If you’ve ever been in one of my classes/workshops there are three things you know right away.

*  I talk with my hands.

*  I rabbit trail in very quirky ways, but {almost always} come back around to the main point.

*  I have a deep belief that art principles are life principles.

Conversations with me usually involve “word pictures” and/or a sketch or two.   When talking about any given topic over coffee, I usually have to pull out a napkin or my journal and draw, or describe a scenario that illustrates the point.

So, last week when Aussie Brilliant #1 called with some time management challenges, we ended up in a conversation about “margin”, which launched me into an art lesson about positive and negative space – that, was really not an art lesson at all.

Because after all, you can form something by shaping it or by leaving room for it.

In my son’s world, this means showing up to several things that are in the Form-of-Self.  Things like classes, job and his volunteer work.  There are a million things that “shape” us.   From the people that we meet, to the discoveries we make, to our preferences & adventures.  They come to us from the outside in and add shape to our lives.


In addition to what shapes us, we are formed by other things.  These things, while just as important, are more ethereal. They are those things that we leave space for; and they are also in the Form-of-Self.  Things like writing songs, making art, reading books, thinking/processing time.  Personally, I think you have to fight a little harder for these things.  It is tougher to make space than to be formed.  But that is another conversation…


Imagine my delight this morning, when I received the following email.  The subject line read simply:  Mom!


I just got out of a fancy pen shoppe! :). The lady gave me an impromptu handwriting lesson!  And you know what she said??!!?

“It’s all about space.” She then pointed to the jar of ink.  “the letters are all there, waiting for the spaces”

dude!  She kept talking about pens but i I fumbled to write down what she said.

Private Reserve Ink - Avacado

Ah, thank you pen shoppe lady for the beautiful word picture.   I hope I get to meet you someday.  When you, in the middle of your fancy pen shoppe in Sydney, took the the time to show a college student the beauty of lettering, you not only sold a pen, you unwittingly reinforced one of the powerful life lessons that show up in art.  {The same message coming from home in Georgia…”It’s all about space.”}  I hope that your Generous Heart  and Love of Beauty circle back around to bless you in large ways. {And that would be REPETITION & UNITY...}

P.S.  We’re sending that young man back to you to buy a pen, because every songwriter/scribe should have a beautiful instrument.