I was checking my spam folder today, to see if I’d received an email to the school my boy had an interview at. A special needs Waldorf school. Instead of finding a letter from the school, I found a letter that had one of my passwords as the headline.
The email started “I know this is your password…” The rest of the email explained that they had retrieved this password as I logged onto a porn site. They’d hacked my laptop and filmed me as I used the site. They were going to take this video, as well as the video of what I watched and send it to five of my friends. Because, of course, they’d hacked my social media too.
I had a choice though. I could pay them 800-something dollars via bitcoin and they wouldn’t send the message. I shouldn’t bother to respond, or tell the authorities, because they were untraceable.
If they’d told me they’d caught me dancing naked around my bedroom, or singing Alanis Morrisette’s Ironic on top of my lungs, I would have had cause to worry. As it were, besides the fact they only had part of my password, I have not, to my knowing, visited any porn sites lately.
That said, if you receive a video of me edited into a porn video, do let me know. Porn star would be a new kind of achievement to me. A very naked achievement, but still.
Blackmail is a funny thing. The truth is, I don’t know a single person that doesn’t feel guilt about something. Shame about something. Everyone on this planet has fucked up. Sinned. Done something wrong. And most have paid with regret. Hopefully, that regret made them change their ways and make up for their mistakes in whatever way they could. Which means they are no longer the person who fucked up, so they can stop feeling guilty about it.
Sadly, people who get caught in the guilt trap, keep beating themselves up and do things to prove to themselves they are as terrible as they think they are. In short, they keep fucking up.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about guilt and regret this week after an online friend of mine committed suicide. I’m going to share the lessons I learned from that in another blog, but if there is one thing I can say is that the people whose opinions we should care about are people, who, like my friend, lift others up. The people who make us believe in a better version of ourselves. Once we start believing in that version, we start acting from that place. And so, we become better people.
Don’t spend time listening to your inner blackmailer. If you’ve done wrong, owe up to it, make up for it and move on. Believe in a better version of yourself.
And if someone tries to blackmail you – don’t let them win. Personally, I reported it to Action Fraud. Then I told my Facebook friends to please forward any porn video they receive of me. So that I can see what I look like in action…
Some years ago a dating site had me work on an article about Dave Stafford Finney — a sailor in the Australian Navy. It was an article about men in uniform. As such, I read his blog, which was a stunning blog about what it truly means to serve in a war, save people, and end up with the scars yourself. So I commented on his blog. I mean, come on, the guy sounded amazing, why wouldn’t I talk to him?
The thing is, he looked me up on LinkedIn and messaged me.
He had read my blog and sent me a super sweet message about what an incredible person I am. Over the year and a bit that we knew each other, we’d exchange a couple of messages/comments and I remember I reached out to him when I felt my life was falling apart. I was fighting like a mad person to get a visa to South Africa to get the rights to adopt kids I was already raising. I had, by chance, or misfortune, or maybe in the end: fortune, ended up in a legal battle to be with kids I started helping out in a township I was volunteering in. I had been told by authorities I could adopt them, then that I couldn’t adopt unless I got permanent residency.
I had seen things and been through things in the township that most people don’t get to see. With Dave I felt a kinship about these things. How you go through a “war” and you get scarred. You see shit other people don’t. You see the abuse, the crime, the fucked-up-ness of life.
We didn’t talk that much over the years, but I know I told him he should come to South Africa to volunteer like he did in Australia.
And ever so often, out of the blue, I’d just get some message/comment saying I’m amazing.
That was the extent of our friendship.
Today I found out that Dave killed himself. That the PTSD that he fought, very openly, finally won the battle. That the battle scars won. That the hero succumbed to his own demons.
I was wondering why he didn’t reply to a comment I made on his post the other day. I was planning to send him a message asking if he wanted to be interviewed by me for a new platform where I’m now the lead editor for the lifestyle section. I just didn’t get round to sending the message. But I kept thinking about him during the week, looking forward to speaking with him.
Frankly, I want to punch him in the face and yell at him, or something, to wake him up. From death. From depression. Neither would work very well.
I was “clinically” depressed twice. For me it wasn’t the wish to die that frightened me, it was that I felt nothing. I remember the fear of that feeling. It would last for an hour, two hours, a minute…but it was horrible. Feeling nothing. No joy, no sadness, no nothing.
It was petrifying.
But I was one of the lucky ones. I acquired tools. I fought. I got help. I read books. I won the battle with my mind.
That’s not to say I’m not still fighting. I do. My mind has a tendency to walk down paths that aren’t helpful. To find weird and dark alleys that it gets stuck in, mistaking them for reality.
The truth is, once you come out of the alley, you realize you chose to walk in there. You didn’t go there on purpose the first time, you just ended up there, because life took you there, but then you chose to stay. Not because you wanted to, but because your mind didn’t know the other paths. The other roads. The other alleys. The ones filled with beauty. You could be standing there instead.
To make your mind walk into the right streets…it’s not easy. Not when you’ve been to a lot of dark places. It’s a constant effort. I can only imagine what it’s like when you’ve been to an actual war. I had childhood trauma that made my view of myself screwed up. I kept looking at myself seeing distorted visions that made me hate myself. Like the dark alleys, I was stuck in a place of my own doing.
The reality is, this world is filled with a shitload of crap. Of really nasty stuff and bad humans and miserable events. Once you’ve seen them, you have to choose to focus on the other stuff, or you get stuck.
For some, it appears impossible to get out of the dark alleys. With all the myriads of roads this life presents, they are captured in darkness. Always living in the shadow of their own thoughts.
Right now, I’m betting a lot of people are fighting a hard battle because Dave died. People who actually knew him in real life and was touched by his joy and friendship. People who have an emptiness within them nothing will ever remove. People who now have to fight not to go to the alley marked with “missing friend.”
At the same time, I bet that those who knew what hell Dave actually lived through and saw the extent of the darkness, know that he found peace. Not in the way that anyone would have liked for it to happen, but they know that there was an end to the suffering.
I guess I recognized myself in a small part of Dave, as he recognized himself in a small part of me. We put our lives in blogs that revealed all. Dished it out. I had a strong belief that if everyone would just share how they actually feel, no one would feel like I did as a kid. And I admired Dave for putting it all out there. The real life. The real pain. The real joy.
When someone dies, it feels like a missed opportunity. That you should have done more. Said more. Fuck, at least gone to Australia to say hello in person. Frankly, I was furious with myself and the world at large today because I didn’t get to explore a connection I felt with someone. Like it was a cruel joke. If I’d only sent that message I wanted to send a few days earlier, if only I’d been braver, if only something… I mean I wanted to get to know the guy, but when he first reached out to me I was scared. I was scared of depression. I felt a kinship, a connection and jeez the man was hot…you know, it’s like that online crush right. But I was scared. And when a year or so later I wasn’t scared, he died before I sent the message. And it hurts. I know I made a mistake. I ignored the obvious person right in front of me. Maybe we would not have connected well at all. I don’t know. It’s impossible to know, because I didn’t explore it. I could at the very least have told him his messages and blogs really touched me. However small those messages were, to me they meant something and I didn’t say that out loud. Because I was scared. So I have regret. Things could have been different.
But maybe that’s not the truth. Maybe the truth is, that we all play exactly the part in each other’s lives that we were meant to play. That we gave each other what we meant to give. Maybe this is exactly what I was meant to learn: that you should never ever try to predict how things could go. That you should open your door and explore. And you should speak frankly. Because when you don’t, you end up with regret. I never told that stranger I wanted to get to know him. Never told him I lit up like a pinball machine when he messaged me. And now I can’t. And I never again want to feel like I do right now.
How do we choose to focus our thoughts?
I choose to think that Dave brightened some of my days, as I did his. A tiny twinkle in our lives. Not the big bright light of those close to us, but a tiny twinkle that makes the world more beautiful somehow. Or as I said to the Dave, in the very last comment I sent him this week as he shared the memory of losing his baby to cot death: “Sorry to hear that man. You’ve come a long way since. Life is filled with so many painful things. Thankfully there are many wondrous things too, including the people we do get to keep with us.”
So let’s all look after those wondrous people. Make an effort to smile. To hug. To check in on one another. Dave touched so many people’s lives. He’s not one who didn’t have friends. Not one who wasn’t loved. So let’s all strive to touch others with our honesty. The truth about how we feel. But also the joy and care. Even the strangers we meet, who are angles in disguise. Let’s smile at them. Hug them. Give them a word of encouragement. We never know who they are, or where they’re going. If they’re living in their own personal heaven or hell. All we can do is to be a star. However small the twinkle. However fast the passing. Be a light.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the times you told me I was amazing. And thank you for listening when I was going through my own personal hell. You were a star man. I think you still are. Out there, somewhere, brightening the night sky.
P.S. I stole one of your photos for this blog. I’m pretty sure you’d just wink at me, not sue me for it.
I hung out with someone today. Someone I met nine years ago. At the time I lived in Los Angeles, but my dad gave me the gift of Easter with the family in Sweden and I decided it was the perfect excuse to stop by London to talk to someone there. That someone dragged me to a seminar as his “moral support.” And there was this other guy who was on stage that day and I guess we exchanged a few words.
Fast forward nine years. We’re chasing each other around an ice rink in Athens, laughing and sharing memories of how we ended up where we are. Today I texted him saying “You know, there was once a boy who used to say “it’s magical Maria, it’s magical.” That boy dragged me along to a seminar. That boy, in a way, is the reason I was ice skating the other day. And you know what? It’s magical. It’s absolutely fucking magical. The people we meet. The memories we make. The crazy and absurd. The wonderful and weird. Friends. Magical, indeed.
There are people we create beautiful memories with. Beyond that, there are people who have our back. When you combine the two, that’s when you know you’ve created something amazing.
As I look at my phone I see messages from a friend from around the same time. He also lives in Athens. It’s really his fault we’re all here, because he set off a chain reaction when my best friend went to visit him. I see like five hundred calls to my best friend. I see messages from mine and my best friend’s best friend from back then. One of the three musketeers. She’s in Africa, helping me with some movies and working to convince us the three of us will be in Senegal together for Christmas this year. I’m voting for Cape Town, but hey! It’s been ten years since our last Christmas together. And I get happy. Because those people, those people are magical.
And this blog, this blog that I rarely have time to write these days. This blog filled with sexual innuendo, swear words and all those things the woman who’s raising three kids in Cape Town really shouldn’t say out loud, this blog was started back then.
I do, indeed, help raise three kids today. I have responsibilities I didn’t back then. I still love the movies, my friends and driving down Mulholland. I still have a potty mouth and a dirty sense of humor. Some things change, some don’t. And I’d like to create more of the things that I truly love. The things that never changed. The stuff that make me come alive.
Moral of the story? People are fucking beautiful. They make our world. But they also form part of a chain reaction. Whoever you meet, whatever you do, it sets off repercussions that echo back to you, and sometimes lead to events years later. It’s as if we form melodies when our universes collide and the notes dance in the ether long after the music played, leading to encores and events a long, long time later.
Does it ever suddenly hit you what a word truly means or where it comes from? Like there’s this Swedish word “gift” which means both “married” and “poison.” Just like “vind” means both “wind” and “attic,” maybe because the wind blows through the attic?
Yesterday I wrote a blog called “Amusing musings…” which led me to ponder muse, musing and amusing. So a muse is amusing and makes you muse upon things?
I don’t think I’ve ever pondered that before. And let me tell you it took me over twenty years to realize that married and poison was the same word in Swedish. I used both words for over twenty years without realizing.
In the same way I’ve asked people how they are, told them I love them, said I’m fine, and a plethora of other things, without really putting any intention behind the words. It’s been empty words.
In a similar manner we tell ourselves stories all the time, without really noticing what we’re saying. I just caught myself berating myself for where I’m at with my life, thinking I should be further along with certain things and will life ever get easier?
In the past year my coach has made me think about what’s working and what I’d love to create more of, as well as what I’d love to create in general. I’ve had to switch my faulty thinking patterns around. And it’s worked wonders.
The amazing thing is, we’re only partly aware of what we’re thinking most of the time. Like you walk around feeling a tad irritated for three hours, but don’t even stop to ask yourself why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and how you could think about it differently so as to feel better.
Similarly, one day you catch yourself having a thought only to realize you think that thought quite often, but you’re so used to thinking it you don’t even notice. Like when you tie your shoelaces — you don’t really think about what you’re doing, yet you have to think to be able to do it.
I used the same word for marriage and poison for over twenty years without realizing. I just never questioned it. Just like I never questioned some of my own thoughts, or the way I view the world.
Becoming aware is long process, yet it starts over night. Likewise, shifting one’s thoughts, or awareness if you so like, is a long process, yet it starts over night. You have to make a decision about what you’d like to think and where your focus should be.
I’m reminded of Trainspotting: Choose life, choose a fucking big television. Only I think you should choose your thoughts instead. Because really, that’s choosing life. The life we want to create. Personally I’m gonna go have a shower, pamper myself and curl my hair. Just so I can think I’m beautiful and sexy. I could contemplate my wrinkles instead, but that’s a lot less fun than thinking I’m hot as hell…
I remember when I first started this blog — I was doing yoga in Runyon Canyon and walking around looking for topics to write about as I had challenged myself to do a post a year for a year…and I did.
When I write on here I learn. It’s where I process what’s happened. The more stressed I get, or the more happy I get, the more I write. If I’m stressed I need to process what’s happened, if I’m happy I want to share my happiness with the world.
Today I was running around looking for an external hard drive for over two hours. That wasn’t fun (esp. as I didn’t find it), but it was hilarious because I kept looking in places where I’d already looked, thinking it should logically be there. Only it was totally illogical to look again, because it wasn’t there.
It made me realize that we do that a lot, don’t we? We look for things in places where we know we won’t find them. Ever had a friend who never showed up? The kind that cancelled every coffee you ever booked? Ever been in a relationship where you break up and keep getting back together? Ever had a boss who just never praised you when you did well?
These things are structures. Those people are living according to a structure where they will keep repeating a certain behavior. So why do we still go there looking for that coffee, that love, that praise? We’re looking in the wrong place!
Our looking in the wrong place is a structure too. It’s something we keep doing. And for no good reason. What we’re looking for won’t happen.
I remember that before I broke up with the guy I was with for over three years back in my twenties, I kept having a line from a play I was doing going round and round in my head: “The wonderful thing isn’t going to happen, Thorvald.” Meaning, Hedda Gabler would never be loved the way she wanted to be loved by Thorvald (at least I think it was Thorvald and Hedda this was about…I may have mixed up the character by now…but it was the play Hedda Gabler by Ibsen).
The reason that line kept going round and round in my head was because my ex would never turn around and love me the way I wanted to be loved.
This came back to me when my coach pointed out that I expect flakiness. That I think flakiness is normal in relationships, but it’s not. It’s what’s normal to me. It’s my dysfunctional structure to be around guys where the wonderful thing will never happen.
Now, sitting thinking about your past isn’t necessarily helpful — you want to be moving towards what you want to create, not away from what you don’t want to create. I’d like to create intimacy. To me intimacy is a big scary thing as I’ve hidden in clouds of aloofness to protect myself from flakiness, but it’s what I’d love. What I’d truly love to create.
I’m obsessing about structure lately, have you noticed? Because I had some big epiphany that your entire life is built around structure. You put the right structures in place, you can do anything.
It’s like building a house: for the house to do what you want it to, you need a foundation, the proper pipes, the right electrical wiring, etc. If you don’t put structures in place, the house collapses on you, or things don’t work as they should, or keep breaking.
If you think about your exercise regime, your daily schedule, the way you plan your week, how you organize your wardrobe, etc. it’s all structures. There are also mental patterns that are structures, like the way you view situations, people, etc. and therefore react to them.
Writing this blog I was also reminded of that year when I wrote a blog a day and doing yoga and running in Runyon Canyon. It was a structure. One that I loved at that time. Challenges work for me because I thrive on them. So I think I need to make a few more challenges now. Challenge myself to put a few new structures in place.
I’ve been grumpy (and exhausted) for like a week due to the fact that I raise one kid with behavioral issues and I have to wait for him to do a program before he can start school again and having him at home all day long is driving me up the walls. Because I’ve felt like I can’t put structures in place. But I can. And I will.
I’d also like to run into someone who’d hug me for an hour. The past few months have been challenging with his issues and the schools. I’ve met so many wonderful people through this who’ve told me I’m a special soul who is doing an amazing job (incredible given how grumpy I’ve felt but considering his behavioral patterns I’m possibly a saint after all). It’s hard to reignite your own flame constantly, but compared to how much better I am at it now than a year ago, I’m well pleased with myself.
Now I’m off to look for more work, it’s an exciting Friday night…
Oh no, wait, I’m supposed to put a sexual metaphor in here as is the style of this blog…but I’m too tired…no, I can’t say that. It would be like totally rude if I said that to guy. Uhm…feed me chocolate, pour me wine and massage my feet till I fall asleep we have sex. Or just take me to Runyon Canyon and let me feel the desert wind blowing through my hair again as I run in the sun.
I think it’s about time we struck a deal for single mothers. Motherhood is hard on anyone, being single makes it equivalent to climbing Everest. In high heels. Balancing a bottle of wine on your head. So I have decided it’s deal time and below I outline the requirements of this deal. I have ten.
But before that, as a single mother I solemnly swear to do my best to raise brave, good hearted children who are willing to work hard for good causes and who take personal hygiene and good manners seriously. So seriously they may even grow out of their farting phase. This is tricky given I’m raising three kids who were born into a drug den, but I am doing my best. When they swear at me in two different languages I just swear quietly inmy head in five different languages. See, I am really loving and zen about it.
Now, onto the deal.
In return for being a single mom, I should get some perks. I mean you understand I need some supporting structures in place in order to pull this off, don’t you?
Great. Let’s strike a deal.
A dishwasher. This is crucial, really. Right now I do the dishes three times a day — once after every meal. And given Cape Town is suffering from a water crisis it isn’t just a waste of time, but also of water. There must be a better solution.
Wine. Ample amounts provided at any hour of the day. When in need, you deliver.
Coffee. No woman can live on wine alone and it’s a well established fact that you work better and faster when caffeinated. Given the size of my kids’ bills, you better keep it coming.
Free education. It’s hard enough to foot the feeding bill, so please help me out here. I have one kid with special needs who I have forked out a ton of money on in the shape of therapists, assessments and tutors, one brainy one who attends ghetto school (which really is not cool given last time I checked the kids were hit by the teachers and the teachers by the kids and my kid is starting to have an attitude about school, which is understandable) and one who is in crèche and who started swearing fluently before he turned two, so he must be smart enough for a scholarship.
Full body massage. At least once a week. Ring a bell for foot massage would also be handy. You see, not only do I cook and clean which keeps me on my toes a lot of the time, I also crawl around the floor looking for toys, carry around a two-year-old, play on the beach, carry the laundry, partake in epic nappy battles (really, it’s always interesting to see who wins — me getting the clothes off the toddler or the toddler keeping them on) and all sorts of other demanding tasks.
Stress relief. Now, you can get creative here. In fact, I like creativity. But I’d rather like it if it involved fun arty stuff, dancing, adventures, sailing, hot tubs, or escaping the children at least once a month. Because any good mother knows that they need time alone to do the om, namaste, I’m so zen it’s like totally cool thing and drink wine without the possibility of someone cracking a farting joke or pooping their pants.
A constant supply of essential oils. To keep away the nappy smell and get rid of bacteria naturally. I don’t like to poison us all, but nor do I want to catch all the cold germs they pick up at school. I also happen to calm down when blending perfumes, so it’s a win-win really — the kids get a mom who might not snap at them at the least provocation (such as painting the floor with orange juice), no one gets a cold (or low and behold: a stomach bug) and the house smells nice.
Only nice men in my bed. Preferably one, who is constant. You see, I’m busy. I really don’t have time to run around town in high heels hoping to bump into Mr Right. Especially as I’m prone to being dizzy and blonde so I topple over whenever I see a hot guy. This leads to embarrassment and injuries. Those don’t go well with child raising. And I mean it really shouldn’t be that hard to be with one man, should it? If I manage to raise three kids from a township in Africa I should be able to manage one man. Preferably one who swears less than the kids and has good bedroom manners. And by that I mean really bad ones, if you get my drift. But otherwise his manners should be impeccable. A man in your bed is also vital, given your time to exercise beyond cooking and cleaning from morning till night and playing with the kids is minimal, so you need exercise in bed. And only doing bedroom yoga gets boring fast. Tantra on the other hand…
A great career. The aforementioned bills are really important — they need to be covered by an income. I’d also like to enjoy my time when working as otherwise I’ll be grumpy, which means the kids won’t like me much, which will be a disaster as I’d quite like them to love me.
Love. When you are sore, whether in your soul or your muscles, there is nothing more rejuvenating than love. I’d like it in heaps and mountains. Please. I’ll return it in equal amounts and more. Keep the good people in my life raining down.
That’s it. I’m not averse to bonuses though — feel free to add things like free chocolate and adoption lawyers, an ample supply of clothes for the kids, as much time in Paris and Los Angeles as I like, meals that cook themselves and a hot tub with rustling palm tress and stars overhead.
A dizzy blonde and blessed single mother who is sometimes really tired.
It was maybe three years ago I was having a conversation with my best friend about death: what would we do if one of us died? Like how do you handle the death of the person that’s been the closest to you for an odd twenty years?
I didn’t have the answer. She didn’t have the answer. All I’ve really thought about when it comes to life and death is that you have to fill your life with as much love as possible. Some people are special — we don’t have a magical connection with everyone, but out of billions of people, there are several whom we can create great friendships with.
People die, love doesn’t. There is so much magic to be experienced in life with so many people. Sometimes all we have to do is open the door. Open the door to the possibility that someone might be magic. Open the door to our heart. Open the door to the beauty around us.
This conversation together with my constant traveling suddenly made me very aware of what I’ve often taken for granted. Like spending time with my best friend. In the past I just used to fall into the familiar feeling of being around her, now I’m aware that our time together is limited — not least because we live in different parts of the world.
Your experience shifts when you realize time is limited. It’s like suddenly you enjoy things more. You savor the moment in an entirely different way.
The other day, as a Facebook acquaintance posted about his son’s sudden death, I was reminded of this once more. That time is limited. That we really need to indulge in the moment and appreciate the people in our lives as we never know if it’s the last time we see them.
It also hit me that time with ourselves is limited. We make a point out of appreciating the time we spend with other people, but do we make a time to appreciate the time we spend with ourselves? Do we take care of ourselves, love ourselves, indulge in the things that make us feel good? Like do you appreciate your own talents, your own sense of humor, the little things that make you, you? It’s great when others appreciate us for those things — don’t we all love hearing what makes us special — but how about appreciating that ourselves? Even if our soul is immortal, our current incarnation is not.
Fill your life with the good stuff. I was telling a friend the other day that I’ve filled my house with important stuff — like poetry, wine, art, herbs, cooking utensils, laughter and love. It makes me feel at home, because it’s the things I treasure and I want my surroundings to be a reflection of what I love. That way I get to live the magic every single day.
Of course I also have to do what I love. I write the poetry that paint my walls, I make the charcoal drawings that fill this house. I live. Even if only three people read my poems, and five people saw my art, I know I lived that poetic/artistic moment.
This house is alive with who I am. And last week I even bought a bed for my bedroom so now I can fall asleep dreaming beautiful dreams too…
Slowly, slowly we can piece our magic together, but even while we are doing it, we can live. We can create beautiful moments before “everything’s ready.” Before we are famous. Before we are rich. Before anyone else sees, or appreciates our art.
Recently life’s felt like a whirlwind blowing in the right direction. Like climbing a steep mountain to get to the top. It’s been good, but very challenging. And at night I’ve been exhausted, but I’ve lit my candles, poured a glass of red and turned on the stove to let my troubles bubble away in caramel sauce. Because I love baking. I love the scent of caramel. I love feeling like this is my home and I’m creating magic. Even in the midst of the storm, just as I said in a previous blog.
There are times when I fail and I freak out about everything at once — then slowly I bring my attention back to what’s working, to what is slowly changing thanks to the structures I’m putting in place and to what is possible. I turn on the stove and mix whatever spices draw me to them that day, write a poem, or paint a charcoal painting. I live. If so just a little bit. And a spark of magic is created…a spark that sooner or later starts a fire.
Magic. Create it.
Love. Love as much as you can. Life is short and wonderful people are magical and beautiful and utterly tremedously amazing.
Live the small moments. Create magic in everyday life. And run off to Paris or with the circus as often as possible…
“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then -the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men. ” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden
So there you are. Now go paint someone with caramel, or chocolate sauce, or something. Make it good. Make it magical.