Monday, July 21, 2008

Be Brave: Day ONE {July 21, 2008}

Holy hell.

It has been quite a day. I would say that Day 1 of recommitting myself to the Be Brave project has been successful. Beyond measure.

To be honest, I'm still trying to make sense of all that has happened today. I mean, where do I start? Gosh, I feel like I've begun blog posts like this a lot lately.

My day started out by meeting the president of an incredible Minneapolis based rescue organization, Pet Haven, to discuss a potential partnership over coffee. This woman, she is amazing. Intelligent, heart-felt, professional, inspiring.

A door, a window (a rabbit hole?)...something has been opened.

Something inside of me has changed.
Yes, the shift--the same kind I felt while shoveling snow how many months ago? An unexplainable shiver and quake that causes one to fall into place.

I feel like I've just dipped a toe into the water of something very deep...and now there is no turning back.

This story involves a rescue dog named Ode (pronounced ODay, which means "heart" in Ojibwe). Ode, a 12 week old pup, was recently rescued from the Red Lake Reservation. Her ears were burned off. Completely and purposefully.
Her story is gruesome, and yet she somehow holds more hope than I am even able to give words to. Just look at those eyes! She holds enough beauty to bowl me over. And I have a sneaking suspicion that she is only the beginning of something that is bigger than my heart even knows what to do with right now.

Or, rather, my heart does know what to do. And I'm pretty sure it involves painting.

* * *

But wait, that's not all...
For my first day of recommitting to bravery I also:

  • decided to turn down an offer to illustrate a series of children's books. Although it is an interesting opportunity, it just doesn't feel right. Today I decided to listen to my gut and honor my intuition. A little whisper is telling me that I'm going to need that time for something else.

  • altered my diet drastically. I finally feel ready to deal with my weight. Certain unhappinesses in my life have caused me to become something of an over-eater. Stress, negative emotions...these are all good reasons to eat whatever I want, right? Um. I've been eating badly for too long. It wasn't until just recently (while on vacation) that I finally started to feel as though I have the emotional energy to make necessary changes and deal with the issues that need to be dealt with. Today I ate things like handfuls of fresh blueberries, nuts, raisins, lean meat, yogurt, raspberries, and granola. I went to the store and bought organic spinach and tofu. Strangely, today's diet was absolutely painless. I am happy about this because I have 25 pounds that I feel like I am finally, finally(!) ready to let go of. I'm realizing that the trick is to truly be ready. I wasn't ready before now.

  • took my laptop in to get fixed. Mind you, it's been broken (completely useless) for the past 2 months. Ironically, it died shortly after defending my thesis. I couldn't find my warranty and was afraid that it had expired or that they wouldn't do anything without it and that I would have to clean my closet (oh horror!) in order to find it or that I would have to deal with a zillion inconveniences of trying to mail it in, or, or, or... Turns out that it took me all of 5 minutes. I was waited on by two incredibly smart and friendly people. My computer will be ready in little more than a week. I can't even tell you how many times I wished I could use my laptop!! And now? It will be painlessly fixed. For free! Why did I wait TWO months to do this? Fear, even the little kind, is a funny thing. Lesson to ponder: What if everything in our lives is really this easy?

  • completed a painting of a modern day St. Francis with 2 dogs for a show that Kristine is curating in California even though I'm not even sure if it will get there in time. As I painted, I really couldn't tell if it was any good. I still don't know if it's any good...but I'm glad I did it anyway--because it was exactly what I needed to do.

Dang. That's enough for one day.

Goodnight, friends. And here's to getting reacquainted with BRAVERY. Whew!



Sacred Suzie said...

That is a heck of a lot of bravery in one day! You inspire me so much. In fact, I got through my latest dreamboard because of this particular project. I was so scared of it and got it done on time, thank you! Now I am ready for money. Something that scares me, LOL, I know, sounds crazy.

That poor sweet dog! OMG, I can't stop thinking of her singed ears. Sending pink healing light to her.

Leah said...

woot! you go girl!!

ode looks like such a sweetheart. poor pup. i hope her future is bright and filled with love.

Colorsonmymind said...

tugging on my heartstrings is to put it mildly my darling. wow.

Just want to hug that pup. So thrilled to hear you are involved with such a hope filled wonderful thing.

Diet-yeah I hear you love and am also strating to try to clean it up.

Be brave and keep listening to your gut-it always knows.


Melba said...

You! You inspire me EVERYDAY!
I am soooo proud of you!
Love you!!!

Amber said...

That pup made me cry. Who would do that? It makes me hurt to think these people breath our air. :(

But, I came over to tell you I love you. Your words were a perfectly time gift that I needed. How did you know?



Stephanie D. said...

I've been lurking for a couple of weeks, but already added you to my Reader. This was an awesome kick-off to your project.

Drop by if you get a chance--I am passing on an award to you.

kj said...

jessie--jeez! that picture of ode for starts--promise me you will see to it the best home a dog could ever have finds its way to that pup.

your diet: me too! today. nuts and fruit and cheese and avocado.

you: you deserve all of it. every molecule.

i started off rooting for you and i still do. but lately you've been rooting for me. thanks as always.


bella said...

Wowza girl. You are checking things off your list and I'm loving it. Listening to your inner feelings is so important. It used to scare me to say NO but not anymore.

What a sweet little dog. I'm so glad she was rescued.

mistie said...

You go girl :)

South Beach Diet here, so love it, so easy. Bye, bye pounds, finally. My son will be 10 years old, and so is my extra poundage.

I'm trying to teach myself to draw again. It seems I have forgotten a lot of what I have learned.

I open my mouth when I used to keep it closed. In a nice way, but my feelings count too, and so, there they are. With my heart pounding in my mouth.

I cried when I saw Ode. Who could ever do a thing like that on purpose? ugh. Such a beautiful creature. Lovely eyes.

Keep on keepin' on :)

R2K said...

: )

Olivia said...

You're just so TAKING OFF, Jessie. On the journey together, let's go. I feel better with you "here" on the journey than going about it alone. I'm plodding and going really slowly.

YAY, let's see what life will hold for us,



Annie said...

Oh, that dog made me sob. I can't stand it. Did she go to a good home? I wish I could hug her and
give her some love, she is beautiful. You keep doing what you are doing :-).

Marilou said...

Jessie, I feel blessed that our paths crossed on 7/21. I don't believe in coincidences... the universe brought us together through the brave spirit and gentle heart of Ode. As I held her in my arms yesterday, and got lots of kisses from her, i am reminded of how much we can learn from the resilient, forgiving, and loving nature of dogs. Pet Haven is grateful to Karen Good (of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue) for entrusting Ode into our care. We will shower her with love and safety... to me, Ode represents hope and love.

I am grateful our paths crossed....

laundrygirl said...

This photo killed me. I could barely read the post! at the same time I am so inspired by what you are doing. This is really special. That may sound cheesy and I realize that "special" does not even express how touched and moved I am by your love for dogs and what you are doing with your gifts. And yet it is simply magnificent.