Chicks and Bunnies

Photo by Laura Crow. Plushies by Stephane at Little Birds.

Last weekend, I found myself watching the Chefography marathon on the Food Network. My favorite was the one for Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade. If you’ve seen her show, you probably formed the same impression of her that I did. This woman is thin and blonde with breasts and personality both extremely perky. She seems like someone who’s lived a charmed life, spending her days throwing parties and entertaining, with no worry greater than the color of the napkin rings on her ‘tablescape.’

Her reality, though, was so different. Her teenaged mother was absent for most of her early years then appeared, married and depressed, in time for Sandra to act as mother to her siblings and step-siblings. Her adult life has been full of passion, sacrifice and complete dedication to her goals. I went from dismissing her to admiring her, simply by listening to her story.

And I think this is the norm rather than the exception. Though assumptions and stereotypes can help us navigate the world, people are never as flat as our brains would have us believe.

Which brings me to the challenge.

Yesterday, Angela was asking people what they do when they’re in a creative rut. My thoughts immediately turned to Keri Smith’s Wish Jar blog. It’s always full of ideas to awaken your creativity, among them challenges in the style of Learning to Love You More. And Sandra Lee’s story inspired me to come up with an LTLYM-style challenge of my own.

The challenge: Connect with someone you don’t know well (acquaintance, coworker stranger, etc.). Set aside preconceptions. Ask about their childhood, their hometown, their years in the military, whatever. Draw, paint, sculpt, sing, dance or craft whatever surprised you most, then come back here and share it with us. I think you’ll be amazed at the creativity that flows from the simple joy of human connection.

And have a joyful day!

Update: Serendipity strikes again.  If for some reason you can’t get out and make your own connections today, check out Common Ties.   Via Awesome!