Jodi Hills

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

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This little light of mine.

I have lit candles in churches from the top of the red rocks in Sedona, Arizona to the Sacré-Cœur in Paris. In Rome. And New England. Minneapolis. Sometimes I say a prayer. Names of those I love. Wishes. Hopes. Sometimes I just breathe. Not in search of miracles. And I have chased them for sure, but it seems my handful (heartful) of miracles never came in moments of flee, but only moments of calm. It makes sense then, I guess, to give thanks in the same way, in the quiet glow of a candle.

I was gifted two new candles recently. And the real gift is, they know me!  I love candles. And I light them immediately. I can no more imagine saving a candle, than saving love. I want to experience it now! So I lit the new candle in my bathroom yesterday, and for the first time, it seemed so clear — I wasn’t just lighting a candle — I was lighting a candle! (Sacré-Cœur). Every moment is special, sacred. Prayers and thanks are as real and magical in the ordinary as the extraordinary. 

My heart smiled. It is not a cathedral, but it is my heart, my life, and as the song says, “I’m gonna let it shine.”

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The show

The show.

My first solo show in France was in a cathedral in Carpentras. You can imagine the size by its title “cathedral” – had it been small, I guess it would have been a church. And it was huge! Both impressive and intimidating. How would I fill such a space?

The answer was in the window of the small house next to the cathedral. It was one of the most beautiful windows I had ever seen. It stopped me in the street. Bold red shutters framed the window, dressed in the most delicate lace, and accented with flowers that grew on the sill. The marks from the latches breathed a daily opening. This window was alive. It was filled with life. And I knew what my show would represent – a life – my life.

I filled the cathedral with my story — with the same hopes of presenting, I guess, just like this window, that someone lives here. Someone lives in these paintings. Amid all of these colors and strokes is a life, framed with the boldness of red, the fragility of lace and the daily growth of a flower.

The largest cathedrals we have to fill are the lives we are living. And life, for sure, can be both impressive and intimidating, but oh, how beautiful! What a show! How are you going to fill yours today? Open the shutters wide — let’s begin.