I just posted a long comment on Amy's Blog. Instead of continuing there, I decided to come here...
Real. It means natural as opposed to artificial. "Made with Real Fruit." "Contains Real Sugar." "Real Butter." -- Yes, the good stuff. So, what exactly is real? It's natural-- it's not fake, not made up, it's truth. So, I guess the phrase "real truth" is redundant. Can there really be a "fake truth"-- wouldn't that be a "lie"?
One of the things I like most about people is that they are real. Not fake, not made up, not artificial. They are real with me. Those that are real-- are genuine (those words mean the same thing). They make us feel good because we know that we're not the "only" ones going through certain things.
I like that the CMP Group is made up of women (and men, hi Ryan!)-- that are REAL with each other. We admit mistakes. We tell what we hate. We photograph art in progress with a mess behind us. Cheryl wrote on her blog about an emotional birthday-- turning 36. Amy is always real with us!! French Toast Girl once wrote to me that she remembers stepping OVER the laundry piles to get to her artwork, and she learned to not let it get to her. Then, the fact that she was _sharing_ that with me MEANT something. It meant she was real. It meant I'm not the ONLY one with laundry piles and when faced with the decision to do art or laundry, art would be the winner. Real works. Real counts. Real is what kindles friendships. Which is probably why I feel a connection with so many of the CMP groupies-- not to mention we share many common hobbies and passions!
So, this... one of my most favorite excerpts:
From The Velveteen Rabbit:
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
-- by Margery Williams, from The Velveteen Rabbit --