When new people walk into my home, the first thing they notice is my Wonder Woman painting. It is always met with an "Oh, Wow!" or a "that is so awesome". Every time, I always say "thank you" and "My friend, Jen Tucker, painted that". Sometimes I tag on that she painted it for me, but she really didn't. She started that piece on her own without any probing from me. Michael said once that he would have never pegged me for being really into Wonder Woman. I never really went out of my way to collect Wonder Woman comics or other paraphernalia. But just like many women my age, I grew up wearing Wonder Woman underoos and spinning around and looking up to a woman who just happened to be a superhero. Women could and can be superheros. I was part of that generation of girls that got to grow up watching Linda Carter portraying a smart powerful woman in show about a smart powerful woman. In fact, Michael says that when he looks at that painting he doesn't so much see Wonder Woman as he sees Power. I couldn't agree more. It is a very powerful painting, but the painting represents so much more to me than power. I know that when Jen started to work on that painting, she was coming off a long stretch of not painting. I think she had forgotten for a brief moment that she is an artist. When she started revealing images of her progress on Wonder Woman, you could tell right away that Jen was back. It's like she woke up that morning and yelled "HEY! I'm an ARTIST!". You could see that her painting was going to be amazing before it really became amazing. You could see that this artist was/is passionate about art and painting is her true work. And, in fact, when you talk to Jen about art, her art or any art in particular, you look at this person and you get it. You say to yourself "now, this is an artist". You will say that because you can feel the joy and love radiating from her has she talks. The same is true for her partner. Turayis has found her own art in her writing and her cookbooks. The same passion and love for these topics are no less than Jen's. Over the weekend both of them were able to come up to KCMO to attend Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. This was their second time to attend the conference and even though their schedule was super duper packed with amazing informative seminars and presentations, they made time to have dinner with Michael and I. We sat there and listened and absorbed their enthusiasm as they went on and on about all the great things they'd experienced at the conference. Both of them were already talking about how they were going to use their new found knowledge for the next thing. I love that they could come and experience and be part of a conference that just feeds the fire for them, that inspires them to keep on doing these things that they love.
It brings me joy to see them find their passion. Really this is true when I see that in anyone, but it's particularly true when I see it happen for those I love. One the things that was so great about those Click and Clack of motorcycle guys was that you could see that they truly loved what they were doing. They loved their little shop and chatting with the people that came through their door. Michael is constantly telling me that he could make more money if he moved to public school. I never really encourage it because I see the way he talks about the classes he's taught that day or baseball practice. He loves what he's doing and I think it means more to him that his work is with under privileged kids. But I see the joy when he talks about his work. Just like I see the joy when the Jens talk of their work and those guys in the motorcycle shop. And it's this joy and passion that I want to applaud today. Today I'm celebrating the joy in doing your true work. Because just look what comes from doing the things we love.
Happiest of Love Thursdays.