WOW! I have not written a new blog in almost two months, my longest break yet. Believe me, I have been writing and working on my big project, but still I have been a bit mired in the ugliness of American and World politics and news. No surprise! Still, if I pay attention, there are rays of sunshine and hope. It does take some exploration and an abiilty and willingness to be open to possibility thinking. I just reread my last blog and smiled about the joy of creativity and the arts in our lives. Possibility-thinking and creativity are both reasons to take time, pause, breathe and recognize there is much good.
These past two weeks my grandchildren, who are 14 and 12, are attending a wonderful 2 week residential music and art camp. It is called Young Musicians and Artists, http://www.ymainc.org, and was started over 50 years ago. This session, of two weeks, allows young people to explore drama, stage craft (what happens back stage), musical theater, song writing, photography, visual art, and dance (including a combination of African dance, ballet, jazz). At the end of the second week each group performs a program demonstrating all their accomplishments. Talk about the joy of creativity and teaching the importance having it in our lives! This camp becomes a part of these young peoples’ lives, an event they cherish; each of them looks forward to returning the next summer. Many of the parents also attended YMA in their youth. What would the world be like if every child had such opportunities? These opportunities give everyone, children and adults alike, hope; they teach possibility thinking and problem solving along with creativity.
I saved a quote by Joan D. Chittister, a Benedictine nun, author, and speaker. “Darkness”, she says, “deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in sunlight.” I cannot help but ponder about this period of darkness our nation and world is experiencing. What was, is, or will be the alleluia point where we learn and become aware of growth happening in this less-than-sunny time? What growth has occurred or is occurring or will occur? It surely is happening. I have read about large numbers of young poeple and women who are stepping up to the plate to become involved in local, state and national government. I know that I have become more attentive to what is happening in our city, in the state, in America and around the world. Perhaps these are examples of growth starts that can spur us on with hope for the future. Through all these days of angst, we pause, breathe, explore, ever on the lookout for assurance that the world will ultimately move forward with what is truly important. The point is, we must look for these signs. Stop Exhale Breathe OBSERVE!
I sit at my desk and look out the window, a huge expanse of glass in front of me. I explore the details of what I see. It is summer and there is much ongoing activity. There is a busy intersection to my left. At this cross-roads there is a bicycle concession, a city-wide business where members can pick up and return bicycles. The bicycles are bright orange. Earlier today we saw some tourists on orange bicycles ride up the middle of the streeet and wander into the intersection, unconsciously it seemed. Because it is summer and sunny, people wear lots of bright colors. A girl with pink shorts. A woman with pink hair to match the girl’s shorts. A woman with florescent yellow shoes. A guy with a bright purple shirt. More orange bicycles! Still more joggers and constantly more buses! These observations are multipled many times over when there is a soccer game and humanity lines up in front of my (and Tobey’s) window on the world. A light-rail train arrives, people run, jaywalking, to catch the train; more people emerge and flood my gaze. I see the girl with the Palomino hair; I am fascinated by her long honey colored ponytail which reaches almost to her ankles. What a colorful world!
The time in which we live often seems ever so dark! Yet, when we open our eyes to the beauty, that beauty still shines through, in beautiful children’s creativity and the rhythm of the city going about it’s business, “alleluia, not all growth happens in sunshine.” We have stopped, listened, observed and let our breath teach us to keep taking that time to notice. ONWARD!