Butterflies in Progress

Butterfly Dance, mixed media on canvas ©Kellie Day
Mixed media butterflies on canvas ©Kellie Day

The finished piece – “Tiny Beautiful Things”, mixed media butterflies on canvas ©Kellie Day

Cheryl Strayed wrote a book, one of my favorite books, called Tiny Beautiful Things. It was a book of snapshots of human life in turmoil, as she responded to readers in her advice column, Dear Sugar.

The readers who wrote in were people struggling with their humanity, their differences, their isolation and their pain. The things had happened to them that I could not believe, and they were unable to move forward. In every instance, Dear Sugar lovingly replied with adoring words while giving them a firm shove towards the light.

DEAR SUGAR, (one of them wrote)

My mother left my father the month I was born. She remarried and had my brother two years later. My stepfather (the only father I knew) committed suicide when I was five years old….  and on it went… She might answer with something like this:

DEAR HAUNTED,

You are a fucking amazing person, Haunted, so strong and brave. In spite of every reason not to, you’ve spent your life relentlessly reaching toward the light…

Cheryl Strayed is just absolutely human and her gift is non judgement, acceptance and a tongue that cuts to the truth like a bull with its balls tied. Because of her gifts, these people who write her feel loved and accepted, if only for a few paragraphs. And through every one of her letters, I felt loved and accepted, as the reader. Some of those letters were so crazy I felt there was nothing I could do to NOT be loved and accepted by Dear Sugar. And isn’t that what we all want on some level?

Butterfly in Progress, mixed media on canvas, 8" 10", ©Kellie Day

Butterflies in Progress, mixed media on canvas, 8″ 10″, $100

I supposed we are all just butterflies in progress. Flitting about this earth trying to find our meaning, when really it’s just to flit. And to spread our bright wings and our beauty, and fly. That’s really it. Not nearly the pressure we had thought. Be nice, deliver a meal or two to someone in need. Help the sick, read to our children.

“The soul given to each of us is moved by the same living spirit that moves the universe.” – Albert Einstein

I’ve been spending my days lately making tiny, beautiful things. Art that is. Taking the pressure off by painting little canvases, with simple things like birds and butterflies. Just making beauty, creating, just spreading my tiny, beautiful wings.

You can read more of Dear Sugar here.  Or read about Cheryl Strayed here.

xo

Kellie Day mixed media artist

 

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