Stories from the Junk Room

A friend and I were reminiscing yesterday about what people in Idaho called the “junk room”; that room in an unseen part of the house where the door was always closed and the smell of mothballs was ever-present. I had two favorite junk rooms. One was in my grandmother’s house, an upstairs bedroom piled pell-mell...

Does Art Need a Purpose?

I recently donated a Little Free Library to a local mobile home park. I stopped by the library, which is located near the playground, the other evening and chatted with some of the kids who were playing there. Some of them had seen and even used the library, the others hadn’t noticed it at all....

Is Art Ever Annoying?

I’ve had two songs stuck in my head for weeks now and it’s driving me crazy: “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” by Tina Turner and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  Seriously, brain? Why that song? I don’t even like baseball. When I was a teenager, I babysat for a lovely family who...

You Are Not

I’ve been reading a book called Real: The Inside-Out Guide to Being Yourself by Clare Diamond. In Part One, Diamond deconstructs “self” by telling us all the things we are not. We are not our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, or even our past. It’s quite the liberating feeling to realize all the things you think you...

What It’s Like to Be Seen

I was listening to an interview with brilliant children’s author, Kate DiCamillo, on the On Being Podcast. She told a story of a little boy who was leaning heavily on her while she signed his book. His mother said, “Don’t lean on her, honey.” And the boy answered, “It’s okay, Mom, she knows me.” This...