Every year my family has a white elephant party. We exchange the lowest scale junk from the depths of our dark closets including old Barbies, kid’s toys, ugly sweaters, and comical party favors. Though these items are predictable, they are different in some way each year. In other words, I wouldn’t receive the same ugly sweater that someone else received last year. No—there is only one item that is allowed to recycle itself upon the same circle each year, and that is Sally’s Angel.
When the Angel was born unto this Earth, finished with a careless brush stroke atop a navy blue canvas, she was not blessed. Instead, the ear was dotted on her face just in time for her to be welcomed with a condescending chuckle and the cruel proclamation: “This is the ugliest angel I’ve ever seen.” And how can an insult like this be more any more condemning, coming from the mouth of no other than that of that her Creator? The Creator didn’t even have the wit to sign her own initials; instead, she forged a crooked “HP” near the Angel’s head.
If I hadn’t been there during the time of her creation, I would have been among those pondering the origin of this great mystery. Each year, the chosen one tears off the last of the wrapping paper to come face to face with the strange angel. The first reaction is always hysterical laughter, followed by a solemn gaze of pure confusion—and finally, the question. “What’s HP?” And it was always my grandmother—never the true creator—who would have to explain the story to the entire group. She confessed it was a mock painting, not the original. My grandmother’s friend, Sally the artist and the hoarder, had given her a painting of an “ugly” angel for Christmas one year. When my grandmother asked Sally what her inspiration was for this “lovely painting”, Sally poked her thumb up in the air a few times and whispered, “H.P.” with a divine force. What’s H.P.? Harry Potter? Grandma had asked. Sally only responded, “You know… higher power.”
I could have never foreseen myself becoming anything like Sally the artist, the hoarder, and angel-whisperer years later… but not long after the first year of her rotation, I began receiving signs. California license plates were everywhere. Everyone I met was from California. Some of them still are. Now, however, it’s changed to North Carolina. So what is it about North Carolina? And what about the recurring numbers I see at least twenty-two times per day? This subject may deserve a separate post. The point is, it’s come to the point in which I cannot ignore these signs being thrown at me with such force everywhere I go.
I could only take an educated gander at the giver of these signs, and I’m not sure how to explain It any better than HP. You know. Higher Power. And now here I find myself in a tiny apartment hoarding blank canvases, waiting for signs from HP to tell me what needs to be painted. I’m hoarding blank notebooks, waiting for signs from HP to inspire my words. Then there are those instruments basking in the dark corners of my rooms, some of which go untouched, waiting for HP to dominate my fingertips and strum.
I’ve had some success so far. Ever since I’ve acknowledged that HP is in fact living in my hands and my heart, I have experienced floods of inspiration. It’s not so difficult to finish things anymore. Knowing that HP is the source of signs I receive, I’m more willing to trust the recurring signs… places, symbols, numbers, names, etc. It’s seeing how the order of my life can play out, placing the opportunities in front of my eyes and allowing me to put together various puzzle pieces that might just come together and form a beautiful picture.