Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thursday 13: Seeing is Believing

I want to thank my pal Ces for revamping my blog. I hope I do it proud.
Sometimes I wonder if my blog is boring. Often I'm tempted to explain or apologize when I write about people like Andy or Joey: sometimes I say, "Oh, you might think I don't know what I'm talking about but I'm a business owner and I think things through and I don't wave flags or jump on soapboxes if I don't know what I'm talking about."
At points in my life I've been accused of being too touchy-feely, too emotional, too bleeding-heart-ish. That often translates to me that I am not being substantive, or logical, or well informed--and I don't think I'm paranoid in picking up the assumption that that is not a very
respected way to be.
Such is my state of believing that hearts bleed and love heals. I'm living a life of deep love and there's not much I can do about it these days, unless I'm willing to be numb, which I'm not. Except for this winded introduction, I've pretty much stopped explaining and apologizing about what I see and believe and feel, and why. I'm kind of at a "take me or leave me" stage in life. Hey--why not? I may be petty and oblivious sometimes, but I'm also kind and fun. And let it be said again: I do show up and try.

So. This Thursday 13 I am writing about "seeing". Not just staring or looking at but really noticing and well, seeing. I am honoring those around me who see:

1. Jessica: Nothing gets by this daughter of mine. Any phony, pretend, or manipulative cover-up is sniffed out and hunted down by her sincerity radar. She solves murder cases months before the police suspect the heartbroken husband is having an affair with the babysitter, and she psychs out the contestants on American Idol long before their true colors appear. Jessica can look pre-occupied, but she never is. She is an observer of human beings and their quirks like no one else I know. If sincerity could be packaged, she would be the first one to see it.

2. JB: Years ago I was driving to Maine with JB when I first noticed flowers dancing in the wind. And a time after that I was walking with JB when I first saw the brillant color of a blue sky. I had misplaced my 5th grade wonder until JB beseeched me to roll down proverbial hills with her. When she's happy, she sees a world at play. She pulls out her crayons or special wine glasses and throws a party. And she sees to it that I play right along with her.

3. Dad: You die and then you show up every year with some new flower or plant overflowing in my or mom's yard. How do you do that, Dad? You've outdone yourself this Spring. The bushes are awesome. I remember so much of your silly advice, Dad. I never thought I would, but it's so easy now to see what you meant.

4. Ces: My best friend brings vibrant words and colors to most of my days. She laughs her way through laundry, rivets me with tales of her palette knives and childhood in the Philippines, and even in the quietest moments, she sees me as I really am--even the tears and quirks and confusion. And then she welcomes and accepts me anyway.

5. Lily and Amy: these two women who live down the street offer small and steady acts of friendship: a dropped-off plate of homemade tarts, a minature rose bush in a tin can, extra mulch all packed up and ready to go. In a pinch they will feed our dog and water our grass. They see, as JB and I do, that finally we all have found the hang-out, take-care-of, trusted local friends we've longed for.

6. Janna: JB and I are trying our best to host this holiday party--we are stretched thin everywhere, and you just bring us each a plate of all the little-of-this and little-of-that food we have prepared. You don't ask: you just see we won't have time to eat on our own so you bring it to us. You are Jessica's friend, not ours, but you are also family.

7. Jane Mc: In Northern New England a psychotherapist named Jane improves and saves lives and relationships through her experience and skill and caring and competence. She sees straight to the heart of "issues" like pain and loss and defenses and pride, and she walks with you until you see all this for yourself.

8. Stella the Dog: It has now been a year since this tight, fearful, distant dog arrived. I can't say exactly when she started to fall into the safety and love surrounding her, but she now does. We have tamed eachother. We miss oneanother when we're apart. We see love.

9. Mike H: This friend of mine takes my side no matter what. Over 25 years he always defends me, listens to me, supports my point of view, and always always makes sure I understand I am doing the best I can. Mike sees unconditional love and he communicates that to me every time.

10. Melissa: There's no kidding anybody about the stamina and patience required to bring up two charmingly bright and active little girls. I know you're exhausted most of the time, and probably confused and amibivalent sometimes on top of that. None-the-less, you manage to see birds, dogs, the natural world, children, and all the little moments. You don't have to see all this, but you do.

11. Artists and Writers: I did not grow up with either anywhere near me. Now, the world is bright and deep and daring because of the artists and writers who share and show me what they see in so many different styles and ways.

12. Mom: My mother is 91 with no memory. And yet every time I'm with her she says something like "kj, look at the sky. Doesn't that cloud look like a dog?" or "kj, Don't those colors look funny together?" I only learned it recently, but my Mother sees.

13. The ducks: I am sitting in my back yard on the brick patio, drinking coffee and thinking nothing. A mother duck, walks through the side gate, just waddling in a straight line. She is followed in single file by 8 baby ducks, also waddling in a straight line. They walk right in front of me, reach the fence 4 feet ahead, make a sharp left turn, and follow the fence, still in single file, until they reach the end, where they skoot under the fence and disappear. I will never forget this moment. It is registered in technicolor in my mind. It was a moment to see.
Let's face it: it's all to easy to walk through life and not see. Demands and chores and hurts and challenges and plain old weariness make it hard to take the time to see. But the cost of not seeing is too high. At least that's my opinion.


  1. What confusion? I have never known anyone more level and clear-headed.

    Jess is so cool, just like you.

  2. It couldn't be titled more beautifully...."Seeing is believing"! What a beautiful tribute to the eyes that are the windows to your world!

  3. Your site looks lovely, KJ! Verdant and bright. And ... thank you ... that you included me in your seeing post meant a lot. I always want to look like I have it all together and like I can handle everything ... blogging has helped me learn it's okay to let the guard down and show the frazzled side ... I think it helps me see even more. I love who you are!

  4. Also, thanks for including me and it was my pleasure to play with your blog layout. I envy your beautiful Magic House and Garden and Magic Cottage photos.

  5. ces, i AM confused half the time. you may not notice because i am so comfortable with you!! and ces, i think you are very cool also. :)

    singleton, "the eyes that are the windows to my world". yes. if i found myself on an island all alone, these are the people and memories i would think about, over and over.

    melissa, i love who you are too!
    thanks for liking my site--you know who gets all the credit....

    ces, come over for coffee right this minute! we can sit in front of the magic cottage.

  6. You are an amazing woman and you are surrounded by love. Life don't get much better than that!

    BTW Master Ryan is too precious!

  7. Dear KJ -- you are never boring!

  8. Seeing, really seeing is one of the most important things there is kj. It makes sense of of whole lot of non sense and it makes one feel really truely alive

  9. i love reading about the many ways of "seeing."

    as for being a bleeding heart type, well, i'm sure i'm guilty of the same thing. but, i'll tell you, i am wary of people that aren't willing to show that side of themselves. i've been around too many sarcastic types (especially in grad school) and i always felt like it was insecurity that keeps people from showing the side of them that actually cares.

    i love your new look, btw. very fresh! and i have some interview questions coming your way soon!

  10. yep, I see what you mean!

    Who is in the painting on the wall in the painting of you by Ces?

  11. I'm glad I checked in today!! It's like seeing my name in lights :) You know I love you both and I am so happy to be a part of your family. Jess is kind of cool.

  12. You don't have to apologize or explain, kj. You are perfect the way you are.

    i should take your advice and "see" more often. I admit I miss it sometimes.

  13. This is your (web)log, KJ, you come first, what you find important and how you put it down, it is yours and you are the boss and we are the lucky ones who may visit your "views" on life.

  14. Lovely tribute. I've been accused more than once of having child-like curiosity as I bend to down to inspect the petals on a tiny flower, or do the 'dog thing' with clouds. Our planet and everything in it is amazing.

    Good for you on being who you are ... it's your life and you sound comfortable in your skin.

  15. I loved SEEing your new-look blog - you certainly do do it justice. It's just grand!

  16. You are a GOOD blogger KJ and an even BETTER writer but you are the BEST friend.

  17. Hey, hey hey!!! Snowflake wait a minute. It's not Emily Rabbit you are talking to, it's KJ and she is my best friend, not yours.

  18. I did not say "my BEST friend", I said "the BEST friend". I thought you speak and comprehend English.

  19. Please do not use that tone with me young rabbit!

  20. tammy, i think YOU are an amazing woman! thank you for such a high compliment.

    andrea, likewise, my friend.

    marloes, i would like to have coffee with you. you are my kind of thinking person.

    jessie, i say it all the time, but i just love your visits to my blog!

    ziggi, that is gertrude stein, painted by mr. p--- himself, picasso. i got this information (not the mr p. part) directly from the artist c-e-s.

    janna, ooooooh. i'm so glad!

    mench, you see what matters most. i have no doubt about that.

    hildegarde, thank you for your wise words. on this morning i wish the international apple pie project was taking place this very moment!

    bibi, do you know marloes? because i think you should show up for coffee too.

    chief, thank you, thank you. i will pass that on to my official blog designer (c-e-s)

    snowflake and ces, no fighting on my blog on this most auspicious day. and snowflake, i would protect you from wind, rain, and dogs anytime.

  21. Go ducks! Heehee. Thanks for waddling past mine :) I SEE your blog looks fine!

  22. Totally diggin the new look! Yes, you are so right, it's all about seeing!

  23. Too emotional, what is that?
    Can you be or get too emotional.
    Are we then to deny what we feel?
    No thanks.

  24. anonymous, what a pleasure that you have visited my blog! i'm loving your bird shots. fantastic.

    val, yup, it's all about seeing...

    pieterbie, you say the most comforting things. you are as always a doll.... :)