30x60 flower of hope within an angelic microscope. The following story is the best story I've got. For years to come this painting will be one of the highlights of my career, as it is a perfect portrait of the love Carrie, Scott and Olivia have brought to my life.
The very first session I ever had with Nancy, my first therapist, she gave me an all yellow children's book titled Hope for the Flowers. I felt slighted. I was desperate to feel like my life was together and she is telling me to read a children's book. On the front of the book, it says “A tale- partly about life. Partly about revolution. And lots about hope.
It follows the story of two caterpillars named Yellow & Stripe. Spoiler after lots of trial & tribulation they become black and yellow butterflies by finding the courage to do something different. I loved the book so much Nancy started calling me Stripe, and I called her Yellow.
Over the years the work I started with Nancy will be the same work that carries me back to your family, to Kevin, and back to my spirit. So it has always had a soft spot in my heart and a place on my shelf. Once at Burning Man we were in an extreme dust storm late at night. It is pitch black except for the lights on your body and if you can manage to hold one. Suddenly all of the dust had cleared. We walked up to a shade structure to a large circle of about 200 people watching something.
It was a live re-enactment of the story Hope for the Flowers to the song Goodbye Yellowbrick Road. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing (and yes I was really seeing it this was years after I got clean.)
This painting being a symbol of hope was extremely important to me, so I have made her as a sunburst of hope as if she is a flower under an angelic microscope. A close-up of a flower, a frequency of those bursts of hope that just appear into our lives.
You were the biggest burst of hope I have ever experienced in my life. In a diner on Paulina, watching the bright as the door opened. The bell rang. And up to me walked the most beautiful bouquet of flowers I had ever seen. It was covering your faces. I was so afraid and so pregnant I couldn’t get out of the booth fast enough to stand up to meet you.
It is what you all will all always be to me. A background of immense light, natural beauty, salvation, but most of all hope. Your handwriting Carrie still stops my breath, because every day you would write me a letter. Your words were hope. They told me about the life that Olivia would have. Your handwriting symbolizes safety and consistency to me, love and support. You sent me flowers every day. I would tell Olivia that someday she would get the nicest flowers and she wouldn’t even know how lucky she was.
I have been so afraid of this painting, of this process. To me, nothing would ever be good enough for all of you. I always have a funny visual with my life where my life is like a really big painting, and all of the memories, situations, decisions - all of it are what make up the movement and texture, color and alignment. In the analogy, it is all of you - Carrie, Scott, Olivia. Your home and the way you have always loved me and included me unconditionally - that is the whole canvas that the painting is on.
So I got the canvas and out of fear it sat here in the box for a few months until every day I would meditate on those flowers walking towards me. I could just feel you walking towards me & Olivia with such grace and excitement. That is what this painting is. That is why she is named Hope for the Flowers. You brought me hope, you brought me the flowers, and you are all the greatest gift in my life.
Recently an old friend of mine and I got to sit down for dinner. She has adopted two babies in the last three years, a boy and a girl. She said to me “I would be so devastated if I didn’t get to have my kids birth moms in our lives.” It was the first time I really understood that just as you are a gift to Kevin and I, we are a gift to you too. And the world, with all of us in it, with all of our hope, and all of our flowers, is always, no matter what, enough.
I hope the presence of gratitude and love for each of your roles in our lives radiates out of this canvas. It is only for very special people that there are lines in my art - because it is my relationship with them that brings me the highest forms of alignment and grace. Thank you for being my best canvas to create the picture within.
I promise to always find you in every lifetime. I promise to bring you hope for the flowers too.