This entry is more of a personal reflection than a chipper and newbie-friendly “how to” post.
Many different people in life touch or affect us in some way. Today I’d like to write about someone who recently passed away, but was an inspiration to me in the way that she lived her life. Linda May Reines Bishop was a unique and independent soul. She was kind and sweet, but her approach to life was very different from most. Linda was an artist through and through. She would hand-design little birthday and greeting cards that she sent to members of our community. She felt music acutely and would wear lavish artsy makeup, not applied according to the latest norms but to how she thought looked beautiful. She was sincere but because she was a bit different, some shied away.
Her son recently told me a story that affirmed my understanding of Linda as a kind and caring individual, a real person. When the rain would come, Linda would tell him that it was time to put on a jacket and go outside – to be with nature and see the world as it was meant to be. Linda explained that animals were less scared when it rained because fewer people were outside. When a bird was hurt or dying, Linda would hold the animal in her arms and comfort the creature. Linda would dance with real feeling to the Friday night Sabbath service while others would sit by with their prayer books in hand, just mouthing the words. Linda was a hero of mine and she was so incredibly cool.
We can admire our heroes without entirely emulating them. Part of the beauty is being able to take their attributes or values and incorporate them into your own life in a way that works and is your own. I can’t throw caution to the wind in the same way that Linda did. Being an active and accepted member of my community is almost as high a value and priority as expressing my individuality. I would like to create my own colorful outfits out of scarves, paint warrior lines on my cheekbones in lieu of blush and donate my bras to Salvation Army once and for all, but I’m not there right now and maybe I’ll never be. As I navigate the path of being true to myself and not being intimidated by my environment while remaining a part of the community that I cherish, I hope to keep Linda’s spirit and her bravery close to heart.
posted by amybetho