Jodi Hills

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

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Finding shine.

I suppose it’s only natural to get used to things. Even the things we dreamed about for years can become ordinary while living them. And we all want to be comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the shine, I don’t want to lose that. So I make the small changes. Daily.

It might sound silly, but for me, it’s the little things. I change the painting in my direct view from the breakfast table. And this brand new, this shiny comfort, reflects my smile, and the day begins. 

After lunch is my usual reading time. I switch up the place. Moving daily from chair, to bed, to outdoor hammock. Yesterday’s sun jumped off the pages as I swayed above the grass. 

Being my mother’s daughter, it is not only my joy, but my responsibility, to change my clothes frequently throughout the day. The more challenging the day, the more changes. I will hold the conversation in my head. Clutching my pearls, sometimes real, sometimes imaginary. Humbly offering my thanks. Accepting the worked-for shine that only a mirror and a mother’s memory can reflect.

Now some might say, well it’s easy for you, you live in a beautiful country. You have inspiration all around. Yes, that’s true. But I don’t eat breakfast under the Eiffel Tower each morning. I, like everyone else, am not given a reason to get out of bed…I (we) have to get out of bed and go find that reason every day.

I don’t know what today will bring. I’m not even sure what I’ll wear, or how long I’ll wear it. The clouds overhead say, “you’re on your own today.” I smile. “I’ve got this,” I say. And set out to find my shine.


Home. Sweet.

It was only out of complete desperation that I ate the semi-sweet chocolate chips in the upper cupboard of our kitchen. We didn’t have a continuous stock of candy in our house like my grandma. I stockpiled from each holiday and saved a bit from the Ben Franklin run before the Saturday matinee, so I was able to keep a small stash for afterschool snacks. On the rare occasion that I ran out, I frantically searched the house. Checking first the milk glass candy dish in the living room, but it only contained what my friends called “grandma candy” – usually mints.  (Which I never understood, because no one had better candy than my grandma.)  Only one other option remained. I pulled the wooden dining chair in front of the corner cupboards. Climbed up. Standing on the orange formica, I spun the lazy susan to the baking goods. Found the chocolate chips. Prayed for the off chance that we also had butterscotch chips to mix with the semisweet. We rarely did. Sitting on the counter’s edge, I poured a handful of the dark chocolate, still hoping for something sweet. 

I mention it only because I marvel at my youthful expectation. After countless climbs, it was always the same result — bittersweet — yet I remained ever hopeful. I suppose believers always believe. 

I don’t know what today will bring, but there’s a part of me that wakes, ready to push the chair, make the climb, hoist my feet and heart, in search of something sweet. I still believe.