Last week, I came across a video of one of my great inspirations, the late Tim Russert. I have always been a huge news junkie, which is a little known fact about me, my crush on Tom Brokaw for majority of my life, my decision to go to journalism school, my spirit of charitable and social policies, putting myself in a few awkward situations like following fires and trying to expose cock fights in Compton to name just a few. I am nowhere near a true journalist like Russert and Brokaw and the many other greats, but I have always been an admirer and a sponge for their grace, dignity and ability to tell a great story. The video of Russert was from a speech at The Women’s Conference back in ’06 and he said something that he was known for saying, “you never know what twist is going to open that jar”, referring to giving the most valuable thing to others which is time and love and opening them up to a world of possibilities.
I was so fortunate to have two parents that invested so much time into me, especially my creative side. When I worked as an art teacher, a few years ago, the students would always ask me how I learned how to paint so well, with every question I saw my Mother in the answer; the time spent on painting, crafts and art, especially on fog delays home from school. With my work as a photographer, I am often asked how I became a photographer? Sure, the answer could easily be going to an expensive art school or working with great photographers but long before that my parents put a camera in my hand and believed in my creative talent. I remember sharing all my surf photography with my parents and feeling such a great bond with my Dad. He spent the time looking at each one of my film slides, hundreds and hundreds of slides of a guy on a wave after guy on a wave and yes, my Dad is a surfer, but more importantly I knew he knew it was something special to me. Inside me was an artist and my parents were the ones who helped twist open that jar.
As I grew up I did some remarkable things, finished school and was beginning to make a name for myself in my career and then my life hit a bit of a slump, wrong relationship (very wrong relationship) and hard economy. I was nearly defeated at being an artist, consider selling my camera gear, was not sure what to do while just hanging in there. But then I met this guy. I knew right away he was a nice guy, not “yeah, he is a nice guy”, but a really nice guy, the type of guy who looks at life with rose-colored lenses, somebody I could really laugh with too. Rick took a huge interest in my artful side and I took an interest in his talents.
Slowly my jar started to open again, and soon my creativity came out like a popper full of confetti. Together and individually we work hard and enjoy our careers. There is a never a day we do not do something imaginative or innovative together, and I know so deeply in my heart, this is just the beginning on what we can accomplish together.
Ironically, the image of a jar has become a remarkable symbol in our life. It was the graphic on our wedding invites, been in projects for many Sunday Sparkle crafts, and it is a happy place for so many of our tools, nourishment and happy items in our home.
But the words so eloquently expressed from Tim Russert will forever hold my parents and my husband with so much care and gratitude in my jar, as they helped twist open my passion with the utmost greatest amounts of time and love.
Today is our wedding anniversary, and tonight for our gift we will honor our first year anniversary by putting a special note to each other in a jar and sealing it and when we need a reminder we will just twist that jar open and read the words for strength and guidance. With those notes though will be equally important notes on our goals, and not for ourselves, but what we can do to help others twist open their possibilities and passions.