This, from Michelle's blog:
The history behind this award is powerfully emotional. The designer, Ces,
said, "I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honor the
value of friendship, sisterhood, sharing and caring. It is to be awarded
to the gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger whose friendship and
influence inspire us to do our best. That I named it after Bella Sinclair is because she
epitomizes all of these things. She is an inspiration to many of us." (If you click on the Bella link, you will learn of the great tragedy in her life, and hopefully count and recount the blessings in your own.)
Ces also says this - "I have chosen to symbolize this award with the Quercus lobata, or Valley Oak. It is a simple and unadorned award but heavy on meaning. The Valley Oak is a large handsome tree with a stout and sturdy trunk and widely spreading branches that form a broad open crown. It can reach up to a height of 100 feet and a diameter of 4 feet, sometimes much greater. It is the largest of the western deciduous oaks and is a handsome and graceful shade tree."
I'm not a fine artist like Ces and Bella Sinclair. I'm not a graphic and photographic artist like Michelle. I'm a writer and a fiber artist. I write about my wacky life and the knitting and yarn that I create, and about the path I have been taking back to myself. Michelle, thank you so very much for this. It means a great deal to me. And it's interesting, because in the past few months, a number of people have told me that I have inspired them in some way in some area of their life, and I find that to be just so amazing.
It's also amazing to me how the fiber arts seem to bring very disparate groups of people together. I would venture to guess that if Michelle and I had met on the street somewhere, we might not have become friends, for we lead very different lives, she and I. But I'm not so sure that we, ourselves, are all that different. I'm wilder than she is, and have been known to curse like a sailor (which horrifies her ;-)), and she is a vegetarian (OK - really, can you imagine me not eating red meat? I didn't think so.), and lives on a ranch/farm - but I think we both know and sense in each other that we share a lot of the same thoughts, beliefs and generosity of spirit.
The same is true with my dear friend Joyce - we could not be more different, but we delight in each other's company and laugh until we cry pretty much every time we get to catch up with each other (which because we live in different states is, regrettably, not often enough).
So we're not the same. Who cares? After all, as my late mom used to say, we are each just as God made us - and really, how boring would life be if we were all the same? I don't think it's ever up to us to judge in matters of the spirit, and isn't that what friendship and art and sharing are all about? We meet each other where we are at any given point in time, and share what we can of ourselves and accept what is offered from another.
It doesn't matter that we're different - We each bring our uniqueness to the table, and if what I have brought has inspired any of the rest of you in any small way, well Hot Dog! I think that's wonderful.
And Ces and Bella, I don't know that you'll ever find yourself here, but if you do, Ces, your love for your friend is so clear. And Bella, I'm so sincerely sorry for your devastating loss - I hold you in my thoughts and prayers.