Thursday, March 05, 2009

Ordinary Hero: Jarvenpa

Ordinary Heroes Award Badge
For courage to write the truth as she lives it
For unfailing compassion
For anger in the face of injustice
For love of all beings, great and small
For unstinting generosity to those society rejects
For willingness to sit with another in pain
For persistence in working to right wrong
For resilience
For keeping her heart open when it would be so much easier to close

And for making her piece of the world better, one day at a time, in the most Ordinary of ways,

The first Ordinary Heroes award is extended to Jarvenpa, whose blog Outside the Windows is vibrant, passionate, full of nit and grit, and revealing of a heart so broken, so healed, so big with love that anyone looking in can only be healed in turn. If that weren't enough, Windows is a damn good read.

I discovered Jarvenpa through another blogger's link several years ago. Yes, she writes beautifully, which makes it easy to see her world and almost to believe I feel what she is feeling. But it is her consistency in eating grief again and again--and recovering, in seeing beauty at every turn when she could see ruin, and in helping those who can least help themselves, though they keep on trying--the wounded, scarred people who show up on her doorstep with addictions, mental illnesses, hearts broken beyond coping in a material world--that inspires and motivates me. Her stories are pure life as she experiences it in her Northern California bookstore and garden, on the streets of her town--visceral, real, immediate, heart-jolting.

Give a shout to Jarvenpa, then sit down with a nice hot cup and get to know a woman whose life makes the vision of the Village of Ordinary seem closer and closer today.


  1. So belatedly I come here to thank you for this most undeserved but very sweet award.
    I do love the concept of ordinary heroes, I think each day we pass angels unaware and smile at one another.

    And you too, you are a lovely and passionate hero of the times.

    Happy spring!

  2. My joyful pleasure, and if you are so inclined, please pass the award along to your Ordinary Heroes. Here are the guidelines.


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