Jessie threw herself a birthday party last year, inviting her best friends. The idea was less about us celebrating her birthday and more about her celebrating her life with the people that mattered most. A good time was had by all.
She decided to do something similar this year, with a twist:
"You are invited for a little celebration in my home this Saturday. I'm hoping to have some good company, tasty snacks, and a fun art project for creative play."
"Art project?!?!" Gasp.
We'll see how this goes, I guess.
"We're making Tibetan prayer flags!" Jess said with a sense of glee as I walked in her front door. Thus began a debate amongst the many voices in my head.
Voice #8: "Ohhhh SHIT!"
Voice #3: "Make a run for it!"
Voice #6: "Tell her you're sick"
Voice #7: "Tell her you lost your hands in a freak accident last week!"
Voice #9: "Oh shut up. She can see his hands already."
Voice #11: You've got that 'thing' to attend to...
Voices 6 & 7: "You know... The THING!!!"
Voice #5: "Say something!!!"
Voice #4: "Anything!!!
Voice #2: "Oh god - we're walking in...."
Voice #10: "...!!!
All together: "NOOOO!!!!"
Jessie was doing what Jess does in situations where art, philosophy, and friends come together: she was beaming.
On her coffee table was a pile of art supplies, and small squares of construction paper that were to become the "flags", and we were told that we can do pretty much anything we wanted with them: draw, write... whatever "...just create something meaningful."
I tried drawing. After failing to draw a line - yes, a LINE, I realized I'd be writing on my squares.
On one, I wrote a story about spotting an airplane flying overhead when I was a boy... I'll tell that story here soon.
I made a frame out of another, leaving what would be a picture in the frame empty. Above it, I wrote something silly about the many possibilities of what would be drawn below, if only I had talent.
And, on my third square, I wrote the following:
"Some day, I'll have enough money to buy you anything... I'll be able to afford whatever you want - whatever your heart desires..."
But as they walked through the cold December rain... as he slipped his hand inside the pocket of her jacket, wrapping his fingers around hers... she knew she already had everything she could ever need.
To me, there's nothing more meaningful than a loving touch... and you know what? Despite my art-project-fears, I had a good time.