3 Beliefs – 2

Joy comes interlaced with pain
Everywhere we are, or go;
Golden childhood tales contain
Match girls dying in the snow —

All we think to say, or feel,
Frozen days by sunlight graced —
Bricks and mortar of what’s real:
Joy and pain are



Entering for the first time, we saw a room, big and new, that smelled of newness and spare furniture; its most conspicuous feature was a series of brightly colored tiles covering most of the back wall. These followed no pattern my eyes could make out, but I was fascinated by them: it was as though, even then, my heart knew that art itself resides in the stories we imagine as much or more as any story explicitly told.


I wanted to be an artist.

Artists make entirely new things.

Things people enjoy for the things themselves.

Things that are intended to be used, but not used up.

Too many parts of life – things, moments, relationships – get used up.

I drew, colored and painted every spare moment, but art would not come.

There I am, sitting in a summer day camp class after fourth grade.

A woman is showing us how to make art out of driftwood.

Where we lived, driftwood was everywhere.

This was art, but not entirely new.

In fact, it was very, very old.

I still remember the smell and feel of it.

Driftwood taken from a timeless beach on the edge of forever.

You mix in other things pass by without noticing, and make beauty.

Not the beauty of perfection, but the glorious beauty of the commonplace.

There is a joy in simply noticing and taking in our surroundings.

Surroundings that simultaneously take us in, as well.

To both make, and be made, in the same moment.

To know that we are where life placed us.

Both artist and work of art.

Living tree and driftwood.

You want to be an artist.

You are.