss a blog then eh? I didn’t really get it – as much as anything because most blog writers didn’t do anything for me. C.R.U.S.T.Y. Crusty. Didn’t have anything to say. Didn’t say it very well. And then one day, I found a blog written by a guy who could string two words together, and, best of all, could draw and illustrate what he had to say. Actually, it was the other way around. He drew, and wrote about his drawings. And he encouraged other people to do the same. Some of us did. I went off and did some life drawing – you know – staring at nekkid chicks and make drawings on paper. If you’ve never tried it you should have a go.
I found he was a pretty normal sounding guy with a great eye for colour and line, and through his blog we came to know his wife who’d survived a bad accident and was wheelchair bound and their son – a pretty cool kind of kid who grew up on the blog. And their dogs. And the interesting things that were kind of humdrum but fascinating in a domestic kind of way, a drawing a day kind of way. Beautiful stories about everyday matters.
On the side of his blog site he had links, and, from time to time, a bit of a review, and one day I slid down one of links to another illustrator/author’s work. This guy did these cool kind of pen and ink and water colour cartoon-y kind of illustrations, and he focussed on uplifting themes, with stories about kids with cancer and kids facing personal trauma. I became a regular reader. I didn’t tell Marica about this blog – we’ve got this kind of issue in our own home and I didn’t want to kick off any scabs unnecessarily.
Fast forward a few months and I’m inspired by the drawing and writing and I’m starting to write, draw, and make photos a bit myself. We’ve both become fans of the trauma guy’s blog, and we go to BlogTalk Downunder in Sydney. We become inspired and decide to run a blog conference – BlogHui – here in New Zealand, and, after trials and tribulations that still make us laugh whenever we have a cheese sandwich, we got it off the ground. We invited the trauma guy to speak at BlogHui, never fully believing he’d take us seriously. He – Trevor (and his wonderful wife) did. We fell in love with each other. Our lives change forever.
Turns out our new pal Trevor is not just a link – he’s friends with the first artist/writer I’d read consistently – even been to visit the guy and his wife and son in New York. They were collaborating on a book together. I’m secretly envious. No. I’m envious.
Fast forward to earlier this year – March 18. Patti – Danny’s wife, Jack’s mother, is killed in a horrible accident. Thousands of miles away from people I’ve never met, I feel numb. Shattered. I manage to catch up with Trevor online and we have a clipped exchange – sharing a few words of a story – we’re both gutted.
Today. Tonight. After a great weekend, and an ok day at work, I come home and find some words that left me feeling inspired. There’s a story here. It involves you too, now. It’s a long story and you’re a part of it now, because you’re part of the telling. Danny continues to write and draw, and today was wondering what immortality might be. He proposes we make a drawing or a cake or a dress and to share it with others who’ll be inspired to do something nice and creative of their own. And to think of Patti when you do. He notes that he has no idea what impression he’ll make on the world, or how long the ripples will last.
Danny, you might be surprised. While we only ever see some of the connections, there’s a chain, and it’s unbroken.
18. Every day express love. Some people need to hear it. Most people need to see it. Donít take it for granted.
39. Every day trust that there is a bigger picture. You are a part of it even if you may not know what it is.
42. Every day celebrate. Who you are. What you have achieved. Things that matter to you.