(i cloud, you cloud, water cloud…)
Certain advice just has a way of staying with you. You recognize it: “Yes. TRUTH.” Never to be forgotten. Well, ideally.
As in the pity party (you recall?). So, this next piece of advice came during that same time period. I had now moved into the house that needed work. And was mothering four little ones. And working on my art.
The issue was that I lived so close to the school that I could see the teachers through the window. There at seven, teaching teaching teaching until two or three, leaving maybe at four, six, even seven. And me? Mothering and arting. Somehow, I was seeing the teaching as hugely more valuable than my endeavors. Even though I had once been a teacher, right now I was just a mother. Just an artist.
And then I met Leon. From Atlanta. A health practitioner. I told him what I did and then somehow it came out – where I live and that I’m not measuring up to those teachers.
Leon: “So you’re not working as hard as them?” He’s heard me. Yeah. “Not worth as much?”
He looked me straight in the eye and offered these words: “This is what you need to say to yourself every time you think those thoughts: FUCK THE PURITANS.” With emphasis.
His advice. It’s stayed with me. And I pass it on.
In case you ever compare. In case you ever think you don’t measure up. In case you have those Puritans living in your mind, too.