Rush Parking

I was running late for work. In accordance with parking-late-law, that meant zero convenient spots. Up in the heights of the garage my green beetle climbed. Around each turn…Oh is that a spot? SMART CARS, you tease! Jumbo SUVs were in the compact car spots. I imagined they were embarrassed, jammed in and refusing eye contact. Ultimately, the Nissans and the Elements kept Forrest Gumping me— “this spot’s taken.”

I should have arrived earlier.  You do this to yourself, Rebekah.My negative voice takes a microphone when I’m already frustrated. I got to the highest point in the parking garage and thought, Great. Outside and its raining. No wonder. I pulled in and grabbed my things. Just as I closed the car door, I looked up!

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Untied Bow

Last weekend, our Dad was rushed into the ICU, not for the first time. Two of my dearest college friends came to support me, also not for the first time.

“Bow, how is Brave Tutu going?” Amanda asked.

“Struggling. It’s hard to pump out positive, uplifting articles when my heart is feeling so low.”

“Bow, I don’t think Brave Tutu has to always be happy…”

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Paint Doors, Gain Passage

Our apartment’s elevator is inoperable. When I moved in, my landlord told me, “It hasn’t worked for over thirty years.” People would stand and wait. To deter hope of the elevator’s function,someone put a giant plant in front of it. Months later, a plywood covering followed. Recently, maintenance painted over the entire operation. Now, only the trained eye can spot the buttons.

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Toy Perspective: Outside of the Box

At Christmas, do you ever wonder how the old toys feel about their replacements? The playroom buzzes on Christmas Eve in Jim Henson’s film, The Christmas Toy (a.k.a. Toy Story of the 80’s).  All the characters are excited about the promise of new additions to their toy tribe, all except Rugby, last year’s star gift.

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WHAP! WHAP! Gratitude!

I want to really go back. I’m hungry to taste our traditional cinnamon roll and Lil’ Smokies sausage breakfast. I’d wash it all down with grainy pulp-filled orange juice. To be true to tradition, Joshua and I would fight over the last wrinkled Smokie, even though I’d be stuffed and the aromatic promise of true stuffing filled the air.

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A Ripped Leaf leaves an Impression

by Megan Grace

Photo courtesy of artist, author and illustrator Ashley Wolff. Please check out ashleywolff.com

Photo courtesy of artist, author and illustrator Ashley Wolff. Please check out ashleywolff.com

Zorro came running when I called. My pup led the way into Portland’s fall splendor. Aesthetically, I ate up the endless buffet of lavish reds, pungent oranges, festive golds, and the remains of green. I plucked one leaf from its dance in the breeze to accompany me on my walk. With tiny touches of apricot, maroon, and green, it represented the beauty overhead. I focused on slivered rips in the leaf. Where did they come from? I pondered its gaps, commiserated even: “Must have been the wind, the rain, or maybe a hungry bug. Huh?”

Above me, I checked out the remaining autumn leaves fanfare. My eyes zeroed in on each one individually. The tiny tears on the leaf were actually letting in sunlight, so they kinda had a glimmer to them. On my life path, this metaphor for tender, broken rips hit strong. It did not matter how the “irregularities or gaps” became a part of the leaves’ tapestry. Undoubtedly, each leaf had no idea how its tears added to its overall beauty. Isn’t that often the human experience? It takes bravery to live with boldness and bring rips into the open for others to see Tutu. I think that often you might be the last to see the beauty in your own tender places.

Photo courtesy of artist, author and illustrator Ashley Wolff. Please check out ashleywolff.com.

Photo courtesy of artist, author and illustrator Ashley Wolff. Please check out ashleywolff.com.

 In my Brave Tutu efforts to “take courage in delight and discover power in small moments,” I delighted in the strength of these wind-tussled leaves. In courage, they danced, as they held tight to the branches above me. I discovered power in my mini-moment of reflection. I believe, our tears let in light and are most beautiful when moved by a bigger force.

As I daily choose to don the tutu of bravery, it matters very little how the tender or wounded places became part of my present day. I remember the leaves— Come, as you are: brilliant and tattered, with curves, edges, tears, and smudges. Inhale deeply the crisp air of a season marked with visible change. You are enough. Take this as your invitation to dance.

I'm thrilled to welcome my first guest author for this week’s Brave Tutu blog Megan Grace and I first met when we were roommates in Spain during a college semester abroad. When I didn’t understand our Host Mom’s Spanish, I’d turn to Megan for help. Fortunately, she remains fluent in English, Spanish, and Brave Tutu.

 

Megan Grace and Zorro.

Megan Grace and Zorro.

Bio: Megan Grace regularly zooms in on small moments and finds delight in the present. Her calling is helping others walk through and heal from trauma. You’ll often find her on the dance floor, dancing Brazilian Zouk, or exploring the Pacific Northwest with Zorro, her right hand pup. Read another one of her articles here.

Dinosaurs, Doorways, and Confident Knocks

Perhaps this funny video rings familiar from the trick-or-treat weekend? This wee dinosaur costumes up and follows custom. Customs go by the wayside, though, on special occasions. 

Little Austin, my nephew, was taught the following for his house visits:

1.     Only knock on doors with your parents present. CHECK!

2.     People are expecting you. CHECK!

3.     Doorways are for hugging. HE TRIED!

Even though he didn’t know the homeowner, since from his knee-high vantage point, all legs look the same, he went by what he’d been taught and by instinct. 

Austin’s dinosaur-door adventure was a teachable moment. It had depth and rang the Brave Tutu bell. He certainly was full of “courage in delight,” the key being Austin’s confident determination. What if, like Austin, we walked through unknown challenges like we belonged there?

One step to this “belonging” boils down to creating self-comfort amidst the uncertainty in human encounters. Before any of my big “career-changing” meetings, my brother often tells me, “Just remember, Rebekah, you’re not meeting Gandhi.” Meant with respect, this comical antidote grounds me to humanity. This “powerful” person I’m about to meet probably also growls at their alarm clock . They, too, have memories of brightly-colored LEGOs or blowing bubbles on a summer afternoon. With this shift in mentality, I can approach conversations with new acquaintances on common ground.

Austin didn’t hesitate in the doorway because he had his own check-list. His parents’ guidance opened the door to delight. Like him, we each need our own “doorway” check-list for daunting encounters. These might include:

1.     Most meetings are with humans who have things in common with us. CHECK!

2.     If stairs (obstacles) are involved, we can take those one at a time. CHECK!

3.     If they don’t let you in, it’s their dino-sized mistake.  CHECK IT!

Of course, visualizing thrilled people who are ready to adorn us with candy wouldn’t hurt either.

Sincerely,

Your Brave Tutu (You’re brave, too-too!)

Notes:

* Candy rewards belong to the first commenter. Let’s get this conversation going.

* Did you enjoy this post? If so, please consider sharing it on social media.

*Eager for more?  Check out A Costume, Not a Mask where I explore more about what costumes might mean.

 

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