A Spark In The Dark

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it

is like wrapping a present and not giving it”

[William Arthur Ward]

The first award I ever received was at a YMCA day camp on the Cape. It was an honesty award. I was eleven years old. I don’t remember exactly why I received it, but it had something to do with lot’s of drama. The kind of drama that only a prepubescent girl perceives as vital to her own existence.

Over the last couple of weeks you kindly bestowed awards on me without me having to flood the Atlantic beforehand to receive them. I’m grateful for that: For the awards and for unnecessity of prepubescent drama (well mainly because I’m not sure I’d still know how to channel it – completely).

Yesterday, Papa Sakura of Sakura Lights bestowed “The Versatile Blogger Award” on met, yet again. Although I’ve already received it twice (once by Patrice here and once by Quieter Elephant here), it humbled me.

Especially, since his criteria for the nominations were growth and change, which I am both trying to achieve. I’m not sure, I’ve met them yet, but I see it as a vote of confidence on his part that I will receive them in the future. I’m grateful for that. It’s incredibly uplifting having people believe in you. If you know me (or at least have read a couple of post or comments of mine) you know I’ve already found a lengthy and winded way to thank him for this nomination on his award post (if you don’t well go see for yourself!).

Obviously, that doesn’t mean I can’t seize this opportunity to thank him again in my home. I felt the best way to do this was to post my favorite art work of his.

NY State of Mind - Sakura Lights

If you wish to check this wonderful painting out on his blog, which I highly recommend, you may do so here (in case you were wondering, I tried linking this pack to him directly, but it somehow wrecked its dimensions).

Although, I feel extremely grateful towards him for bestowing this wonderful Award on me yet again, I really wasn’t up for another Nomination Post. In all honesty, I don’t have anyone to nominate that I haven’t nominated before (except maybe Quieter Elephant and he already received it – obviously) and I’m pretty sure you’re all still recovering from my last seven random, dirty secrets.

So I decided to design a new Award, which I could bestow on a bunch of people I deem worthy. This proved to bit quite a bit of work. Not only because I couldn’t come up with a name at first (“Because of you” and “Je ne said quoi” – Award just didn’t cut it) and also because Phil had to help me a bit with the design in Paint.net (which I use because I’m to cheap to pay for Photoshop, if I can have something equally as good for free). I finally settled on this:

I guess, it would be more fitting to call this tribute as opposed to award, because that is, what it is.

Every single one of the following writers (I didn’t say “bloggers” now did I?!) has light the way for me on this journey. They are sparks for me (and not just me I’m sure) and this would be a dark, dire and lonely place without them. I don’t know, how to thank them enough for what they have done for me, but I hope to find a proper way some day in the future. Until then, this little jpg – file will have to suffice.

Rules for accepting this award: None. Honestly, this is yours and yours alone. Grab it and stick it on your blog or don’t. Share it with people you deem worthy or don’t. Make your own set of rule when awarding it or don’t. I said it before, this is more a tribute than an award and I can’t attach rules to a tribute (well maybe I can, but I don’t want to).

[However, I should add, that in order to spotlight the nominees the way they deserve, I chose to only nominate three writers this time. This time obviously implying, that I plan on awarding “The Spark Award” again in the future]

List of nominees (in chronological order of appearance):

Patrice was the first writer I met here and she was kind and understanding and genuinely interested in what I had to say. Above all, she thanked me for sharing my story.

Please let me repeat that:

“This wonderful, extraordinary and lovely writer and person thanked me for sharing my story”

She never gave up on me. Even when I stopped blogging for a while, even when I didn’t respond to comments. Even when I disappeared into thin air without a word of explanation. Through all of that, she never gave up on me. I don’t think I will ever find means to thank her for that.

I love the name and the design of her blog, so I’d like to share the facade of her blogging / writing home with you here:

I’ve put together a list of my favorite things about Patrice:

Search for Post: "I love Gandhi, too" - Drawn by her daughter

My favorite Post Not only is this brilliantly written, but it’s honest and deep and it make’s me feel like she just invited me inside her mind, soul or heart. It touches me deeply, when someone finds it in themselves to share such depths with random strangers. I strive to be like that.

But this wasn’t the first time, Patrice invited me in. I went back in time and found our first conversation here, so see for yourself:

If you want to read up on the post, which you should (actually you should read up on all her posts!) you may do so here.

So my dear Patrice, I hope you accept this token of my gratitude knowing it stands for much more than a couple of bits and bites pressed into a jpg-file.

Paprika is one of those writers, of which you can proudly proclaim: “I knew her before.” This wonderful, witty, caring, empathetic, honest and insightful Lady has been struck by lightning recently, – in a good way. This post of hers was “Freshly Pressed” and rightfully so.

Through all the buzz and excitement, she still carved precious time out of her day to read my ramblings and to comment on them. And guess what?! Above all, she makes me feel, like I’m the one she should be grateful to for “being her personal cheerleader” as she put it.

Let me repeat that:

“This rightfully renown writer is grateful to me.”

Paprika has a list of reader’s favorites on her blog (which may be found here), but strangely it didn’t include my overall favorite post and my favorite post regarding my funniest comment (If you want to know what it is, you’ll have to go see for yourself. I promise it will be worth it. Maybe not for the comment, but definitely for the post!)

Once again, I love the design of her writing home: It’s so simple and clean. But don’t trust me on that, judge for yourself:

The first conversation we ever had, was back in September 2011. Nothing can bring two gals together faster than a mutual agreement on their utter attractiveness (is that a word? Well now it is.). Since you weren’t a part of this historic moment, I’ve included it for you here (however this is another posts of hers you really should read up on).

Paprika for all the times you’ve made me laugh, for all the times you’ve made me smile, for all the times you’ve made feel special and for the wonderful that is you, please accept this award, knowing that this place wouldn’t be same without you.

Erik. Erik came to me, when I was but a ghost. He found me in the in-between, when I had stopped posting and before I took it up again (I have Patrice’s nomination for the “Liebster Blog Award” to thank for that).

Something about his comment on my About page touched me deeply and I felt compelled to return. As I am not going to force you to open another tab in your browser and look for the comment, I’ve posted it here (well at least the beginning of it, if you want to read more you may do so here):

One of the things that struck me first about Erik (apart from the sincerity of his words), was the calm and serene beauty of his writing home. Please judge for yourself:

I know, I know, this is rather superficial of me, but it is looks that make the first impression (just because you don’t like this fact, doesn’t make it less true) and this first impression was one of peacefulness and beauty within.

Although, I enjoy all of this modern-day James Joyce‘s posts, I’d have to say, that the Resiliency – Series are my favorite. I’m not sure why, but I love the discontinued feel of continuancy to them (and if you don’t know what I mean you haven’t read them yet – do so now!)

In all his talent, kindness, wit and cutting openness, he still praises my honesty.

Let me repeat that:

“This incredibly talented writer, who shows so much of his soul on random strangers, praises the honesty in my writing.”

My favorite posts of his is “Hannah” as part of the above mentioned resiliency-series. It’s moving, it’s powerful, it’s sad, it’s beautiful. I guess you could say it’s life.

This, in case you were wondering, is the first conversation I had with him on his home turf (on this post of his):

Please, Erik, accept this award knowing, that this can only begin to express the gratitude I feel towards you.

Let me finish this post with two words in the english language that are completely overused and at the same time rarely uttered in earnest:

“Thank You”

[“Tribute (The best song in the world)” – Tenacious D]