Sunday, June 2, 2019

Barnabas



This is a pretty good metaphor in picture. There's been no bigger encouragement in my life of creative endeavors than my sister, Jackie, pictured here letting me out of an antique Wells Fargo trunk.

I'm guessing it's fairly unusual to have a sibling as such an encourager.

I mean, our siblings are the ones we grow up with. Our siblings know our weaknesses better than anyone else in the world does. They grew up sharing the medicine cabinet in which we hid our Clearasil, they saw our tantrums, they smelled our gym clothes.

Similarly, our siblings look out at the world from a same shared perspective that sees all the accomplished, smart, talented, creative people in the world and measures our collective selves -- our family -- not quite as accomplished, smart, talented, or creative. If you're one of us, you must be as ordinary as we are.

Our families see the errors by which we learn. It's hard to see past them. We don't see those same errors that were the avenue to success in the accomplished others.

But somehow Jackie heard the 6-8 year-old me tooting melodies poorly on dad's harmonica and she was the first to buy me a Yamaha chromatic harmonica of my own.

Somehow Jackie heard the 10-11 year old me stumble through Paul Simon and Peter, Paul, & Mary songs on a borrowed guitar and heard enough good to think me a guitarist worth listening to.

And when the only way I could cope with the rhymes and words and thoughts that crowded my mind as I worked at the wheel was by typing them into a blog, it was Jackie who first called me a "writer". And then she even compiled some of my early musings into a book.

So, yeah, the image of her letting me out of the trunk is apt. It's a good metaphor. I wish everyone could have a Jackie in their lives who sees more good than bad in them, who sees something worth encouraging and nourishing in them, who would tell them that no matter what else the world was saying about their creative offerings, there is still at least one person in that world who sees great value -- and who opens up the trunk for them and unleashes them on the world.

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