“I’m an artist.” I made known that identity when a woman called my hair dynamic. I get that a lot.
It’s also crazy curly and glows a bit honey in the sun. It’s thick – a boy in junior high used to call it the jungle. When I wash it, out comes a bunch of brown, blonde, and a few random streaks of black and red. From a distance, it’s dusty mush, but up close it’s the equivalent of my ancestry knitted into my scalp. I’m my Scottish, Irish, Native American, Dutch (etc.) heritage.
My days are born into family chaos that drip restless streams into most nights. The whites of eyes peep open, closed, big, and squinting all the way from bouts of laughter only to pop from terrors of the night. It’s love and anguish, joy and sheer exhaustion. I’m blessed.
I can trace the colonels, the sergeants, the soldiers that marched all over the world and feel pride for this blessed soil that was nourished with the blood of freedom, and honor. I descend from these and take pride in their sacrifice for a blessed land. So…I’m a patriot.
Whether I’m dipping into a palette of paint or chalking up a tree, I’m happy to let loose when the words don’t come, but…the words….it’s the words, at the end of the day, that flutter onto the screen when the house pauses in a hush, where God has led me through this door for a season that I hope will extend a lifetime.
I’m a writer.
To weave the family (and hey – who’s family doesn’t include a few skeletons?) – then and now, the art, the words, and even the dynamic hair takes time where there isn’t, and energy so quickly, too quickly spent. Some days, caffeine is a tool and sometimes it’s just a word among many, mushed into the day. Sew in some wisdom, learn some more, kiss the boo-boos, paint some passion, and write some truth. I flit from thought to thought, sending my thanks on a breath only to be interrupted by the next flight.
What then, do I write on my dog tags? I can never be separated from Mother, will always love creating art and I’m sure I will never hear the end about the hair I inherited.
God has sewn a story into each of us, but He is not about our past or the deeds of our ancestors. True, we are in a sense, a quilt of their making, an extension of their talents, passions and motivations and even failures.
But the minute we stop following the world and its desire to label us into structured categories according to our religious affiliation, political party or who and what we descend from, and follow the song God sings us, we become new.
A new creation.
And that’s what propels us past the boundary lines, past the limitations of man.
Into the arms of a perfect inheritance.
What words would you write on your dog tag? What influence you the most? Tell us in the comments.