This image has been my icon on Ravelry for over a year now.

I created it soon after the Orlando nightclub shootings, borrowing the words from the sonnet Lin-Manuel Miranda read at the Tony awards, right after and in response to the shootings. (Go sonnet“>read it again; it’s the right words for today. I’l wait.) World events ever since then have been such that I haven’t once been able to bear the idea of taking it down and going back to a ‘normal’ icon. Clearly I won’t be taking it down today, either.

But yesterday a random stranger on Ravelry sent me a note. She’s een my icon and loved it. She told me about the pretty Black Lab in her own user icon there, then sent another note sying she’d read about me and we sound a lot alike. I’m not convinced of that part, entirely; for one thing, she added, “In my town there is no majority — we are all people” and well, I don’t live in Utopia yet. She also sounds a lot more cheerful than I am!

So I told her the story of my icon, and why I’ve kept it up so long (typically on Ravelry, LJ and elsewhere I’ve always used pictures or drawings of myself, since the icon is there by my words). She answered back,

Paula –

Hugs and more hugs and a spare one to put in your pocket (it does not expire).

No, you are not a downer. Looking at your lovely icon reminds me of a tea cup I have in as many colors-red, orange, yellow, blue, darker blue, and don’t know what to call it.

First saying is Whatever your mind can conceive and beleive, it will achieve.

Dream great dreams and make them come true.

Nothing in the world can take the pace of persistence.

and on and on and on. Were it possible, I’d hand it to you right this instant. Full of tea/cocoa/coffee/cafe con leche or whatever you like best.

I’l think of you every time I use it henceforth.

So like I said, I’m not entirely sure she got what I was saying, and she’s clearly way more cheerful than I am feeling today … but damned if I don’t feel a little better on account of these kind words from a total stranger.