I was reminded of it yesterday while doing a podcast. Something I had written years ago. Words I carry with me — “Now is the time for guts and grace.” Of course the words “guts and grace” are key, but perhaps they are far less important without the word “now.” Now means ever and always.
Some might say, “well, from time to time, sure, but I don’t need guts every day.” I’m not sure I agree. For me, I think if I’m doing it right, living the way that I want to – I DO need them daily. Because if I need them, that means I’m pushing myself to do more, to be more. It means I’m taking risks. Trying to grow. Letting people in. Feeling everything. And all of that takes real courage — real guts! But I don’t want to be bulldozer brave – knocking over everything, everyone in sight. Hence, the grace. And what a delicate balance to stumble through. And I do stumble. I do fumble. So I carry the words with me. Now.
They asked me in the interview yesterday if my mother was an artist. “Well, she made me, didn’t she?” Her openness, her pure love and joy in allowing me to be me, was more of an artistic gift than if she had handed me the paints and brushes and guidebook of Cezanne himself. Her standing tall, shoulders back, bloused in white ruffles, lips rouged above a softened, forgiving jaw, even as her heart dragged behind her size 10.5 Herberger shoes, was the most beautiful, the most artistic example of guts and grace I had ever seen. These words were written long before they settled on paper. I carry them now. She is with me now.
It’s not to say she wasn’t worried about being brave. She often did. Who doesn’t? (I guess to answer that — those not really living.) I don’t know what today will bring, but I do know what I’ll carry with me — what has been passed from my grandmother to mother to me. From their now to mine. Ever. Guts and grace.