On kindness (well, kind of)
Updated: Apr 3
At 11:59 P.M. on his milestone birthday, I sent him a text, wishing him well. I had managed to stay fully occupied for the remaining 1,439 minutes of that day. When I wasn't asleep, I ate a nice breakfast, worked an 8-hour shift from home, cooked lunch, crafted dinner, washed the dishes (twice), took out the garbage, sorted my recyclables, baked bread, then baked brownies, watched T.V., did a jigsaw puzzle, completed a Tarot reading (which reminded me to practice fortitude), talked shop with a fellow business owner, spoke to my mom, texted with dad, took a shower, read a book.
I shouldn’t have read the book, maybe, because I came upon a passage that tugged at my heartstrings—precisely why, one minute shy of making it all the way to fortitude, I unleashed what I thought would be elements of good karma to an old acquaintance on his special day.
"You are too kind and always were!!!" he replied.
Immediately, I cried.
I cried because he's right. Exclamation point. Exclamation point. Exclamation point.
A rope - stretched, naked on a living room floor,
worn from use in several places -
proof what it lacked in length
it overcompensated using strength: tensile or other.
Bittersweet, when there’s no longer use for such thing -
that does not tie anything up or hold anything together;
only shredded memories encased in cotton and hemp
alongside boxes for donation, boxes to take.
At night, I sometimes go
to the rope and tug, hopeful
to find someone on the other
What I mean is, to me, kindness is easier to give than receive, so there the message went— into the world-wide webiverse— to a place 60 or so miles away, until it landed in the palms of hands of a recipient who hadn't earned it. (Not the well wishes themselves, but the text. Specifically, from me.)
Days earlier, on my birthday, there was no call, no text, no mention from the other side. When a call did come, later in the week, it was more like, “OMGG, I forgot your birthday?!” instead of an actual “happy birthday.”
So, I’m making a new wish for thirty-eight – but my wish is not unkind in nature; no.
I know I can be kind.
My wish is to get kind. With - and for - myself.
Step #1: Stop being so damn polite to everyone else. Exclamation point.
Mitch McGee, of Houston, TX, has created his own style and voice in the Pop Art scene, using wood as his medium, and drawing inspiration from legend Roy Lichtenstein. McGee's pieces are filled with humor, irony, compassion or seduction and take 40-50 hours to create.
In his Birch series, McGee uses pieces of wood, each illustrated, then hand cut and stained or painted to create dimensional pieces, such as the featured piece, "This Time Around."
His artwork has been on exhibit in California, Colorado, New York and Texas, and is in both public and private collections throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. McGee’s artwork appeared in the March 2013 issue of Dwell Magazine, in W Magazine in October, 2013, and he had a solo exhibit at 1st Dibs in NYC, December 2013.