I’m not sure how I came up with the idea to do this. But a few weeks back, I decided that I wanted to paint words all over the body of my friend Jenny and have our friend Karen photograph it. So I asked them. And to my serious delight they both said yes.
Here’s something I love to do: put words in places you don’t expect them.
In college, I stamped poems onto signs made out of sheet metal and put them up around campus. I stamped words on office supplies, and bedsheets, and the pages of old books.
I loved the idea of words showing up where they didn’t belong. The surprise of it.
Now I am a grown-up, and writer, and I spend most of my creative life typing.
But every now and then, I get to step away from my laptop. And two days ago, I ventured out into my mother’s back garden with two of my favorite people. And I could not believe how relaxed we all were. How game Jenny was to be painted like a tattooed lady, and how calm she was. And how perfectly Karen captured not just the look of things, but the tenderness of it all.
And then our friend Laura showed up, too, and we hung out at my mom’s kitchen table. We ate do-nuts and joked around a lot, but there was definitely something magical going on there that day.
And then, using Karen’s photos, I made this video–to try to bring the words off the page a little. To bring them to life in a new way. And boy, did they come to life.
ALSO: This happens to be the garden where I got married.
And ALSO: Karen took exactly 500 photos that day.
And ALSO: Jenny read to us from the memoir she’s writing when we went back inside, and my face hurt from laughing the rest of the day.