Sunday, February 28, 2010

“True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.” Jean Cocteau

Writing this post on the last day of February 201o, perhaps the fastest and the most pleasant February I remember during the past decade. Here I am enjoying a Saturday afternoon in a nature trail in Amherst, NY.

On February 6th I was supposed to have attended a wedding at St Paul's Cathedral with our good friends the Mackin family. When I sent the RSVP to Jim & Kathy, I wrote a note that I would attend except if we had trouble with snow. NEVER did I dream I would be snowed out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania my hometown. That is exactly what happened; my dress hung in my bedroom, bags all packed to go, card and gift ready when it was clear, Pittsburgh was under a state of emergency to all unnecessary travel. Sorry I missed Jennifer and Raymond's wedding as well as an opportunity to see many of my dear friends in Pittsburgh.
I hope to see y'all real soon ;~)

Not worry, since I did not go to Pittsburgh February 6th, I was free to attend the Opening of the Art & Healing show @ Impact Artists Gallery.

Things are as they should be ;~)

February was a month of new beginnings for me, doors opened. I said YES !!!

Now I have great joy to work with a growing group of middle school students as an After School Group Leader with inner city Buffalo children. I LOVE MY JOB ;~) My own children are grown. Barry & Kara know I have enough love to share with many so this is a perfect position for me right now. I was hired because I am an artist with a vision for possibilities of what could be.

Last week the north east had more warnings of a snow storm predicted for Friday, the kids dreamed of staying home all day to play video games. Many of the students looked at me kind of funny when I told them I hoped we did not have a snow day, because I would miss seeing their happy faces in After School Program.

The big snow scare turned into a false alarm so we met last Friday. Here are a few of the children I get to spend five days a week with in program.

The first pic is of a student who I just taught to finger knit; she is a fast learner. She is also a good leader. I told her I need her help to teach the other students to finger knit for our new project.

My concept is to build a chain, Peace Chain, by connecting the finger knitting samples from the students. On the knitted chain we are going to create then hang small flags concept borrowed from the Tibetan Prayer Flags.
Since this is a public funded program and God/ Prayer were thrown out in the 1960's; my emphasis is on PEACE. Thank you Madalyn Murray O'Hair

I greet each student as they come into the studio everyday. Much like when Barry & Kara came home from school I offered them healthy snack, ask what they have for homework then ask them to share one good thing that happened in their day. At this time some students tell me something new they learned or something that made the feel good. Too often they tell me a worry, concern or about students being angry or fighting in school. My goal is to the channel their concerns/anger into creating a flag for our Peace Chain with the hope that once we name the concern, offer it up then let it go.

All of the students are wonderful, beautiful people. This young man is especially a pleasure to work with because he is so intelligent, eager to learn and respectful. Here he is working on building his drawing skills. Practice, Practice, Practice ...

This young lady is so full of energy I wish I could tap into her for a quick boost when my energy starts to drop.
Don't you just love her smile ???

She is bright, cheerful and did I mention she has energy to burn ???

Today it the last day of February, I am going to ride the six miles I owe myself on my stationary bike everyday, work in my studio then go to mass at 5:00 o'clock. Today is a new day with no mistakes in it yet. I have feeling it is going to be a great day. Tomorrow I look forward to the adventures that the month of March 2010 are going to bring ;~)

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