What does it take to be happy? / by jami milne

When was the last time you saw something beautiful and just let it be?

In a world of complexities, of pop-ups and notifications, of likes and loves, love and hate, death and decay … in a world in which layers of meaning can feel overwhelming as one sifts through their own personal narratives to arrive at a storyline — there sits Jennifer Leatherby.

Calm. Beautiful. And happy.

I sat on her cardboard covered studio floor, searching for something else. I was searching for a deeper truth, a hidden meaning. I was searching to uncover the despair that led to the creation. I was asking leading questions I thought would unleash the anguish. But there sat Jennifer Leatherby and her art.

Calm. Beautiful. And happy.

Sometimes it’s not about a greater meaning because the meaning is already right in front of you. And the meaning is great without trying to further unpack it. (You were just to self-deprecating to see it.) In this case, it’s flowers and they’re brilliant. So is she.

It’s Art Week in Des Moines, Iowa. And there doesn’t have to be a cross to bear. There may be for some, but sometimes, if you let your guard down and lift up your veil and you drop your cloak of overburdened self-consciousness, you’ll find Jennifer Leatherby and her flowers.

And you, too, might also find yourself calm, beautiful and happy.

Visit Jennifer Leatherby’s flowers in all their beauty at her Open Studio on Wednesday, June 26 from 6-9pm. Because it’s Art Week. And because you deserve to feel this way.