Friday, December 21, 2012

Bloggers for Sandy Hook: Free Printable

No words can make this go away.  No blog post can make it okay or make us feel like we live in a world that is fair and good.  No words could make it all better.

When I read about Bloggers for Sandy Hook (#BloggersForSandyHook), I felt, for the first time since last Friday, that perhaps I could be of some assistance.  I'm good at crafts and I share them often.  But this one had to be special.

When I was a kid, we had a refrigerator covered in alphabet magnets.  Just simple plastic letters with magnets on the back that would get moved around almost daily.  I remember sitting on the kitchen floor spelling, rearranging and leaving messages for anyone who passed by.  I would always spell something out, be thrilled and then crushed when I returned and it had been rearranged.  But that was the cycle.  When you were done leaving a message or word, it was a cue for the next to come by and leave their message.  No one message stayed for longer than a few days or even a few hours....the alphabet magnets were constantly changing and constantly saying something new.


As my older sister, younger brother and I grew up, the magnets spelled out sillier and snarkier messages.  We were, after all, becoming teenagers and beginning to understand the power that words have.  And then one day, my father began rearranging the letters.  When he moved away from the fridge, the letters spelled this:

BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER

That was it.  Be excellent to each other.  He had no other demand to us, just that one message.  And sure, it was a pull from a very 90s movie, but for some reason, those words stayed.  Neither my sister, brother or I changed it from then on.  If someone did decide to borrow a letter or two, someone else would move it back to ensure my dad's words remained intact.

BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER

I could talk about gun control.  I could talk about the lack of support for those facing mental illness in this country.  I could go on and on about our culture of violence.  But I think everyone will have plenty to say about all of those things in the coming months.  But for now, there is only one thing I want to say.

BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER

No other request could possibly be important right now.  No other request could be more simple.

And so, I made this.
Feel free to use it as a free printable and share.  You can download it onto your computer, flip the image and CitraSolv it on whatever you like.  I plan to use a simple piece of muslin and staple gunned it to a canvas.  And I want to hang it in our entryway so every day I can remember that life is unfair and horrible.  But that maybe, just maybe, I can make it less unfair and less horrible for the people I encounter.  And that would make it all worth it.

As always, thank you for reading.

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