Jodi Hills

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

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Still. And again.

In Mrs. Strand’s kindergarten class at Washington Elementary, there wasn’t a problem that sitting still couldn’t solve. If we were too hot, “Sit still,” she would say softly. Too excited. Too nervous. Too tired. Too anything. We solved it all by sitting quietly at our desks. In the saving grace of her whisper, we knew everything would be ok.

I listen for her voice, still, and still. Those calming words that told us not to run away from it, but just be in it. I think we often get afraid to feel. We want to fight it. Push it away. Outrun it on the playground. It’s a lesson I’m still learning. Even knowing it. Living it. Creating it on the canvas, I still have to keep learning. But she was right, Mrs. Strand. And when I allow myself to just feel it, calmly, trusting the words that my five year old self found to be true, it is then that I can breathe, recover and become. I can love, still, and again.

I sit in this morning whisper, and know everything will be ok.


My heart beats in red.

We used to differentiate our toothbrushes by color. It was something if, for the lifecycle of your toothbrush, you had your desired color. Mine was red. I suppose it was because red was also my favorite flavor. Red jelly beans. Red Jello. Red popsicles. To brush my teeth in the same “flavor,” seemed quite the event.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday with two tech guys. One was laughing because he was receiving a text on his watch from his toothbrush, informing him that it was time to replace the brush heads. Yes, his smart toothbrush was communicating with his smart watch.

Perhaps thinking that my toothbrush was smart if it matched the sugar on my tongue pales in comparison. But not for me. Because I thought I had everything. Standing waist high next to my mother in front of the bathroom sink, singing the happy birthday song for timing, with pink foam around my lips, my world was complete. My brain, my heart, felt so very smart.

This is not to say that technology isn’t fantastic. I’m using it right now to tell you this story. But I am sure of one thing, nothing will ever replace relationships. To start and end your day with someone who knows your every flavor, and loves you because of and still — this is an irreplaceable knowledge.

So if you ask me, “You think you’re pretty smart?” I can only answer, “Well, I do wake up with the one I love…”