Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…

Exit through the gift shop.


This morning I listened to a podcast about the memorial to 9/11.  It was given by a man who lost his sister in the towers.  His family had decided that they needed to grieve by themselves.  Others, through the years, found strength, or anger, or something they needed in grieving publicly, found comfort in the mourning of a nation.  So when the 9/11 memorial opened he was surprised that he decided to attend.  It is a moving recount of this day, and if you’re interested, I suggest you listen to today’s episode on This American Life.  I won’t go through his entire experience, but I will tell you what struck me the hardest.  He says at one point, everyone should have to go to a memorial of their worst day, and walk along with a family of five from Denmark, as they blow up your divorce papers, or the results from your mother’s last chemo that didn’t take, walk along with them and see how little your tragedy actually means to them.  Wow.  It is so true, and he admits to it himself, walking through museums as a young person.  But what we can learn from this!  Empathy, my friends.  Empathy.  No one escapes.  We all have our sufferings.  And no, we cannot carry those of the world, but we can be a little more understanding.  A little more graceful in our judgements.  Once we understand that we are all in this together, maybe we can see how similar we are.  We suffer.  We succeed.  We fail.  We look for ice cream for the kids.  We stand in lines.  We run from fear.  We laugh until we cry.  Some of us have no remains to visit.  No halls to walk through.  But all of us are trying to get through.  Believe me.  Believe each other.  Believe we can do better.  And we will.  Even here we exit through the gift shop.  And while that may seem a little inappropriate at first glance, maybe it’s exactly right.  Maybe with all of our travels, this is what we should do.  After every tragedy we have something to share, some way to help others.  And so we give.  Towers fall, and we give.  We hurt, we learn, and we give a little more.  potrait-collage-36

Author: jodihills

I am an author and an artist, originally from the US, now living, loving and creating in the south of France. I show my fine art throught the US and Europe, and sell my books, art and images throughout the world.

2 thoughts on “Exit through the gift shop.

  1. I believe as these tragedies happen to us we are given an invitation to grow and become a more compassionate, kind, understanding person to the on who walks in our shoes beside us.

  2. I know it is true for you! The kindest person I know! xoxoxo

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