Perhaps you've heard of the artist and writer SARK (which stands for Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy). I first discovered her at the age of eighteen when I was a student at The University of Chicago. While browsing through the Chicago Art Institute's Gift Shop (which is almost as fabulous as the actual museum), I happened on her second book Inspiration Sandwich.
The gorgeous colors, big bold writing, and quirky drawings had me hooked immediately. I was in love with this woman's energy, spirit, and creative life force. I wrote the only fan letter I've ever written to SARK. Sadly, she did not write me back. But it didn't stop me from following her journey as a creative soul and business woman.
Once, I literally followed in her footsteps. In her early years, SARK traveled Europe as a starving artist and spent a few weeks living above the Shakespeare and Company book shop in Paris. It is a legendary, independent English-text bookstore that's been around since 1951. Henry Miller described it as "a wonderland of books". The owner, George Whitman, is an institution who retired at the age of 91. He housed artists, poets, writers, and other creative travelers free of charge under two conditions; they had to work in the store for a couple of hours and read a book a day. I went to see the bookstore, meet George and find the nook where SARK slept, imagining myself in her artistic shoes. Since then, SARK has written something like 15 books and has gained a huge following.
She used to have an inspiration hotline (a telephone number where you could listen to an inspiration recorded message by SARK - and yes I called it quite a few times!). Now, she has an amazing website, online community and newsletter. Her site is one of my favorites for a quick dose of inspiration: www.planetsark.com.
Last week, after reading an Anne Lamott book that mentioned Magic 8-Balls, I remembered a feature on SARK’s site - Ask Jupiter. SARK's faithful companion since the beginning of time has been a black cat named Jupiter. Jupiter is like a mystic sage whose advice is far more complex and varied than the limited Magic 8-Ball. It was late at night, my mind was racing with dreams, goals, to do lists, and worries, so just before midnight I decided to pay a visit to Jupiter (he's really good for a free online psychic cat!) to see if he still had the magic touch.
I started with this question: "Jupiter, will money flow to me in abundance?"
Jupiter responded: "It's time to stop and rest now!"