Her note was written on an old index page of a ledger and she too adhered a bird sticker to the faded surface. She ripped the page right out of the book; I loved the spontaneous, rustic aesthetic. The postcard did in fact bear her greeting from four years ago as well as a dignified black cat on the glossy cover along with French writing — she went to Paris, too. Belated, yet thoughtful. I don’t know many people who’d realize they’d forgotten to send a postcard four years ago, then actually send it upon the moment of realization. My friends are a rare, whimsical, priceless bunch.
The mountain doesn’t look like the mountain when you’re on it. Often enough, it doesn’t look like much at all. Like standing only a few inches away from one of Georges Seurat’s pieces, all I see are points of color. It’s just dots, at least that’s true to some degree. Yet I’d venture a guess that Seurat was not primarily or initially moved by a vision of tiny marks on a canvas but that he took up the brush and diligently, meticulously made those millions of tiny marks because he was moved by a vision of sand and water or skin and eyes.
Toward the end of the movie, I wanted justice. This evil man who was bent on punishing poor, fatherless children must be punished. He deserved the fate that I was sure the movie maker’s had in store for him.
But what if things were just that simple? What if we insist on complicating things that really aren’t that complicated? What if this life was something where having a good horse, being able to tell right from wrong, and knowing where a man could find fresh water and how to handle yourself in a fight were among the most important things you could know, and you took everything else as it came? Is there such a story to tell anymore?
Van Gogh said something like this: “The highest form of art is fashioning human lives.” I’m not sure if that’s the exact quote, but it’s certainly true. You’re creating all the time — creating a mood, creating a meal, making a sick person comfortable, creating a celebration, nurturing compassion, creating a welcome — you’re always making. When our imaginations are captured by the idea of creating good stories in the lives of the people we’ve been given to love, a world of possibility opens up.