Texture is one of the most beautiful things in the world to me. I love rusted iron, layers of paint, galvanized metal, brown chipboard, rough burlap. Somehow the whole disparity creates a collage to me, keeping my eye interested. When I look at the above picture (taken in my “a room of one’s own” — courtesy V. Woolf), I feel myself inspired, readied, with a little surge of adrenaline and hope. To me texture, in its own strange way, is not only the art itself but the symbol that life is alive, faceted, unexpectedly creative, and full of weird beauty.

Most days of my current life, I reach a certain moment when all the texture is gone, all the light is flat, and the numbing beige settles in (cue the eating, shopping, TV watching, escaping, and perhaps even a little despairing). Yesterday, I wake up out of this stupor and realize we’re officially in Lent, which probably isn’t the greatest way to enter into the Lenten season–caught off guard and totally, unintentionally unprepared. Amid the Winter Olympics, Valentine’s candy, and a Gap Kids sale, I just blanked. Then, I remember I’m offering a Found Art Workshop next week on the theme of “Holding On and Letting Go,” and I realize, without even planning it, that those are the exact themes of Lent.

To that end, I wrote a Lent List . . .

Holding on to — writing space and time, meaningful moments with Steve, regular breaks, hope that I will survive year 1 to 2 with my children, that baby-gazing thing I wrote about in my last post, rest and truth, a couple of good books, texture

Letting go of — perfectionism, mind-numbing TV watching, fear that I will always feel tired, churning anxiety, blah beige

I wrote the list while heaving deep breaths because I know it takes a lot of courage to actually do anything about any of this. Then I remembered something I had heard on the radio last week . . .

Jim Rome was interviewing Duke’s Coach Krzyzewski (yes, of course I had to google the spelling). I was driving to Target (AKA Mecca) with the babies, and my eyes went oogly from the abrupt arrival of watery tears. Coach K, who BTW I would like to channel the next time I’m doing a radio interview–cool as a cucumber, starts talking about one of his players. And he says, “He’s a warrior, Jim. That kid is a beautiful warrior.” And he said it with this tone of unforgettable persuasion and compassion. Jim Rome just let the words sit for a split second, and the moment was full and took on a dimension far beyond radio and sports, and then Rome says, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Coach Freaking K.” I love laughing and crying at the exact same moment.

So with the warrior spirit, I am turning toward the texture in my life.  Even though the surfaces often feel overwhelmingly unsmooth and the paint is worn and the cloth of my soul feels irreparably tattered on certain days, I remind myself of how much I love all the textures, how they play with one another and adhere to each other and create something important overall.

And if all else fails, I’ll just keep whispering to myself, “Coach Freaking K. Coach Freaking K. Coach Freaking K.”

Post your Lent List, you beautiful warrior, you. What true living texture do you need to embrace? What blah beige impostor do you need to relinquish?

Lots of Lenten Love.

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