Today marks my grandma's birthday. She should have been 87.
Days like today, I expect the memories, but others a tiny thing will remind me of her. Like when I pick up my phone wanting a long conversation or when someone mentions pigs and I remember her unwilling collection of swine figurines.
For whatever reason, I'm thinking of Gram today as an artist. Although she never sold her paintings or writings (as far as I'm aware), she created. As a kid, she always encouraged us to create and we almost always painted on a visit there. Sometimes I'd go downstairs at her house to find a new painting sitting on the easel or pull open the desk to find a scrap of paper with a poem written in her nearly illegible left-handed scrawl.
As a writer, I often feel pressure on my work. I want it to be high quality and meaningful while also having commercial value. That's asking a lot of something that falls from my mind onto the paper (screen?). By contrast, some of the best work I've read has never been published, it's never earned a dime.
We should create like everyone will read it, but also like no one will. That duality gives us the freedom to experiment and explore and have fun without the fear of judgement, but also the weight of knowing our work has meaning and that other people will be affected by it - either now or later.
So, in honor of her birthday, I'm just going to leave this here, and hope the people who need it will find it.