the beckoning of lovely

Back in September, crcook posted a truly lovely and cooler than cool 7-minute video called, "The Beckoning of Lovely." It totally caught me by surprise, chased my evil, cynical tendencies out the window, and made my heart flutter with hope.

Making things. Creativity. Coming together. Sharing. Good vibes all around.

The woman in the video arrived on the scene with her yellow umbrella, and in a few hours, changed the lives of everyone there. Strangers worked together to "make an 18th lovely thing." I admired the young woman’s ingenuity and spontaneous, free-spirited social experiment.

But did I know? Did I know then, who this woman really was? The video said her name was Amy, but there are lots of Amys in the world, right?

The universe, it turns out, is a small place. But hugely generous and serendipitous, if you choose to interact with it in good faith and with honest intentions.

Awhile later, I was searching for a picture book author to interview for this blog. I wanted someone whose work had tickled me, excited me, made me stop and take note for its singular brilliance. Interviews are hard work, and I won’t invest precious time working with someone unless I really really love what they do.

Then I remembered Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons. Of course — Amy Krouse Rosenthal. She’s way cool, and I’d been seeing her name all over the internet — always associated with something innovative and life affirming, albeit quirky.

And I simply cannot resist quirky.

So I googled her and discovered that Amy Krouse Rosenthal and the yellow umbrella woman in the video are one and the same! Duh. Well, of course! Friends, Amy is someone who embraces the universe whole heartedly, resulting in creative efforts that boggle the mind — children’s books, memoirs, book reviews, humor columns, public radio talk show host, gift books, parenting books, and, of course, videos.

Now, "The Beckoning of Lovely" is moving into its next phase — a feature length film! Amy has extended an Invitation to the Universe. If you have made a lovely thing, she wants you to submit it. It doesn’t matter what you do, where you live, or how old you are. If it’s lovely, it qualifies. She’s also looking for a creative team consisting of 14 Key Positions, to help her implement the project.

No, this isn’t a paying gig, not yet. But it’s a chance to be part of something awesome, something larger than yourself, something that has never been done before. Things are tough all over the planet. This seems to be an earnest effort to celebrate the myriad talents of our fellow human beings — a project of inclusion, a "making" of something positive. We need that, right?

Read more about the film on Amy’s blog, whoisamy. Deadline for submissions is January 20, 2009, and the deadline to apply for the 14 Key Positions is January 16, 2009.

Submission categories include:     Music of all kinds / Bands/ Singer-Songwriters / Videos / Short films / Animation / Paintings / Drawings / Art / Illustration / True stories / Made-up stories / Poems/ Lists / Monologues / Plays / Dance / Inventions / Crafts / Photographs / Cell phone snapshots / Architecture / Design / Culinary creations / Journal pages / Collage / Sand castles /  Everything

In case you missed it, here’s the original video, shot in Chicago on August 8, 2008. Okay — Umbrellas up!

7 thoughts on “the beckoning of lovely

  1. My six-year-old daughter saw the raining image at the top of your post, and said, “That’s really unsafe”. LOL (I think she was referring to a) just standing around in the rain and b) standing on train tracks.)

    Her project sounds neat, though. I don’t know if it would qualify as “lovely” to anyone else, but what’s coming to my mind at the moment is the wool cable cardigan I knit my grandmother in thanks for all the sweaters she made for me when I was a child. It was the most complex pattern I had ever done (or since), but I did it. After her death last year, I reclaimed it; it’s more like a 3/4 sleeve sweater on me 😛 but I love it anyway.


  2. I just followed the link to watch the video… Oh my gosh, she wrote the Cookies books?! And Little Hoot?! We live in such a small and beautiful world. :o)

    Into the Wardrobe


  3. We’re ALL muti-talented, aren’t we!? It’s just our ideas of what counts as a talent that might need some adjustment… 🙂

    I love this project! I’ve become an “Ambassador of Lovely”, and put up a blog to support it. You’re welcome to check it out. (You’ll likely get more out of it if you read Swedish though… 🙂



  4. How fabulous to hear from you, Svante!! You’re absolutely right about needing to adjust our definitions of “talent.” How I wish I knew Swedish so I could read your blog. I’m thrilled that an Ambassador of Lovely found me here :)! Happy New Year!


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