Day 7 of 7: Grateful for You, Us & The GUT
And for the abundance & Both/And we create this week.
Hello, GUT fam.
Heads up, there’s a mini-selection of artwork created in response to this week’s Gratitude adventure towards further down in this email. I included 2-3 drawings from each day, accompanying comments are in the captions. Thank you to everyone who bravely shared your work and to everyone who offered generous cheers and support to your fellow GUT artists. What a community we are. So interconnected and mutually supportive - across the world - some might call us a family. Which leads me to today’s topic and final drawing assignment for the 7 Days of Drawing Gratitude.
We’ve been drawing our gratitude this past week to help us shift ourselves from a scarcity mindset towards an abundance mindset. At the same time (and deeply related) I’ve also been reflecting a lot on family. The purpose of it. How we define it. What we inherit and what we create. What we take and what we leave. And as we grow up (as we do forever), how we have the option to decide how to make our own.
LGBTQ+ people have a long history of creating families from the ground up, in large part because so many people were rejected by their biological families when they came out. As a result, many queer folks replaced the American nuclear, insular family structure that didn't serve them (us!) with a more inclusive, accepting, and broader structure of support. Less “Us vs Them”, and more “welcome home.” This perspective changes the way we partner, the way we parent, the way we separate, and the way we take care of each other as we get old and die. It’s less individualistic and exclusive. These queer families may not have the same tight systems of preserved wealth, but they often develop vast networks of expansive care. Way more Both/And.
Of course, every family is messy. Gay, queer, straight, whatever.
But I wonder, how do we feel about our mess when we’ve chosen it, versus simply accepting what we’re given? And maybe it’s not Either/Or. Maybe we can accept the reality of the mishegas we inherit, and then build our own structures next to that, parsing our energy accordingly and making drastic moves as necessary. I don’t know. You all may be lightyears beyond me in this evolution.
I am starting to think more about what’s possible. In general and in particular for me. And how an art-making community fits into that.
Like, what is the GUT in my family systems diagram? Because I know that I can’t get this creative communing from my family or friends. We are creating something special and unique here in the GUT. For some of us, it might just be a quick lesson in art. But for others I know it’s the GUT is an ongoing conversation. One where we support each other through hard times, encourage one another, celebrate difference, offer help, laugh, and celebrate wins.
What is that, if not family?
So today, on day seven of 7 Days of Drawing Gratitude, I am grateful for you. For the GUT. How you are showing me that if we want a community, sometimes we have to create it ourselves. And within that community, tight little units can grow. (Waving at all the GUT locals who have met up in person.)
As we are drawing our final Gratitude Drawing today, let’s pause and recognize that by actively CHOOSING to be this community, we are creating it together. The GUT exists because every week we are actively make it real. (Seriously, I wouldn’t do this if you didn’t show up every week.) So let’s get grateful for our fellow members, how we’ve grown and changed, and for YOUR unique contribution to the Grown-Ups Table.