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random observations, thoughts on life, humorous stories....from the studio while I paint.
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The Empty Chair

Posted 09/16/2010 at 11:52 PM by superkat

"Courage, also known as bravery, fortitude, will, and intrepidity, is the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, uncertainty, or intimidation."

There are very few people in my life that I would actually consider to fall into the courageous category. I like to think of myself of being courageous, until something little, like locking myself out of my apartment, sets me off. It wouldn't have been so bad if there wasn't a batch of homemade blueberry muffins in the oven. With only two minutes left on the stopwatch. And then there's my daughter, Mandy...who, always in the face of danger and adversity, tends to think with an uncluttered brain. She looks around, spots the fire escape to the second floor and checks for open windows. The only one remotely possible was about the size of a porthole...and yet, she, determined to save my sanity...and the muffins...skootched her little butt through there and was able to go and open the front door. Once inside, we rescued the muffins and immediately secured the window. And had a good laugh. With a mouthful of warm, homebaked goodness, she said, "Mom, you gotta stop freakin' out when things go wrong. It prohibits you from thinking clearly." Nom, nom, nom...."and you are a highly intelligent woman. If I wasn't here, you would have thought it through and done the same thing...in fact, you probably would have liked the swashbuckling adventure in it all." Nom, nom, nom. I love her.

It's true, though. When things go wrong, or don't turn out the way I expected, I do have a tendency to apply what I call the "end of the world" reaction. In all honesty, I have been let down, betrayed, hurt and mentally abused by so many in the past that I automatically defer to the worst case scenario just because it has become so common. And yet, I can be strong, determined and unshakable in nature when it comes to helping someone else. It's almost like I value others more than I do myself...and where that is a highly redeeming quality, it is self-sacrificial and sometimes detrimental if wasted on the wrong person, place or thing. It is, in a sense, the most humble form of courage, I believe, that exists. The most honest form of courage in yourself, for others, comes from deep inside your soul. It's untainted by the outside world. It has no limits or boundaries. It thrives on human compassion, trust and mutual communication. It is the golden nugget. It is more powerful than love, although love feeds its strength. And in return for your efforts, you are given something very special. You are given the rare opportunity to prove yourself to be all you said you were...and all that others thought you to be. In the process, if you are lucky, there is a self awareness that develops. You start to realize what you can and can not do...and become accepting of the outcomes, either way it goes.

Around me, I look and see others that exhibit these same qualities. They are an inspiration to me, especially if they are faced with particularly extenuating circumstances. And it is without fear or intrepidation, that, if asked or allowed...I will, unquestionably, join their quest for victory. Why would I do this? Because I have been in those types of situations myself...and when no one answered my call, the absolute emptiness pushed me to the brink of checking out. So to those that stuck by me, or gave me their ear, or shoulder, or a hug or a simple, "everything will be okay"...those are the ones I want on my team. Regardless of whatever transpires between us, as human beings, we are ALL part of creation. And we all deserve to be supported and cared for...especially if we fight the good fight. Especially if the recognition is there...the recognition that life starts today, right now...and can be everything and more than you ever thought possible. It just takes courage.

You're going to think this is a bunny trail, but I'm looking at an empty chair in my room right now. It's beautiful. An antique, a carved rose on the wood..soft red velvet seat cushion. It's so elegant...just like it is. It was my mother's. And I can remember her sitting in it. But I don't remember seeing the chair. All I know is that as beautiful as that chair is...the memory of my mother sitting in it is worth so much more. And one time, from that chair, she told me, "Kathi, I want you to know how much I love you, and I will always be with you. One day, I will no longer sit in this chair, but you will still have the chair. Just as you will still hear my voice and you will still have the words that I spoke to you." And that has taught me something very, very valuable. That after I am gone, after I have left this world, I hope that I will have left a "chair" with those whose lives were important to my own. Even more so, the lives that were important because I was able to be the courage, the spark, the fire...the flame that ignited something remarkable...something incredible...something so positive that it changed their lives...and mine. When I no longer sit in the chair, I hope that someone will say...I remember her sitting there...I remember the words she said, the deeds she did, the tenderness and kindness that she spread...sometimes at her own expense.

The beauty of the world exists...if we take the time to look for it. I am guilty of taking some days for granted, or too afraid to move, blocked by some adversity, that I pull the covers over my head hoping it will all go away, that it was only a dream...but I have learned that the only thing that hiding does is avoid the inevitable. So I fling the covers off...I stand up and I say, "this is who I am. and today......?" Well, today is ours. The deciding factor in how your day will be boils down to one huge variable...and that's the level of your courage. Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.” ~August Wilson

It can be quite the task, but if I learn from yesterday, embrace today and hope with faith for the future...I'm golden.

Peace,
Kat
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Mmckibben's Avatar
    Save the blue berry muffins!
    Posted 09/18/2010 at 11:26 AM by Mmckibben Mmckibben is offline
  2. Old Comment
    superkat's Avatar
    OH ABSO-FRICKIN-LUTELY!!!!!!

    Posted 09/18/2010 at 10:53 PM by superkat superkat is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Mmckibben's Avatar
    ??????
    Posted 09/18/2010 at 11:00 PM by Mmckibben Mmckibben is offline
  4. Old Comment
    superkat's Avatar
    too funny. SAVE THE MUFFINS.
    Posted 09/18/2010 at 11:21 PM by superkat superkat is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Mmckibben's Avatar
    On next weeks episode of superkat... SAVE THE BANANA NUT BREAD!

    remember kids, don't leave your oven on.
    Posted 09/20/2010 at 10:20 PM by Mmckibben Mmckibben is offline
 

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