8 Miles

My favorite piece of jewelry is made of wood. I wear it every day. It inspires me to keep trying, to keep working, and to never give up my creative dreams.

My work days are between 10-12 hours of sitting at a computer so I walk to and from work to get exercise. It’s a good walk, 8 miles a day, round trip, and I use the time to think about my personal projects that I work on in the evening.

Work is not all I think about. I think happy thoughts about the future, I look at the trees and I wonder about the tree that became the wooden jewelry I wear every day. I wonder how many people sat under the tree that became my jewelry, and played under the tree and kissed under the tree and how long it stood on the Earth before it became many parts of many people’s dreams.

As I walk I smile and I send prayers into the sky to the man who I admire, who made the jewelry possible. I wish for excellent health and true happiness for the man who rescued this piece of wood from a place near when I am walking, who gave it to artists, to make something new, something that would continue to inspire people. I thank him for making this beautiful, sweet symbol of strength, growth, triumph over hardship, and renewal.


Sometimes I hold this piece of wooden art in my hand as I walk. I caress it’s smooth perfection and physically enjoy the carved information. I let my skin absorb the shape of his childhood home and the numbers and letters that measure the point of origin of this great artist’s dreams. I thank the universe for him. I thank him for his voice because he has shown me that I have everything I need as long as I work hard, keep learning and have hope.


I am Shady Army forever, a loyal soldier who fights for life, art and love.

Thank you, Shady.