...isn't as bad as you may think. In fact, it is actually quite a comfortable place to dwell, once you come in for a landing. The air isn't as thin as it is in higher loftier towers. The urge to jump disappears entirely as both feet are now firmly planted on the ground. Fear of flying and fear of open spaces and fear of failure and fear of heights and fear of the unknown all dissipate into the shadows. Not flying so close to the sun, without a parachute on. Not dancing on a wire without a net. Here is a much safer, calmer and potentially wiser place to be.
...the Land of Low Expectations is exactly where I started.
...after a long and somewhat frightening fall from the Land of High Expectations...
...other people's expectations of me as a child, a student, a teacher, a parent, a wife, a mother, and resident of the world at large.
...I spent a lifetime working very hard to meet the expectations of others because I was always told that living up to expectations equals success.
...and in most instances I think that's true.
...however, one day, later in life I landed in a spot where the only expectations were my own and the ground on which I stood was flat and vacant and as far and as wide as my eyes could see.
...out of that lowly place, where I expected nothing, had no need to attain anything, carried no particular wish for fame or fortune or fanfare, came an idea.
...an idea I put down on paper. Then because my words seemed so lonely on the page, I added photographs of flowers. Why? I don't know. It was just an idea that felt right. That fit my expectations of me. I wasn't thinking of anyone else, I wasn't talking to anyone else. I was simply having a conversation with myself. It was, perhaps, a selfish idea, but then aren't all ideas selfish in the beginning?
...without the accidental tourist, I would still be sitting here, having never flown or floundered or fallen. I would be just sitting here enjoying the simple pleasure of putting my thoughts down on paper and taking out of focus pictures of flowers in the Fall.
...someone accidentally saw my words, saw my pictures and said sell them. Or, more precisely, come with me and we will try to sell them. And I did. We did. My accidental tourist was flushed with success. I was flushed with surprise and flushed out from the Land of Low Expectations and back into the world where expectations are high.
...in the Land of High Expectations the air is thin and a person can get giddy and easily excited. I admit I did just that...but...this is very important...to me...what was the most exciting was another idea altogether...
...the idea that what I thought about...what I wrote about...what I photographed...connected me to the ideas in other people's heads. And hearts. That my idea, conceived in the Land of Low Expectations, could resonate with so many other people, filled me with joy. You know that moment at the beginning of a party, when you don't know anyone and everywhere you look, little groups are gathered in a circle of commonality and you stand quietly watching and waiting for a pause in the conversation. Where you eavesdrop for a moment to listen for a familiar subject, a topic you know something about. Something you have in common with all these other people. A word, a phrase, a nudge that gives you the courage to step forward, to lean in, to introduce yourself and hopefully be welcomed to the conversation.
...I was. Welcomed. To the world of conversation. And it was a joy.
...I took a seat in the first car of the fastest roller coaster on a rickety track click clack clicking its way up from the ground headed higher and higher and faster and faster.
...it was a fun ride.
...twists and turns...
...all the way to the TOP...
...the sky was blue...I could see it flash by...
...and right there at the crest of the climb, with my heart in my throat and all reason and control abandoned...no foot on the brake...
...I had another idea...CD greeting cards...and off I flew...no parachute...no net...
I love words. I love pictures. I love connecting. Word Art that I could share. Designs in my head. Words in my heart. And good intentions in my pocket. If you build it, they say...
Ten little cards picked fresh from the garden.
I thought most folks like me knew how or wanted to load pictures on a CD. Send it through the mail.
With a single stamp.
Everywhere I went and everyone I met asked me the same question...what's on the CD? And I would say...nothing...that's the cool part...YOU can put anything you want on it and send it to anyone you love or like or miss.
And to a person...everyone said...what a neat idea.
And it was...for awhile...except that the air on the top of the ride thinned out even more...all around me...it seemed that everyone was breathing a little harder and struggling not just to hang on for the ride...but to survive it.
Maybe fewer folks like me even think about sending cards these days. The Post Office going broke, empty mailboxes, technology racing so fast no one can keep up and photo sharing sites are easier, faster and less time consuming...
...and much cooler and less old fashioned than the mind behind the idea that took shape at the top of a fast moving roller coaster...
So...here...in the land of low expectations, I find myself with some beautiful cards and the need to move on.
I am happy here...I love my website...I love my blog...I love hearing from you...I love my artwork...going to shows and having conversations...seeing old friends and making new ones...but my cards...my sweet little cards need a home.
Here is where YOU come into the picture.
You can help me find a good home for the remaining CD Greetings. If you would like cards for your wedding, to announce a new baby, or a give away for a fundraiser. If you know of a charitable organization, a worthy cause, just email me by using the envelope link at the bottom of the page.
That's all you have to do.
I will send you the cards. FOR FREE. For you. From me.
This is my gift to you.
From my heart to yours.
Because in the Land of Low Expectations...
the only place left to go is UP.
And all I want to do
is tell a story.
The best is yet to come.
And buckle up.
A roller coaster of a ride.
that which must go up
in a flash
out of control
clenched hands on the bar.
The tunnel is ahead
The light appears
that undeniable force
cannot keep me down long.
I can fly.
In the front car.
On my way back up