On making things look easy.

[Warning: Your meri is very tired, and is waxing philosophical. Weirdness may ensue.]

I’ve encountered several situations over the past week or so that have made me realize what amazing friends I have. Yes, you. You’re an incredibly diverse, often eclectic group of people, and I wouldn’t trade you for all the yarn in … someplace with a lot of yarn.

One of the things that I love about all of you is the vast array of skills that you all have. Some of you are into robotics. Many of you are computer programmers or system administrators. I know a number of you in whose hands a pen (or a keyboard) turns into a mighty tool of elegance, or wit, or reflection, or all of the above. Some of you are fantastic photographers. A lot of you are great (at least, by my reckoning) parents. Because like attracts like, lots of you are crafty folks, in whose hands yarn or paint or fabric are just waiting to turn into something beautiful. And I know that a few of you can pick up a musical instrument and play truth and beauty and awe and joy.

And one of the great things is that you all make it look so easy. There are skills that you have that I would absolutely love to have. I count myself to be really good at only a couple of things: desktop publishing, documentation, and making a certain subset of people in my world laugh. All the rest, I always feel like a neophyte, even though I’ve been doing many of the things I do for years.

I’ve been a system administrator (of one sort of another) for 15+ years, and yet there are those among you who blow me away with just a few keystrokes, and I appreciate the skill and mental dexterity that you possess.

I’ve been not-a-programmer for half a decade or so, and I am deeply envious of those of you who sling code for a living, who can make the bits do the right thing.

I’ve always wanted to be able to draw, to bring the images that I see in my head onto a medium where I can share them, but have never been able to do so. Thus, those of you who can take pen to paper (or stylus to tablet) and create worlds… you have my awe and appreciation.

I’ve been knitting for 6 or 7 years, but look at the creations that come off the needles of my friends, and aspire to their skill. And don’t get me started on the designers amongst you!

I’ve always wanted to write. Poetry, stories, novels… whatever the medium, I’ve wanted to use my words to move people. I keep missing the mark, and it’s frustrating. And yet there are those of you who hit the proverbial nail on the head with your words, time after time.

For much of my life, I was the girl with the camera. A friend once said that he was going to form a religion around me, because every time he looked my way, he was met with visions of a bright light. However, I came to realize that I never seemed to catch the essence of the moment, or the life of the subject, and all I had were snapshots. Not that snapshots are bad, but they’re not what I wanted. And I know a few of you who can pick up a camera and bring your subject into it, and share the moment of your photo with everyone who views it.

I’ve played the piano / keyboards, the clarinet, and the saxophone over the years, but never with the skill or magic that I know a couple of you possess.

My singing, when it occurs, best happens in the privacy of a shower or a car speeding down the highway. So, those of you who can sing, bravo.

Hell, there are video games that I’d love to be able to play, but can’t quite get the hang of, and I know some of you who can wander through them with your eyes closed.

I very much want to be able to help people, to lighten their loads in some way. And I know from personal experience that there are many of you who make picking up someone else’s pack and help them down the road look so easy. Whether you do it with words, or actions, or even your simple presence, you make someone else’s life better.

And that’s really what humbles me. All these things that I know are not easy, and yet you, my wonderful friends, make it all look so simple. I know that (for the most part), the ease with which you act comes from years of work and experience, or in some cases, a simple innate understanding of the magic that you do. Whatever the source, thank you for enriching my life and the lives of those around you. And, should you find yourself frustrated by something you find difficult, remember there are things that you do as second nature that others would give their eye teeth to be able to do.

Because you’re just that awesome, too.

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