Textured Layers of Beauty

Life is full of textured layers of beauty, insight, inspiration, & demonstrations of love. Pretend it is “I spy” and see what you find. It may surprise you.

© Rebecca Turk
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Property of Rebecca Turk
Property of Rebecca Turk
Textured Layers of Beauty

Reflective Waters


Beneath the still, reflective waters,
exists a world, most know nothing of.
The secrets, of both pain and joy,
are entrusted to but a few.
So, to learn of these hidden truths,
I will watch with indefinite pause.
You, oh silent waters, of quiet reserve,
are worth being heard.
You, oh still waters, so pristine,
deserve to be seen.

© Rebecca Turk


Reflective Waters

The Cool Kids

Once upon a time, back in high school, I was called over to the cool kids’ table. No, not the lunch table, but the table they were occupying in the library of our school.
I really didn’t know what they wanted, but being friendly with almost everyone in the school, I didn’t fear the conversation. I was, as many described, a Mother Teresa wannabe who floated through the social sphere like a nomad in the desert.

It turns out they wanted me to join the cool kids. Yeah, I was surprised too. Really, they wanted me to pledge allegiance to the cool kids’ clique. They asked me why I hung out with certain people and groups of people (those who weren’t good for my status). They told me how pretty I was. Or rather, they told me how pretty I would be with a makeover. Okay, I thought. That’s fair. My hair is crazy and unmanageable. And yes, I have a weird sporty surfer girl look, that didn’t quite fit my very lacking athletic abilities.

Then came the oddest of the qualifications.

They asked me how much my house was worth. I didn’t know, it was my parents’ house, not mine. I guessed. I said “Uh, probably 100k?” The response was, “Oh good. You see, none of us have houses that are worth less than 100k, so you fit right in.”

I what? I…how? Gah….WHAT?

I nodded, still really confused as to what had just happened, and got up and headed for class.

I never did take them up on the offer for a makeover sleepover party. I didn’t give up hanging out with the kids who were bad for my reputation. I still worked hard to be a Mother Teresa wannabe–perhaps I’ll explain that more another time in another place.

I knew I didn’t belong at the cool kid table back then. I was too confident in who I was, back then, to want to be someone I wasn’t. So… I continued on with my crazy wild hair. I continued making time to chat and joke with the computer programmers and gamers. I sought out the ESL students. I didn’t need a cool table.

Now, I see a different cool table before me. A table of all these people who have similar life goals as mine. They may carry them out in completely different ways. They may look at the world through a completely different set of glasses. However, they are doing amazing things. Things I just wish to be near. I want to sit at their table. I want to hear the stories, to be asked to help out with their projects. To be invited to their sleepovers, and to have the sort of life makeovers that would result from friendship with them.

But… I haven’t been called over to even make an introduction. I wave when I can. Smile as best I can from a distance. It’s just so awkward when you see or hear of people, and “know” you’re meant to be friends. To support and inspire one another… but you’re still that nomad nobody wandering around the social sphere.

After each hello, I become afraid that they will only thing I want to bask in the glow of their popularity…like so many others. When really, I imagine chatting in a quiet corner, sharing dreams, hopes, of conspiring for good. Of confiding fears and discouragement. Of reciprocal support and encouragement. Of laughing and celebrating over the successes and joys.

You know, those actually meaningful friendships that seem so rare in this busy busy world.

The Cool Kids

The Dance We Dance

The Dance We Dance

It’s an elaborate dance we dance,

with our feet tied behind our back,
And our eyes made blind.
We laugh to fill the silence,
while the tears fall behind our eyes.
It’s a competition we’ll never win.
All our hard work–
All the planning of our lives,
And then we find ourselves falling,
with no one there to heal our pains.
For no one really knows the wounds we’ve suffered,
They too have been covered by laughter.
Lips curled up in a smile of joy,
while silently we realize we’ll never be who we were before,
Choking on the tears we’ve never cried,
Feeling guilty for all we were to be, but never became,
For the promises made, and unspoken lies.
We dance a dance that cannot be danced alone,
and laugh a laugh that doesn’t exist.
For truly all is still, dark, and silent
behind this heavy mask.
Being human is no easy task.
For it is an elaborate dance we dance,
with our feet tied behind our back,
and our eyes made blind.
I reach out my hand to you, my fellow dancer,
for I too know, the steps that cannot be danced alone,
The dreams we dream to fill the emptiness but cannot be embraced.
We run to nowhere, never winning a race. Why we compete, I’ll never know.

For here we are dancing a dance that can never be danced alone…

© Rebecca Turk

The Dance We Dance

Giving and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

I’m sure many of you have heard the story of the Starfish. In short, it is the story of an old man who is throwing starfish into the ocean and a small boy asks why bother since there are so many, and he can’t possibly make a difference. To which the old man picks one up, tosses it back into the water, and says, “it made a difference for that one.”

A lot of times the troubles of this life, both at home and abroad, can seem like a shore of endless starfish. It is easy to become discouraged.

But what if each one helped just one or two (or as many as we can)?  Wouldn’t that be of greater benefit than a few giving all they have?

I think a lot of times we think that the people we see in the media who are doing things to make a difference are some how genetically different than the rest of us. They must have the super-giving gene.

But it’s not true! I started from the position of looking at the givers with envy, because they seemed to have something special that equipped them to give. I felt that they gave was always so awesome compared to what I had to give.

Also, what I realized is that what I have to give doesn’t fall down on the lower rungs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I am not out there feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or building shelters–I’m not providing for physical needs. I’m also not fighting off various foes that face them providing them with safety. I have intangible, abstract, unseen things to give (Love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization).

Image from Wikipedia

However, one day something clicked. I then realized that these base-of-the-pyramid helpers were giving what they could, and that all I should worry about was giving what I could.

That day I realized I would never tell someone else that what they have to offer was too small or the wrong type of thing to give. Therefore, I should quit telling myself that my offerings were too small or wrong.

Just reflect back on the story of the starfish. There are hundreds and thousands of beaches, each with their own starfish that need to be thrown in. Some of you are on the beach of physiological needs, some on safety’s beach, yet other on Love’s beach….and so on. Give what you can where you can, and know that if no one seems to appreciate what you’re doing, I do!

Love is all of our superpower, but it manifests itself differently in each of us, and in the outpouring it will look different.


I will likely talk more on this topic, providing more specifics, but I just wanted to encourage you that whether you are a starfish on a beach waiting for a helping hand, or if you are someone walking down the beach offering help (or both), that you matter and what you have to offer matters. If there is anything I can do to encourage you in your journey, don’t hesitate to reach out, even if you just want someone to say hey, I’m here!


Have 30 seconds? I am looking for some ideas for my children’s story, here are 3 questions here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D8YN3T3

Giving and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Twenty Fifteen & Forward.


Right before the holiday season of 2014, I was called into the Registrar’s Office (the Boss’ Boss),  and in the moment I was called in, I shot a message across to my coworker, “is this the time when they will let me go?”

It was. I would be let go at the end of April 2015.

I had felt it coming, seen it coming even, but when it came it still hit me with a debilitating blow. No matter how kind the words were, no matter that there were tears shed by those letting me know my position had been cut, the truth was this meant that I had to figure things out that I hadn’t been able to figure out in the 31 years previous of my life.

I had to figure out what I would be when I grew up.

It was clear that I couldn’t keep floating, I had to make my life count. I didn’t know how, though.  At that time, I thought I’d run a plant business and include an encouraging message with each purchase…the catch was, I spent all my time preparing items to sell. I didn’t have time to pen thoughtful messages of encouragement, and honestly, I wasn’t making any sales anyway.

I filed for unemployment. Discouraged, I was resigned to the idea that I would just have to take whatever job came. The thing is, no jobs came. Six months of job applications and not one call back.

“Ok, I get it,” I laughed in resignation, half looking up to the sky, “…I get it.”

It was God’s way of saying I was on the wrong path…but I didn’t know what path to take. How does a person get paid for wanting to encourage people? For wanting to make their life “all about love”? For dreaming up ways to teach empathy?

I have to admit, it paralyzed me for a long minute…then, I realized that sitting back immobilized while trying to figure it out wasn’t getting me any closer to an answer, and it surely wasn’t helping me pour more love out into the world.

So, here I am. I committed myself to this blog, to using my words to try to spread love and hope. Here I am, studying my crazy hand-crafted curriculum of;

  • Love In Action
  • Networking
  • Empathy
  • Board Game Design
  • Asian Art & Culture
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Self-Publishing
  • Global Perspectives on Mental Health
  • Social Media

All this, while trying to overcome my fears, so that life can move forward. It’s time for life to move forward. I’d love to have you all as front seat observers as the ball gets rolling for real.

I’d also love to be able to offer some insights along the way, so if you’re on a journey not unlike my own, let me know if there is any way I can help, encourage, or support your journey.

Here’s to 2016, I can already tell it will be a year of many stories to tell.


Just one last message. I feel like someone out there needs to hear this–

Dear Heart-that-needs-to-hear-this,

It can be tough. It will be tough, but you’re going to make it. Just don’t give up on yourself, keep believing in what you know to be true about yourself—EVEN if the doubts and fears that surround you are blaring at you, trying to convince you that you’re not good enough.

You are.

You are good enough.

With Love,

Twenty Fifteen & Forward.