Jodi Hills

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

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There is a substance I use once in a while when I make a frame with reclaimed wood. The wood is never perfect of course, and sometimes when I cut the angles, little pieces will chip away, and so to make them strong enough, I add this putty to fill in the gaps or cracks and it not only becomes stronger, it has more character, and a new life.

There are days that chip away at my heart, and I think, if I only I had some of that to fill it in. Strengthen it. Some days it takes longer than others, but once I let go of the Oh, why?’s and the poor me’s, (can you imagine a piece of wood whining to his carpenter?) I can see that I do have it – have had it all along, just what I need to fill in the cracks. Sometimes it comes in the form of words, sometimes a book, a conversation, a hand, a smile, all just love, finding the right shape, to crawl inside the tiny cracks and fill them.

And on those days, when I let myself be filled, I give thanks, not only for the love, but the cracks that let it in, the narrows that give it a home, the imperfections that make it my own.

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Beyond the selfie.

I was standing in my booth in New York. She was reading a longer piece I had written on the wall. (I think it was “Let it be me.”) She had tears in her eyes and turned to me. “Why aren’t you famous?” she asked. Before I could respond she said, “Wait, are you famous?” I smiled and said, “Well, my mom thinks I’m pretty special.” She laughed and placed a large order for her New York gallery.

Why do we do things? I guess we have to ask ourselves that every day. Am I doing this so I can be noticed? So I can take the selfie? When we travel, we always marvel at the people in wondrous places taking pictures of themselves. Ignoring the Eiffel Tower, but showing what dress they wore in front of it. Or at a restaurant. Is it more important to take a picture of the food to prove you were there, or to really enjoy the food, to savor it? When we give gifts — are we looking for the thank you, or simply trying to give pleasure to the other person?

There are so many things that I paint in sketchbooks. write down in notepads. Things that no one will ever see, but I still do them. I do them for the pleasure of creation. To work on my craft. To, with any luck, become better. Sketches that won’t make me famous, but will fill my heart.

I want to be a better artist, but also a better human — work on my intent. Focus on the content, and not the “likes.” The goal, the reward, is not be famous, but to be seen. If we saw each other…If you saw, not just my face, but all that I have faced, and if I did that for you… Wow! That could live on forever!