Jodi Hills

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


Of wind and wave.

I suppose it’s impossible to find out right away. We make our friends, from the start, in the most joyous of times. We gravitate to the laughter on summer vacation beaches. Buoyed by the play. And between the giggles and the hands held in the sand that we skip upon, we shout to all the blue above, “This is my friend!!!!” And we can’t, for one second, imagine that the moment is not eternal. Until it isn’t.

Perhaps it is here where real friends are made. When the skies darken and the path can no longer be skipped, but only trudged. When the only sound that can break the noise of wind and wave is the close whisper of “I’m still here…and it’s still beautiful.” Maybe the skies can’t hear it then, and maybe they don’t need to, but my heart shouts with eternal joy, “This is my friend!”

1 Comment


It’s not just that she resembled the woman on the magnet I was making — wearing a face from the past, but a smile looking toward the future. And it’s not just that she was the one who first told me, “Slap on a little lipstick, you’ll be fine,” surgery after surgery. It’s not just the fact that she helped cut those magnets – on a paper cutter from Independent School District 206. And it’s not just that she sat on the sofa next to me, sleeving those magnets in plastic, with a glass of wine, mixed with so much laughter that leaked into tears of tenderness. And it’s not just that she stood beside me on concrete floors in Minneapolis and Chicago and New York, selling those created, cut, lived, sleeved magnets. It’s not just that within each of these moments, on couches and concrete, more moments were created that would end up on more magnets, on more paintings, in books, and here – in stories, spread across the internet, moving from country to country, reminding someone somewhere of their mother, their grandma, their friend, who helped them laugh, who helped them cry, and gave them a story to pass on. It’s not just this, but all of this, and more…

I suppose that’s the problem with artificial intelligence. There is no more. Words can be manufactured. Paintings can be painted. Music generated. But then it stops. I want more.

We have a nephew in Kansas City. He is a fantastic musician. And it’s not just that he is creating music that he hears in his heart, in his soul, music that comes from a time when men wore brightly colored tailored suits, topped with matching hats, when fingers were snapped, and jazz wasn’t just played, but spoken. And it’s not just that he is creating that music in a house that his father transformed to make room for him, and well, all that jazz… And it’s not just that they are transforming a new house to create more music, with more creators, in this creative city. It is more. This is the sound of more.

The world is changing. Some want to create it all, with just the push of a button. I want more. May we forever, all want more. These are the better days. WE are the better days.