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Good News, Bad News aka God is Funny and by Funny I mean Not Funny

Butterflies and Moon. Original artwork by RFAW. Copyright 2015.

“Butterflies and Moon” Original artwork by RFAW. Copyright 2015.

When I was a kid I used to play a game with friends called Good News, Bad News. First, I would tell a story about something good and then ruin the happiness with the bad news. Clearly, I was the Woody Allen of children, which explains a lot now that I think about it, but that’s not what this story is about.

So… let’s play!

Tickets Booked

The good news is that after months of stalling and lack of motivation (because I generally feel content where I am) I finally booked tickets for another international adventure. After weeks of research, I chose Colombia as the destination because according to many sources, the country has turned itself around completely and is no longer the kidnappy, dangerous, drug-infested country of the last century. Booking those tickets sent a wave of excitement through me that I haven’t felt in awhile. Anyone with wanderlust understands this feeling. I was thrilled.

After purchasing, I went to retrieve my passport to complete my pre-flight information.

The bad news is: My. (beloved) Passport. Is. Gone.

I’ve turned the house upside-down and inside-out, retraced steps again and again, looked behind cabinets, checked inside shoes, checked all the places where I would hide something, called airports, and wracked my brain trying to remember the last time I held the precious document in my hand. Nothing.

My last hope is that I absent-mindedly left it at my mother’s house last October. In a few days, upon returning to my mother’s place, it will be in my hands or I will be filling out paperwork for a new passport.  I hold out hope.

The bad news is that the tickets to Colombia had to be cancelled. Boo.

The Preacher

The good news is that I got a second job. The hundred-year-old man who I help weekly referred me to his young neighbor, a whippersnapper of only 87. I couldn’t believe it when we met, he stood so tall and strong and didn’t look a day over 60. Like the 100-year-old, his wife died a couple years ago and he lives alone.

"Butterflies and Rainbow" Original artwork by RFAW. Copyright 2015.

“Butterflies and Rainbow” Original artwork by RFAW. Copyright 2015.

The bad news is that he hired me to blow leaves, perhaps my least favorite activity due to the never-ending and never-complete nature of the job. For someone like myself (obsessive/compulsive) leaf-blowing is a kind of torture. There is always that leaf that cannot be extracted from the brush. But, dammit if I don’t try.

The good news is that I haven’t had to blow leaves much because of the bad news: he never stops talking.  When he’s talking (in a very loud, commanding voice) he requires my full attention which can not be given when a leaf-blower is blowing. Hence, the difficulty in completing the job.

The good news is that he tells lots of jokes…and feeds me pie…

but the bad news is that he is a charismatic fundamentalist preacher and I am his congregation of one. My work hours have largely consisted of sitting across the table from him while he delivers sermons. I even got to hear him speak in tongues!  One time he laid his large palm on my forehead and reenacted one (of the many) times he has cast demons out of a person. It’s all very exciting. And by exciting, I mean exhausting. Religion is not for the faint of heart.

If he pulls out a snake, I’m quitting.

After several meetings like this, I became frustrated by my inability to get to the job of cleaning up his leaves. Hours would pass while I was about to get to work but he wouldn’t release me from the conversation. But then the real reason for my employment dawned on me. After a two-hour sermon, he said “Don’t worry. I’m going to pay you for your time. You’re a good listener.

So basically this heathen is being paid to go to church. Good news? Or bad?

Back to the Drawing Board

The good news is that Bear just told me about the Mariposa Butterfly Festival, an event his daughter started many years ago. Now, thousands of people flock to Mariposa (which means butterfly in Spanish) for two days of festivities including butterfly releases. As soon as I heard about this festival, an artistic vision popped into my head. I saw a picture I needed to draw. That’s a fun feeling.

The bad news is that when I awoke the next morning, eager to draw for the first time since last Summer in Greece, my back decided to give out. I was barely able to stand. Apparently, I’ve reached that age where the simple act of standing is dangerous. So that’s great.

But I was determined. Sitting was possible, but not comfortable.

The good news is that I got to drawing and that vision unfolded onto the paper as easy as butter on toast on a warm summer day. For three days in a row, the drawing flowed.

More Work

And more good news followed. A local sign-maker saw my work and wants to work with me on many projects including having a booth together at the Mariposa Butterfly Festival where I can sell prints. Getting back to art makes me feel more whole.

The bad news is that I feel suddenly overwhelmed with work.  But really, I need the money, and ultimately that’s good news.

Breathing Easy

The good news is that I’m still not smoking. I’ve officially passed the five-month mark. I would never have believed this was possible. Thanks to the relaxed lifestyle and Bear’s support, it has been. So far. Still, it’s one day at a time.

The bad news is that I’ve gained twenty pounds since quitting. I’m trying to focus on the positive and not worry too much about this. But it’s clear that sans-cigarettes, I’ve got to move more to keep the weight at bay.

And so…

The good news is that I’m alive and I can experience all of this – the good, the bad, and everything in between.

One Comment

  1. All sounds good to me, love the butterfly art! Top tip from ‘the wisdom if Jayne’, wish for income not work.

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