What is the Highest Compliment You have Received?


Emporium Memoir
     In this over-populated world of information heavy, product overload, news explosions, media grabbers, and monsters of distractions, it seems we long for a place of private exploration into the depths of veritable connections.  If only for mere moments, we are comforted with those domains of exclusive interpretations between individuals, private library access cards, and the one hundred year old wood tables to sit at and sip warm beverages while we read together.  Emporium Memoir has the intention to generate a dialogue and experience, a treehouse of stories and solutions as seen through my personal perspective.  These words stem from questions on a list created by the gifted Alexandra Franzen.  I have followed this sprite for quite some time.

What is the Highest Compliment You have Received?
     This question has knocked around over the last couple months; I have climbed bookshelves on rickety ladders to find the answer.  My first authentic response is where I will plug into the station and charge it up for you.  Hindsight can be so awfully crystal.  So, when I realized that the clarity was coming out too clear, the false 20/20, I sat down to unravel each detail like the pages in that antique book you collect.  The search was to extract what may have been the highest compliment handed to me over the years.  The one that shook my core.  The one where a smile washed over my face; an apple cheek smile from the heart and mind in disbelief of belief.  Although the lips from whence the words came has escaped my memory, the sound of the voice stands on the dancefloor of my brainwaves.  I had been called an artist.

You see, from my perspective at the time, this word had double rainbows wrapped around it.  The colors in this rainbow for me were dark and edgy, wild and free, dirty and dreamy.  My response to this person was to say, "My brother is an artist, his work is spectacular."  I was working behind the bar at the time, pouring drinks, listening to people, learning about the lives of the urban dweller.  I turned to prepare their Manhattan but I did not probe them for more particulars.  It was mentioned again in the following year by someone dear as the moonbeams to me.  This time they asked if I was prepared to display my work at an opening; I said, "of course, it will be super to show all the upcycled clothing concoctions that had been raising hell in the efficiency apartment."

Throughout the years, it was more true to fact to think of myself as a worker, that person barely able to survive with a roof over their head.  The person that is strange and out of place all the time... except on the stage.  The stage is my safe zone.  The stage can pop up anywhere and it continues to hold my hand no matter what strangeness appears.  The stage is my humble home, and although I have yet to figure out a way for it to sustain me financially, it is where I am most comfortable to linger the longest.  I have been faking confidence in the real world since childhood. and pretty sure it has now caught up to me.  But before I allow the humility of the mask to drag me down even deeper into the pit of tar, there are still things I am supposed to do here in this lifetime... no matter how small or gigantic or median.

Being called an artist from the impression of a stranger tipped the scale of my understanding of myself and how others may view me.  Certainly the word has meant tons of things to me over time.  Sometimes when I am melancholy or can not quite grab a handle of this life, it does help to remember that I lean in a direction of creative thinking and living.  I am a work in progress that just happens to find it difficult at time to balance the artistic part and the puppet part.


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Have you ever thought about the highest compliment given to you?  It will be divine to hear what tickled your ears or what words surrounding that compliment are ruminating in your brain lately.  The comment section is below.


Jennifer M Brown

Under The Root, 3600 E Marginal Way S., Seattle, Washington 98134, United States

sensual alchemy for body movement visionaries