Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Day Before the Day Before

Take what you like and leave the rest

It is the Day Before the Day Before Christmas.  When I was a child, this was an unbelievably exciting time.  Would Mother like the paper star I made for? Would Papa like his new tie?   And most importantly, what would I be getting?  Yes, Christmas was all about presents.

Christmas has a different meaning to me now.  Now, I think of that child, born so many years ago.  And I think of the children that are born today.  Each child is a child of hope, a child of promise, a child of wonder.  Each child born is a child of untold blessings.  All over the world, the miracle happens, again and again.  We humans have build different cultures and different ways of being human, different politics and different economic systems.  But what binds us together is stronger than that which tears us apart. 

We all want peace for our children.  We all want our children to live healthy and prosper.  And we all know that our children will make their own way, despite how much we want to protect them.

But still, there is that wonder, that promise, that hope, for each child born.  And we would be wise to remember that once, we too were that child of hope, wonder and promise.

We still are.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Yule

Happy Yule to one and all.   I made this picture for you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rainbow Mandala

This Mandala is made of clay and is made on a 12" by 12" tile

This is a clay Mandala that I made specifically for a friend.  The colors & pattern denote healing, growth and wisdom, all qualities my friend requested.  It is an example of the sort of personal Mandalas I enjoy making.  The size is 8 inches by 8 inches. 

Because of things in my personal life, I will not be able to write more blogs until after the start of the New Year.  However, I will continue to post different types of Mandalas on pretty much a daily basis.  I hope to start writing blogs again around Jan 2.

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season.

 - byrd

Friday, December 17, 2010


I have been searching the web and have been finding all sorts of talented and creative Tanglers, Clayers, Doodlers and Mandala-makers.  The latest find is Black Pumkin, from Italy.  I believe this is the URL:

I must say, I love that this marvelous invention, the internet, has allowed us to share our art with one another.  I have always loved looking at art, and when you get to know the artist, even just a little, the experiance is even better.

Thank you to all my fellow artists out here, for the sharing of yourselves an your visions.  What a wonderful gift you give us all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


 One of the kittens just jumped on the bed and decied to help me type.  She is a beautiful little girl with a sweet face and a loud purr.  She likes to lie down on me and nuzzle, she also bites very, very gently -- her understanding of a kiss.  Two other golden cats are asleep on the bed and both of them are snoring softly.  The dogs are curled up and sleeping at the foot of the bed.

It seems for all the world as if the kitten and I are the only two beings awake.  Her purr is comforting and her nose is cold.  Her name is Prescott and I got her to keep the other kitten (Paulie Paul) company.  It was love at first sight with the two of them.  Within 10 minutes of her arrival, they were playing with each other.  They often sleep with paws wrapped around each other.  The sight always warms my heart.

At times like this, I realize how very lucky I am.  So many people live in places where there is war.  So many people, in every country, do not have enough to eat.  So many people can only pray that their children will live long enough to grow up.  So many people, our brothers and sisters, so many are in want or fear.  I wish we could reach out our hands to one another and share our bounty.  I wish we could heal each other, not only of illnesses, but also heal each other of hatred and sorrow.  I wish.

Prescott has curled up on me and is purring herself to sleep.  I cannot save the world, no one can.  I cannot make sure that everyone is fed, that everyone has shelter and warmth.   I cannot hold the world safe in my arms.   But I can hold Prescott safe, to some degree.  I can give her love, food, shelter and safety.

It's my little corner of the world and I do what I can.

We all do.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Papa and the Squirrels

Small Clay Dragon

Take what you like and leave the rest

Mother had a huge bird-feeder, one that took over the entire patio area just outside our breakfast room.  Although we all enjoyed the birds, Papa objected strongly to the squirrels who could be quite greedy when it came to the sunflower seeds.  So Papa devised a plan to out-wit them.

Papa strung a wire between two of the trees and suspended the feeder with the sunflower seeds.  He got back into the house just in time to see the first squirrel blithely tight-rope walk over the wire to the feeder.  Papa glared at the squirrel.  Mother tried to stifle her snicker.  I remember giggling.

Not to be out-done, Papa went back and tied a string to the wire, then threaded the other end through the window.  He thought he could pull on the string, thus knocking the squirrels off-balance, thus discouraging them. 

Papa waited for the first victim.  The squirrel came, walked half-way cross the wire, when Papa yanked hard on the string. 

It broke.

Chagrinned, Papa found a thicker string and tried the same thing again.  This time the squirrel bounded merrily across the wire, only to have Papa yank hard on his new string. 

The surprised squirrel flipped upside down on the wire, but then, just as merrily, continued on his way  hand over hand until he got to the feeder.

The next day, Papa went outside and moved the wire very high up on the tree trunks.  Then he dropped the feeder down on another long wire.  Midway down the wire, Papa had suspended a tin pie-plate, threaded through the center.  This, he figured, would stop the dratted beasts.                                                                      

The squirrels gleefully slipped down the wire, reached over to the edge of the pie plate, grabbed on and flipped themselves over and back to the wire, then continued down the wire to the feeder.

Papa, however, was beginning to take this as a personal challenge.  No mere squirrel was going to out-wit him!

The next week saw a series of various pie plate sizes.  The squirrels loved it and the acrobatics were delightful to watch.  The week after that, we had multiple pie plates in various sizes. 

It didn't even slow the squirrels down. 

Mother pointed out to a disgruntled Papa that it was obvious the squirrels were enjoying their new playground.

Papa was becoming frustrated, Mother and I vastly entertained. 

Papa placed the feeder on a pole.  The squirrels ran up the pole. 

So Papa greased the pole.  The very first squirrel ran up the greased pole and stopped half-way to lick his paws.  It seems the squirrel liked the taste of the grease. 

Papa looked at us and almost cried. 

Mother tried, without success, to contain her laughter until Papa left the room.

Papa decided to change his plan.  He maintained that he was not trying to keep the squirrels away from the sunflowers, rather Papa was just warming up for the Real Entertainment. 

Papa was devising Squirrel IQ tests.

Papa introduced squirrels to peanuts in the shell.  In no time at all, the squirrel delightedly developed a taste for peanuts in the shell.  Then Papa started working his devious plans.  He decided to time the squirrels to see how long it would take them to figure out his tests.

The first test involved tying one end of a rubber band to a peanut shell, and the other end firmly to a tree branch. 

The squirrel spied the peanut and made a run for it.  He grabbed it up and ran away, but only a little way.  The rubber band reached it's full length and snapped back, taking the peanut with it. 

The surprised squirrel just stood there, stunned that a peanut would grab itself out of his mouth.  He went back, got the peanut and began to run away again, and again the peanut jerked itself out of his mouth.  The third time he very suspiciously circled the peanut first, pretended to be nonchalant, then grabbed the peanut and ran, holding on very tightly.  This time, the snap of the rubber band jerked the poor squirrel back along with the peanut. 

Papa, Mother and I were in tears from laughter.

The squirrel stood there, looking at the peanut for a very long time.  Then he went over to the peanut, opened the shell and shoved both peanuts into his mouth and ran off with no problem. 

The empty shell, still tied to the rubber band, lay empty, a testament to squirrel ingenuity.

The next test involved putting the peanuts out in the open, but surrounding them with a 'solid nothing'.  Papa watched as the squirrels first spied the peanuts, then went in merrily for the kill. 

But they bumped their noses into the 'solid nothing'. 

Nonplussed, they sat back, then tried again.  Again they bumped their noses.  Chattering the most awful invectives against Papa, the squirrels went off for a parley. 

Then they came back.  Hesitantly, they circled the peanuts. So close and yet so far. 

One of them found an opening in the glass milk bottle (otherwise known as a 'solid nothing')  and crawled inside.  The squirrel merrily stuffed his mouth with all the peanuts he could fit -- only to discover that he no longer fit through the mouth of the bottle. 

Swearing loudly, he tried again.  And again, and again.  Slowly, reluctantly, he took a peanut out of his mouth and tried to leave.  Then he removed another and another, each time trying to leave until his mouth was empty and he easily left the bottle.

The squirrel sat outside the bottle, staring at it.  The he crawled back into the bottle and pushed a peanut out through the opening.

 His victory, however, was somewhat diminished by the fact that another squirrel was waiting outside and grabbed the peanut as it dropped.

Papa planned one test after another for the rest of the summer, forgetting completely his original plan to get rid of the squirrels. 

It was the best summer of my childhood.

To the Friends I have not neccessarily met

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I want to say on this blog.  I have started about 24 posts, not all of them are viable, some never will be, but that's OK --it's part of the creative process. I have several ideas I want to put together.  You see, I often use this format to clear out my thoughts.  And it's rather nice to have a place to post these thoughts, to unseen and unknown friends out there in the Ethernet.  I sometimes feel as if I know some of you.

I also have the artwork to think about.

The picture for today is an art card I made for a swap.   The person liked elephants, so I tangled an elephant for her.  Some of my artwork is from a long time ago, some is from today, just like the postings themselves.  (I am not above cannibalizing my own work.)  I look over what Pictures I have of my work, sometimes tying the art to the words, sometimes not.  Then, in a leap of faith, I post it here, for anyone to see.

Zentangled Elephant - Art Card

It was not always so.  I used to do lots of artwork but not show it to anyone, not even my husband.  I literally would put it in a closet and never look at it, unless it was in secret.  I guess I thought it wasn't good enough or something.  The same for my words.  I would write things down and squirrel them away, never even thinking about letting others read them.

I am not alone in this peculiarity.  I find there are many of us who keep our talents hidden.  We may be shy, or think our work is not worthy, or just not ready to share something so intimate as a part of ourselves.

I was fortunate to have a husband who encouraged me and friends who actually took some of my work and framed it for a show.  Not all of us are that lucky.  But some of us have found our voice here, on the Internet.  We blog.

I have several blog sites that I visit daily, friends I haven't met, artists that I enjoy.  There are doodlers and tanglers, poets and thoughtful folks, funny folks, folks from my country, folks from far away.  Once in a while, a blog will touch us and we are reminded that no matter where we are, no matter our politics or religion, we are brothers and sisters on this planet,  all part of the variety of what it means to be human.

I think I want to say 'Thank You', to the Internet which connects us, to the folks who visit here, to those whose blogs I visit regularly, to those brave enough to share part of themselves with strangers, who are really just friends, waiting to happen.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Paulie Paul at 3-4 months

Take what you like and leave the rest

What is love, anyway?

Several years ago, I was asked if I thought my cat loved me.  I replied that I did not know.  It depends on how you define ‘Love’. 
I knew that my cat seemed to get along very well with me.  When she was in the same room with me she would inevitably seek out my lap.  But that could be a result of my being ‘Top Cat’ and therefore it could have been an ego trip on her part to own that place of importance.

        I fed her so it would be easy to see that she might be dependent on me and thought it would be best to be nice to me.  (She was very affectionate.)

But my parents fed me when I was young, and I was certainly dependent on them.  While I am grateful to them and assume that their taking care of me indicated that they loved me,  that is not why I loved them.  If for some reason, they could no longer feed me, I would assume that they would have done the best they could and I would go to them for comfort.  And I would still have loved them.

So although I assume that my cat appreciated being fed, I could not entirely assume that was her only reason for being friendly with me.

Then one day, I was sitting outside enjoying the air.  My cat was way across the yard, stalking an unseen mouse or something in the grasses.  She was quite intent upon her prey and pounced.  Whatever it was got away, but she seemed unconcerned.  She looked around for something else to do.  Then she spotted me, sitting in the lawn chair.  Her head went up, her tail went up, and I heard her make a chirruping sound in her throat.  She headed directly for me, bounded up into my lap and purring loudly.  Then she licked herself just a bit and curled up for a nap, arching into my arms.

Now, if we had been in the house, I would have made excuses for her behavior, like my lap was the softest place or something.  But we were outside, on her turf.  She loved being outside.  She had the whole yard and more to choose from, yet she was obviously happy to see me. 

She trusted me & expected good things from me. 

I still don’t know if she loved me, but Trust is a good place to start.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Scottie's Bed

Take what you like and leave the rest

There is an old saying that goes :
   Want to make God laugh?  Make a plan. 
   Want to made God really laugh?  Expect it to work.

Our house was not the warmest place I've known.  The floor was especially chilly in the winter.  The cats managed to keep warm by climbing up to higher levels, the tops of book cases, etc, but the dogs were floor-bound.  Alice, as a chow, had a thick coat of fur that no cold could ever penetrate, but poor Scottie had only long thin fur.  Scottie also had arthritis, so she felt the cold.  Previously, I noticed she was limping and looking particularly pathetic, so I decided to make a bed for her that would keep her warmer.

Someone had given me an old foam-rubber, egg-crate-type mattress.  I folded it up and started to put it on the floor near the wood stove for Scottie to lay on.   I planned to make her a nice warm Dog Bed.  But Princess (the precocious cat) was watching and when her chance came, she leaped onto the mattress and started burrowing into the folds, before I had even gotten it down to the floor.  I pulled her out, but as soon as I let go, she dove right back into the mattress.  Three times I pulled her out.  Three time she dove back in.  Disgusted. I went in the other room to find a throw to cover the mattress. When I returned, there was not one cat, but two, hidden in the folds of the mattress.  I pulled out both cats and quickly threw the coverlet over the foam rubber, but the cats were too quick for me.

Now, I was starting to get frustrated.  Unfortunately, when I get frustrated and angry, it manifests itself as laughter. 

Cats simply do not take you seriously when you are laughing at them.   I would pull one cat out and reach for the other.  While I was reaching for the second cat, the first would dive back into the mattress.  They took turns, gleefully certain that they were winning this new game.  And the whole process was getting worse because I was laughing so hard I could not function properly.

Alice came over and licked my face apologetically.  That only made it worse.  I was becoming weak from laughter.  It was going to be a long battle, I could tell.  So I straightened the coverlet the best I could, with the cats still underneath the cover of the new Dog Bed.

Actually, that idea would have to be re-evaluated.  Obviously, it was not going to be a Dog Bed.  The cats had claimed it for their own.  The lumps under the coverlet moved slightly and a third cat decided to pounce the lumps.  The lumps re-acted violently and angry cat language was heard for some time.

I sat down to catch my breath from the laughter and assess the situation.  Obviously that plan had to change.  Ok, so that area was now a Cat Bed.  So where could I put something for Scottie? 

I looked around and saw that the wall next to the new Cat Bed was fairly empty.  Well, well.  I just happened to have a nice, soft, rather long foot rest.  I could put another cover over that and push it up against the wall, so Scottie could stretch out and not fall off.

Encouraged by my brilliance, I went and got the foot rest and moved it into position.  Cleverly, I had put the coverlet on it before I brought it into the room.  Feeling quite proud of myself, I stepped back to survey my handiwork, when the forth cat, a huge orange tom named Morry, leapt gracefully into position and stretched out his full length on the foot rest.  Alice put her nose to close him, questioning, and he swiped it.  Morry does not like dogs and misses no opportunity to put them in their place.  He was not about to let a mere canine to occupy his new territory.

OK, so Scottie wasn't going to have the foot rest either.  Stumped, I started roaming the house, looking for alternatives.  In the back room, underneath papers and other paraphernalia, was a smaller, square-ish foot stool.  I found yet another coverlet, wrapped the footstool and brought it into our living space.  carefully, I placed it a reasonable distance from the wood stove so that it was well out of cat paw range.  Alice took one look at it, jumped up and curled around and gave me a look that said "thanks mom"  and went to sleep.

Scottie just stood there, looking at the three cats on the floor bed, Morry on the foot rest and Alice on the foot stool.  Scottie's tail wagged, that slow wag that indicates a question, a hope, a wish. 

With a sigh of resignation, she turned away and went over to curl up under my desk.

And I sat there, looking at my brood, shaking my head.  This was not what I had planned.

 Absently, I reached down to pet Scottie  who leaned against me companionably. 

It was hopeless and Scottie and I both knew it.  I dropped a friendly hand to Scottie who was thumping a gentle message of contentment with her tail.   

In the days to follow, she too, would sneak up on the foot stool and the foot rest. 

Some days, Scottie would even get a chance at the Cat Bed. 

Human plans are not the only ones to go astray.  Morry's plan, Princess's plans and even Alice's plans had no better chance of working out than did mine.

And so it goes.  We learn to live together and take our turns at being top dog or cat, as the case may be.

We try and sometimes we even do our best.  And once in a while, it works out.

So Be It.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Cactus Flower Zendala    Pen & Ink

Take what you like and leave the rest 

I would like to tell you one of the many stories of Avis and Ray. 

Avis and Ray had already raised one family when the last child came along. By this time, they were not the struggling young couple, but were mildly comfortable, financially. One of the things they wished to do for their daughter was to provide her with a broad education, especially a respect and appreciation for other cultures. So they went out of their way to invite folks from other cultures into their home.

One Christmas, the daughter learned Origami from Itsuko Katsube, an exchange student from Japan.
 On Thanksgiving, the house would be filled with folks from Israel or Tunisia.
Visitors from British Guyana or Guatemala might bump into each other. Nairobi and Thailand folks were equally welcome. 

Eventually Avis and Ray became very active in a Foreign Student Exchange Program.
 In 1966, when their daughter started her senior year in high school, a Turkish boy, by the name of Suleymon, was living in their town as the exchange student. But sadly, his placement did not work out. He had been living with a family that misunderstood the purpose of the program.   They had been trying to convert him to Christianity. Suleymon was a good Muslim and started becoming very homesick.
He wanted to go home. 

But the people who ran the exchange program persuaded Suleymon to try one other home before he went back to Turkey. And thus, he came to live with Ray and Avis. 

Now, this situation could have been fraught with problems. Avis was a devote Christian herself, and Ray was, well, shall we say, a bit unorthodox in his behavior. 
But to everyone's surprize, the match was a good one.

 Avis and Suleymon loved to spend long hours with each other comparing their religions. Neither one of them tried to convert the other, but rather they shared a deeply held conviction that their differences were only on the surface.
And Ray loved to take Suleymon to Native American Tribal dances and race car meets. He taught Suleymon all sorts of American Phrases, such as "Bottom man on the Totem Pole" and "Getting caught with your pants down". 

At the end of the year, Suleymon left Avis and Ray tearfully (on both sides) and went home feeling quite good about America and its people. 

That was not a good year for pro-American sympathies in Turkey. When Suleymon applied to the Middle East University, he was almost turned down because of his pro- American leanings.
Later that year, the anti-American riots closed down the University and Suleymon found himself in the position of needing to get out of town, fast.  It was not safe for him to be in his own country. 
Ray and Avis had kept in touch with Suleymon, so they knew what was going on. They quickly put things into motion so that they could adopt Suleymon legally, and thus get him out of the country.
So Suleymon came back to the United States, enrolled in college, met a wonderful Mexican American woman, married and started a new life.
Ray and Avis even helped to finance Suleymon and his wife's college, with one provision, that someday, they too would help someone get an education.

This was not to be a problem.  Suleymon and his new wife shared some very important values. They believed in Family and they believed in Education. Even as they began raising their own family, they helped out brothers, sisters, cousins.
A sister from Mexico would come and live with them while she got her degree in teaching, then a cousin from Turkey would live with them as he got his doctorite. One person after another would live with them and Suleymon and his wife helped as much as they could to pay for the education of family members who would then return to their countries and help their own people. 

When the earthquake hit Turkey, some of the doctors and nurses were folks who had been educated in the U.S. and had been helped by Suleymon and his wife. 

As I watched the devastation in Turkey, I prayed for the folks who lost so much.
As I watched the teams of doctors and nurses, I could not tell which ones were friends and family of Suleymon, but I know they were there.
And they made a difference. 

We are all brothers and sisters in a very real sense.
We have family in New Zeeland and Kenya, Canada and Iran, Nepal and Brazil. Our religion, race, and country make no difference to the fact of our basic humanity. The world has become too small and crowded a place for us turn our backs on one another.

 Ray and Avis have been dead for over thirty years, but the hand of friendship that they held out to Suleymon, still goes on. The good deed has multiplied and spread around the world.

 May our good deeds do the same. 

So Be It.



Purple Mandala

I have always loved Manalas, even before I knew the name for them.  I have created far too many to count.  And these days I do Zentangle Mandalas (known as Zentangles), Mandalas in pen & Ink, Colored Mandalas, Black & White Mandalas and -- my personal favorite -- Clay Mandalas.  I have even begun to put together a coloring book of Mandalas.

The picture above is one of my many clay Mandalas.  This particular Mandala is 6" by 8".  I usually start in the center and work out (but there is no wrong way to do them), so, in effect I watch them grow.  I don't plan ahead, because I want the Mandala to evolve in it's own way, rather than to force a pattern on it.  Everything has symbolic meaning, from the colors to the shapes, the patterns and the 'flow'.  And no two are alike.  I like that, the endless possibilities, limited only by my own imagination.

Mandalas are used in every part of the world and in almost every religion as aids in prayer, meditation and healing.  The sand paintings of the Pueblo Indians, the sand paintings from India, the Rose Windows in medieval cathedrals in Europe,  all are examples of Mandala.  And I admit to getting lost (visually speaking) in them.  They do help me, both in creating them and in Viewing them.

So today I share with you this Mandala.  I hope it adds to your day.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Take what you like and leave the rest

It was a few years ago, during a youth camp-out.  I had burnt the popcorn and was struggling with cleaning the pan.  As I scrubbed, a call came to join the others outside.

Looking up at the Moon through a friend's telescope on a crisp, clear night, there was a strong sense of wonder and awe. My complacent little human bubble seemed to have no place in the scheme of things.  I was reminded of the Psalmist words "What is man, Oh Lord, That Thou art Mindful of him?" and again I think that perhaps we over-rate our importance in the Universe.

The Clarity of the Craters of the Moon looked like jewels, cold and aloof from Human dealings. They seem eternal, unchanging.  Human politics and human affaires seem so momentary, so inconsequential.   What would it matter if the whole human race decided to end itself?

We take ourselves so seriously. I sometimes wonder if we may be the only ones who do.

Surly any God would have so much more to be concerned with than our petty problems.

Surely the creation of a new comet or star would be far more important than any thought of solving our petty human problems.

Yet, as I looked through the telescope at the wonder of a double star, I could remember times of Grace, times of unexpected blessings of Joy.  It would seem as if we were created for just such times.  Perhaps our role is to see the beauty & the awe and rejoice in it.

And again, I wrestled with musings of exactly who are we humans?  What is our place in the Universe?

Then I went back to cleaning out the burnt Popcorn Pan.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Worth Doing Poorly

                                                       Butterfly MiniMask  (1 1/2 by 2 1/4)

Take what you like and leave the rest

Some time ago, someone gave me a gift which has driven me crazy and may have saved my sanity.

 I have wrestled with it for over twenty years. Now, I will pass it on to you.  But first, allow me to tell you a story. 

There was once a young man who knew that his father loved him very much, but the father, being a inarticulate man, never showed his affections.  After a glorious ceremony where the son graduated at the top of his class, the father came over to him. After a moment, the father awkwardly put his arm around his son's shoulders. He stood stiffly for a moment and then said, "Son, I'm Proud of you."

Then he removed his arm and walked off without looking back. 

Stunned, the son stared after his father, then shook his head and joined his friends in celebrating. 

Sadly, soon after, the father died of a sudden heart attack. 

Now that moment, that awkward, uncomfortable moment became a diamond in the son's memory. True, the father had not shown his affection in a smooth, polished manner, but he had Tried.

And that meant everything to the son. 

A few years ago, I was becoming more and more frustrated with a present I was making for my mother. Getting very angry, I finally tossed it across the room, saying, "This stupid thing! I'll never get it right! I might as well not even try!" 

"Now, now", came a voice, "You know that anything really worth doing is worth doing poorly."

 I looked up to see a friend standing there. "You mean 'doing well'" I corrected him. 

"No.", he said gently but firmly, "I meant what I said. 'Anything Worth Doing, is Worth Doing Poorly'" 

I don't know about you, but that idea really bothered me.  Aren't we always supposed to try our best?  Aren't we always expected to succeed?  Or at least come very close?

But the more I thought about it, the more I had to agree. 

All too often, we get caught up in trying to do everything just right, trying to get it perfect.

While this sounds good, the results are that many folks simply stop trying altogether.

We stop singing in public, because we might hit the wrong note.
We don't try that new game, because we might not be good at it.
We don't tell people how much they mean to us, because it might make us feel silly. 

We hurt ourselves by this 'expectation of perfection'. We block out experience that might be fun or instructive. We rob ourselves of the sheer joy of belting out a song, even if we can't sing a note.

And we hurt others by not letting them know how very important they are in our lives. 

So what if it's not perfect? So what if we look silly?

To the son who received his father's love, that moment was worth all the awkwardness it caused his father. 

We don't need to be perfect.  We need to grow. We can't grow unless we try things.

                 So this is my gift to you: 

Remember, anything really Worth Doing, is Worth Doing Poorly. 

So Be It