Thursday, February 21, 2008

Six Things I Love About Bhu

I was tagged by Rachel, an unschooling mom in Chicago. I first connected with Rachel when she posted "The Lanyard" (a poem that I like; you can listen to it here) on the Live and Learn conference list last year. I really like reading about her adventures with her sons.

The rules:

(1) Link to the person that tagged you.

(2) Post the rules on your blog.

(3) Share six things you love about a friend, doesn’t have to be the same friend who wrote about you, really!

(4) Tag other random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

This gives me a great opportunity to ramble on about one of my best friends - my sister Bhu. She was born when I was fourteen so she is much younger, hipper and cuter than I am (I am not being self-deprecating here, Bhu, I am just stating the facts ;). At the same time she is wiser than I am and is a constant source of inspiration. Better stop gushing and start listing...

1. Bhu is immensely generous. I posted about one example of this last summer. Here visiting, on her Birthday week, she gave me her Nikon D70!!!

This wouldn't be as extraordinary if she were rich, and was swimming in extra SLR digital cameras, but she is not. She is a photographer who is just starting her own business and is married to a just-starting-out teacher (who, by the way, is another thing I like about her). The plan had been that I would buy it from her. Instead, standing in my kitchen listening to me while I did the dishes (not easy to get to do dishes when she is around), her beautiful Julia Roberts lips curved into an anticipatory smile and she handed me the camera. I tried to pay. She refused to let me. I argued, for days. She is one stubborn girl.

Before shooting many of the pictures that I have taken since that day (and there have been thousands) I have thought about Bhu and that generous act.

2. She is sooo talented at so very many things. She sews, draws, paints, creates amazing gifts for all the kids, and is one hell of a photographer. Check out her photography web site. Be sure to click on the "project" section. Look for the series of photos that she took in a Montana taxidermist's office. I ask you? See the joy in those fascinating peoples' faces juxtaposed against their lovingly stuffed dead animals? Hauntingly good.

3. Her courage and her staying power. I love that she prizes a search for the truth, and service, over comfort and complacency. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

4. Her love of family. She gets all excited about coming home for those reunion Christmases when our family all gathers here. She is as excited about seeing all of us as I ever was about Santa. She will never tell her kids about Santa. Too much integrity for that. She is grounded in the magic of real relationship.

5. I love dancing with this girl. When my boys were small and I rarely got a shower, let alone a night out, she convinced me to meet her for sushi and dancing. I love that she is as happy and wild as I am when dancing. I hope we'll still be able to do this together when she is the one with wee ones. It would be great to live closer and have a weekly dance date now.

6. I love her authenticity, but also appreciate her ability to creatively add some sugar (unlike me she grew up in the south) or hot sauce as needed to make the truth more interesting to digest.

7. (I have to add one more) I love that fifteen years ago when she was a slightly annoying (to impatient me) teenager, I had no idea that we could ever become this. You can choose your friends and not your family. I am very lucky to have family that I choose to call my friends.

I tag two unschooling women who are super wise and so much fun to hang out with - Danielle (I choose to ignore your tag reticence) and Mindy.


Rachel said...

Oh, Madeline, I knew you'd have an amazing friendship to write about and that you'd write about it beautifully, and you definitely did not disappoint. How lucky you both are to have such a friend in a sister.

I looked at Bhu's website, and the photos are fantastic. I really liked the Montana series. And Otto really liked the white horse in the nature series (he says that squirrel in the photo was just sleeping.) And it was so interesting to read her bio and learn that your mother was a photographer. I have always marveled at your own photographs, and now I think it's in your genes to have that ability--and it doesn't hurt to have that fancy camera from your sister. :)

Madeline said...

Rachel, thanks for the tag. I loved doing this. Bhu has a different mom than I do so I did not get their photo. genes but am learning all the time! I am so glad that you visited her web site and got to see her photos. I love Otto's squirrel observation!

mindy said...

You're coaxing me out of my blogging rut...I loved what you wrote about your sister. It makes me want to meet her. A gift with the words you do have!

Kelly said...

How wonderful to have someone like that in your life - and how great it is that she has you. :)