EDIT:   Hi!  We just found out there are actually a few signed prints available – which is SUPER great for the Unity Shoppe!

We asked Brian if he’d help out a little more on this first one, just to make it extra special, and he said, ‘How about an original drawing?‘ and he didn’t even have the question mark out of his mouth when we said ‘Yes!’  There’s no end to the stuff that’ll happen when you’re in the mood to be part of something bigger …

In just two days, the auction will end on a ‘Connection’ print signed by both Kenny Loggins and Brian Andreas. The auction proceeds will benefit the Unity Shoppe of Santa Barbara. You can find it right here and bid with gusto. Or cheer on the other bidders. :)

(If you’re copying and pasting: http://is.gd/4URBX)

There couldn’t be a better story for this organization, a local pearl – you know, one of those gems that isn’t shiny and show-offy, but the reward of a lot of grit – and luminous for it.

Allow me to remind you how that story goes:

there came a moment in the middle of the song when he suddenly felt every heartbeat in the room & after that he never forgot he was part of something much bigger -

Connection by Brian Andreas

 

When it comes to helping each other, people do what they can do. And there are countless reasons why they do it, why anyone steps up at any time to give support or lend a hand. Nothing is better, though, than the hand reaching out because it knows the hand it’s reaching for wants the same warm feeling of safety, the same strong grip of hope.

Or the voice that advocates or negotiates for the one who is just trying to findthe the right way to talk of a future to its children.

Or mind that opens wide and creates solutions and imagines EVERYone flourishing.

This is exactly how the Unity Shoppe operates. There are no halos on parade. There’s just a promise that’s made and met every day: dignity for the clients. Real dignity.

I don’t know if it’s in their mission statement or a formal matter of policy, but I’m going to trust my experience and guess it’s borne out of a vision of our connection.

It seems as if all involved know this to be true and so, whatever they say, however they assist, whenever they’re organizing or distributing – there is nothing but an unfailing attitude of unity.

It’s wild and it’s wonderful and fills all of us in this community with big gratitude. What other way could you feel when you’re invited to be part of something much bigger?

** I’ve included a few pictures of the grocery store and children’s clothing boutique for anyone who wants to be stubborn and refuse to believe it. Ha. Each of them gets a little bigger when clicked.

http://www.unityshoppe.org/

http://www.logginsfans4unity.com/

Today, as I write this, one of my deariest dear friends is in surgery for a double mastectomy. Prayers and blessings and visions of super hot healing are going strong and you are invited to join in.

Hey! What kind of party IS this?! This does not sound fun (are you thinking that?). Maybe you’re thinking: I don’t even know her.

Ah, but whether you know her, love her, care that her beautiful body is restored to its best health is not the point of the invitation. Here’s the point:

This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all decked out in pink ribbons. This is the month we have multiple and great opportunities to get really alert to signs, to clues, to taking action, to getting care, to becoming advocates. (It’s a great month for men, too. Education and consciousness build, don’t they?)

But I’m sitting here, on this day, knowing that in just the last two years, I’ve had three others of the dearest people to me get diagnosed. You, too? Maybe, in fact, you?

Here’s what else I know. Sorrows ride in on cancer – fear and anger and the weight of acting brave, just to name a few. Today, we’ve gathered to lift those away from my friend to make room for the most potent healing. And frankly, I don’t see why we can’t take that concentrate of love and light and essentially say: Go. Fan out. Radiate. Use your wings & find others. Wrap them in love, too.

Oh, yeah. In a month dedicated to breast cancer awareness, I think there’s definitely room to concentrate on the love and healing part.

We can do that for everyone. Can’t we? We can.

Imagine it. Really. Imagine that we made a world rich with love and laughter and fun. For everyone. Imagine that we want that for everyone.

Imagine that we don’t wait til we’re besieged or struck down. Imagine that we don’t wait to get wise and filled with grace. Imagine that we agree that simple, true happiness and beauty spreads out to all of us. Without much effort at all, we KNOW what it would feel like. Great love will soothe us, all the stuff that heals will find easy purchase. Yippety-yip-yipee.

How? you ask. How would that work? (You obviously need another party cocktail, oh you who can’t stand easy breezy answers. Relax. This isn’t any new agey quick fix. I can guarantee it, because I’m allergic to those and I don’t feel any symptoms.)

Let me try it from this direction:

We know that only one among us with anger, fear, despair can affect us all. We can turn away from them, but we can still feel their stuff. (Oh yes you do, don’t even pretend you don’t. You’re affected. That’s how it works. Butterfly wings and all that.)

The great, great thing is that the reverse certainly has to be true. One blissful heart, one heart rich with love and delight lifts us all. Really, how cool is it, to BE the blissful heart?

How cool could it be to be the blissful heart among loads and loads and loads of OTHER blissful hearts.

That’s the invitation. To do what we can do – not just pretend to imagine it for everyone. No, no, no. We can REALLY imagine it. We can aim for it, act on it, live for it.

Let’s choose the story that helps our loved ones heal and the whole world along with them.

I hope you’ll join us.

If you can’t think how, allow me to suggest starting by including some new stories in your life or sharing stories that lead others towards the idea. I’ve included several below, including ‘Lifetime’ – all profits of which go to cancer research.


there came a moment in the middle of the song when she suddenly felt every heartbeat in the room & after that she never forgot she was part of something much bigger

Connection by Brian Andreas (click to buy it right here …)

(It can be changed in barely a blink into a man’s version.)

We’re here to end it, I said & she said, No, we’re here to begin it &
then she turned & opened her arms & everywhere I could see,
there were people,
like bright birds,
calling with a thousand voices
& suddenly I understood.

Here is where it begins.

With all of us, together giving our daughters
a world worth loving
for a lifetime to come.

Lifetime by Brian Andreas (click right here to buy this print)

All profits from the sale of this print, both here on the site & at our gallery partners worldwide, will go to fund breast cancer research for as long as it takes to find the cure.

Way at the beginning of the month, we entered a cartoon into a competition for holiday animations.

These are the last few days to see our entry in the contest (it’s three minutes long). Here you go! For anyone who likes to copy and paste into their own browser – http://is.gd/3FOCA.

We love imagining things like this – a StoryPeople cartoon on network tv.

We love imagining places where we can play with all sorts of ideas and ways of telling stories. In fact, we love that you often cover territory we never thought of.

It’s just big fun (which is kind of convenient since we can’t help ourselves). Some people are really good at being doctors. Or librarians. Or … politicians. (I would, admit, like to meet a few more of those. The ones who are good at it, I mean.)

We’re good at playing.

Although, I think it deserves admitting that making a cartoon is not all play. Since the whole goal was getting this cartoon in front of People Who Know Their Cartoons, we had to wear serious faces on more than one occasion. The People Who Know etc. etc. are really nice people, we’re sure, but they do have an awful lot of rules and restrictions and guidelines.

Okay, sometimes? When you’ve animated a whole scene and realize it doesn’t work – it just DOES NOT WORK – and that scene needs to be tossed? Okay, that is definitely not play. That is highly poopy.

Still, mostly, it’s wonderful. Ful of wonder. (Does make you think it should’ve been wonderfull, doesn’t it?)

It can’t be that different from those moments you have on your own blog, in your own writing and photography and dance and acting. You deliver the exquisite line on Facebook, you have a conversation with someone really listening.

Those are wonderful moments, aren’t they, when we know we’re spreading the tendrils of stories. And those stories are changing things.

Imagine THAT. Wheee!

They’re back! & in four different designs… We’ve brought back the ever-popular “Big Strange Family” & created three brand new never-seen-before totes, including one sleek & sophisticated black & white design. You can see them all up close right here.

We’ve been noticing for quite a while that even though we haven’t had totebags available for almost a year, “StoryPeople Totes” has continued to be one of the top searches that has brought readers to our blogs. It’s been a little bit agonizing for us, actually, knowing that we didn’t have something a lot of you were looking for. So you can imagine the relief, excitement, even pleasure it brings us to be able to announce on each of our blogs (“ingredients of stuff” & “PeopleStories”) that they’re back. They’re ready! We’ve got what you’re looking for

What’s that? Oh, sorry. If you’ve come looking for an art print that features a Brian Andreas story about the perils of “Overexcitement“, well, we’ve got that, too, along with all kinds of other cool & quirky stuff over at www.storypeople.com.

A few years ago, a friend bought a number of StoryPeople prints for gifts. For each person on his list, he found a perfect story and we marveled at how easy it was.

And then he chose a print for himself. Or rather, it sort of chose him. It seemed to cast a spell. I watched him return, over and over to it. He had to have it. Even though he didn’t understand it. Not at all.

‘At all?’ I didn’t quite believe him. He managed high risk projects in emerging markets. That almost pre-qualified him for understanding it. Besides, anyone can take a stab (and sometimes, a punch) at interpreting. ‘At ALLLLL?’

‘Not at all.’ He read it one more time. ‘Nope. What does it mean?’

Well, I couldn’t explain it. Or maybe I wouldn’t. One of those.

It’s great when we meet art, whatever kind, and have instant sympathy. But a whole lot of art gets a whole lot of better when we invest in it, when we explore it, when we learn enough to understand it (you know, like The Wasteland. Which is why I’ll never EVER believe ANYONE who pretends they just picked up a little James Joyce for light reading. STOPPPPPP it. You are KILLING me!)

And then there’s the art, the literature, the music that we have to do something a little special for. It doesn’t need, or even want, a PhD. It doesn’t get better if you can recite all the obscure names ever associated with it.

It just seems to want us to open up, be freely curious, hear it, let it lead us out of what we expect into what we can imagine. Oh, I don’t know. Hard, isn’t it, to describe it exactly.

Either way, he got it for himself. ‘Imagining World.’

And now, especially now, at this time in the world, I really do wonder if he’s come to understand it. I imagine he has.

StoryTweeple

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