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.

We got a new vacuum cleaner. It has a very bright headlight. It was amazing, and a little bit frightening, what I could see in the corners, under furniture — see what I had been missing. The great revealer, this light. It was so satisfying to know that I was actually making a good cleaning. It felt good, and I found myself vacuuming with enthusiasm. I can’t go back now, to the old vacuum, the old way…I know too much.

I suppose it’s that way with everything. At least I would hope so. But in so many ways, I think we are failing. In the few minutes of news a day that I allow myself (my heart can’t take too much), I see, what I can only call filth. The absolute worst of us, making the same mistakes over and over. And we allow it. We shine the light on it, and still refuse to see it. We have to do better than this. We know better. Right and wrong are not that difficult to see.

Get your house in order, they say. And I guess that’s right. I will do my best in my little corner of the world. Try to make it as beautiful as I can. It was what we were taught, wasn’t it? This little light of mine? I’m gonna let it shine.


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Self evident.



The first thing we saw while visiting the home of Thomas Jefferson was a collection of tools. A hammer. It made me smile. You would have thought the Declaration of Independence would be front and center, but it came after. Of course it did. First, there was work to be done. And there still is.

It was, I suppose, self evident that all men were created equal. Yet, they still had slaves. Today, we don’t have slaves, but there is still so much work to do. So the “hammer”, the work, must remain in the foreground. Knowing this, is a start. Maya Angelou always rings in my ear, “When you know better, you do better.” I want to do better – in everything.

I’m working on a collection of my daily blogs. It is entitled, “Pulling Nails.” Each time I make a frame at home in France, I take the reclaimed wood, pull out the nails, sand it, sand it again, and again, cut, strengthen, build something stronger, and it is beautiful. I suppose that has always been my goal. Take what has been given, and make it better. I hope I can do this. I hope we all can do this. Pull the nails and make something beautiful.

Let’s get to work.




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Anyone.

After seeing it, the Liberty Bell, I had to look up the actual definition of the word. The thing is, we always think we know. There are many interpretations of course, but the words that kept popping up were freedom, rule of law, and not depriving anyone else of their freedom. Oh, we get the first part so easily, freedom, freedom, freedom. Me, me, me. But do we get the second part? The anyone else’s? That’s the hard part, I suppose. That’s where the crack comes in. This is where we fail so often.

We stood in line to view it, this line of anyone else’s, this line of every color and age, this respectful line that moved slowly in the heat of the sun – the great disinfectant. We were quiet, polite, respectful. For we were all in search of the same thing – proof that this was still the case – it could be done peacefully – this search, this daily march toward liberty. This daily march together in our differences, together in our similar pursuit.

We only got a few minutes to stand before the symbol, this bell. But it rings in my heart. I pray it rings in yours. I am your anyone else, and you are mine. And we march together, search together, work together, to ring out the great truths we all want to hear.