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Thanksgiving, for me, really isn’t about Saints and Strangers (though it is about Cowboys for some in our family). It isn’t about a glamorized feast of the past or about turkey and dressing It isn’t about eating enough to be fortified for Black Friday. I planned a huge menu, yes, and we will enjoy the feast, but truly it’s about thanks. As I filled the cart yesterday I kept asking myself why we insist on making this holiday about excess. Isn’t Christmas excess enough? Couldn’t we just enjoy the excess of time we have on this day to spend together? Wouldn’t a simple meal be enough to deserve thanks? Isn’t every meal worthy of thanks? But, I bought the extra. I’ll happily fix the feast. There will be more people at our table than me. Some of them are relying upon turkey, pumpkin pie, and all the rest to make the holiday feel right. Can I really just decide for everyone? I think this is a conversation that our family should have long before I am standing in line with a thawing turkey next year. For now, I will be grateful that we are able to provide this feast and that we can spend this day together. I will try to extend this gratitude into the coming holidays and the new year.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order,
confusion into clarity….It turns problems into gifts,
failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing,
and mistakes into important events.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melodie Beattie

If you are reading this, I am grateful for you. For something you said or done or caused me to do…I am grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving! Namaste, Jeannie


The Woman I Am

Some say I am a strong woman
Some tell me I am a brave woman
Some think I should be more of a woman
Some will tell you I’m a good woman
While some think I’m not much of a woman
Or at all like any woman they ever knew
And that I could be so much more

But all I am is a woman
All I am is my woman
I am the woman I can be
The one I want to be
Not the one I should be, could be, would be
Not so much more, too much like, or nearly so

Absent Wryta

Recently, I was asked if I use art to convey my personal sermon. If you know me, you know that the word “sermon” is not one I would normally use, but in light of its intended meaning here, I’m going with it. Sermon=message.


My personal sermon is best described through the two types of art I utilize most…photography and drama. I use photography to document and explore how I see the world and how I approach life. I find satisfaction in photographs that hone in on fine detail, ones that choose just the angle to make the whole of that person or object shine through. It isn’t always the “best side” of a person or the flawless petals of a flower. No, it’s the parts that make the character apparent, and often ignores the cookie-cutter standards of beauty set forth in the media.

The second medium I use all the time is drama. I am director of a small community children’s theatre and I am steadfastly unmoving in my vision for this program. We average casts of nearly 100 kids because no child is turned away. I believe we will find that interesting, flawed face in every child…not the perfect voice, body, intonation found in other programs. But that isn’t what we are about. We are not about the product. We are about the process. We are about taking the child where he or she stands, with what he or she has to offer. Sometimes it doesn’t work the way an artistic director would wish, but it always works in the way I wish to see to world and the way in which I wish to share my vision with the world. Children who are proud of their work, their creativity, their authentic exploration into their unique and valuable offerings to a community that often turns away imperfection.


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