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I’m so grateful for the young woman on the trail who let a total stranger take photos of her for his “art project.” Surely less well-intended things have happened from that line, but thankfully her trust in me yielded time spent talking, sharing space in a vulnerable way, and taking the photos that led to this painting. And now, hopefully, this painting can do some good...I’ll donate 50% (Get it? 50/50?) to the Equal Justice Initiative. If you’re not familiar with Bryan Stevenson, I highly encourage you to check out any of his work.
There’s a lot to be thankful for in my fifty years, but on this day and in honor of this painting and this subject, I’ll express my gratitude for a young woman’s trust and open heart. I, myself, have more to learn on both fronts, and hopefully this painting and the moment that made it possible will remind me to trust and be open to others. Maybe one day some goofy guy walking his dog on the trail will strike up a conversation with me, and imma gonna want to be open to that. : )