One of my longest running friendships is with my pal Lisa. I’ve mentioned her a couple of times here, because her presence has been so relevant to my own for just over thirty years. We grew up together as neighbors and classmates, and have worked together numerous times- whether for a common boss as baristas or as bosses of our own as photographers and designers.
Lisa is a fashion designer at heart. She was always visually creative- holding a degree in Visual Communications- and very conscious of her clothing choices. In school, she was voted Most Fashionable, and this characteristic spilled over into her many professional ventures as an adult, with her latest pursuit being metalsmithing and jewelry design.
She came up with an idea recently and, knowing my passion for creative writing, asked if I would be interested in helping her market her new lines for her jewelry business. I agreed without hesitation, and we immediately began swapping ideas. This is where thirty years of friendship conquer the sixty miles currently between us.
About a week prior to our conversation, I bought and had been reading an Encyclopedia of Spirits. There is no real rhyme or reason, other than just general intrigue of the subject. It is certainly an interesting book. Lisa was unaware of this, but her initial idea for my writing project would be to write about spirit folklore and various characters which would be representative of each unique collection.
She showed me her newest collection, and the pieces accidentally resemble beautiful turtles. When you create things from nature, they tend to resemble other things in nature, so it makes sense. I pondered for a quick moment and turned to my Encyclopedia of Spirits and checked the index for turtles. There, I found Chelone. What I read was absolutely perfect.
I sent her the description of the spirit and asked if she would like to use it, and she agreed that it was a perfect fit. Within a very busy week (work, band practice, football game, Fair Parade, band exhibition… *gasps for air*), I sat down, and I wrote. It took me all of thirty minutes to write the following:
When I sent this to Lisa, she said- and I quote- “I freakin’ love it!”
When I write, I draw inspiration from anything and everything I possibly can. It is very personal. All I want is to share, learn, grow, and share some more. That is why I write.
Sometimes, I wish I could be more fashion conscious rather than seeing through that lens that tends to focus more on problems. But, this project helped reiterate the importance of speaking your mind as well as remaining silent. There are always times when either is the appropriate choice. There are also healthier methods of implementing each practice.
What do you want to say?
How do you know when to hush?
These are the things I am pondering.