Missy Hancock said “Yes. Of course. I’d love to,” immediately without hesitation.
An image of what it must feel to be involved in a post-game Gatorade bath flooded over me. In my mind, electrolyte-filled orange liquid pressed down over my head, hit my chest, ran down my arms and torso. Success, on our first “ask” in Guthrie!
Along our travels you will learn things about our team. Things that seem trivial, weird, or wonderful.
My own confessional begins today: I hate asking people to sit with us for a conversation. Highly expressed introversion tugs at my throat, sealing off my vocal chords during our interaction. And while my heart is always open to whomever we choose, self-doubt about heavy “personal space treading” taxes my soul. I don’t want to stomp on the daisies; I want our participants to want to chat.
“Well…okay! Great!” I responded to her ‘yes.’
Rachel and I scrambled, settled, and were honored with more positivity than we could possibly gather in a week, or maybe a year. Speaking with the co-owner of Hancock Creative is like taking a bath in freedom. Her words, the lights in her eyes, and her smile pop the lid on what’s been bottled and brewing inside for way too long. They pour you out, right you again, then fill you up with quotes like,
“I think artists innately feel a connection to a Creator, because I think there’s something magical in [the creating art] process, and something Divine in that process.”
“There’s something about being honest, about saying ‘I just threw out twenty dollars worth of vegetables in my drawer’ but I actually MADE ONE STIR-FRY!…just being completely honest is [refreshing].”
“I am totally an outgoing introvert.”
“My favorite artist, Anne Lamott, is so great, it’s like ‘Wow, you’re so neurotic and you let me crawl in your head with you,’ and I love that! She has a quote, and I may totally jack it up, that says, ‘You own your life and your experience, and if they didn’t want you to write about it, they should have treated you better!'”
“Yeah, the whole cussing thing…yeah…I mean, I’ve always liked cussing. I think cussing is glorious! [(we belly laughed)] Now I did, this year, start saying the F-bomb…and I told my husband I need to reel that one in, because I like saving that one for special occasions! [(and we belly laughed again)]”
We belly laughed because Missy’s words felt like rain. Fresh, cool. Cleansing.
When you sit with a person who pours out validation, and the signs in her shop quote validation or support, and her “whole life mission is to encourage creativity,” then the rain is so sweet. Rachel and I were re-energized, like that feeling when you step out of a cool shower and all is new.
I’m not sure of all that we were seeking when this project began, but even in this first year I feel certain of these facts: Guthrie is lucky to have people like Missy and the Hancock Creative shop.
Oklahoma is better because of all the people we’ve gotten to know in our short time on the road.
And we, by far, are better people having interacted with the people we’ve met on the road, in their homes, on their porches, and in the Hoboken Coffee Roasters in Guthrie.