Early morning on a cold December day. A comfortable rush hour express train car equipped with seating. My achy ankles and ease into the orange seat. My eyes meet with relentless stare, that never breaks after many blinks and look aways. I change my seat with hopes that stares will stop but my attempts fail. I look away as my eyes land on a familiar face.
My heart beats fast as I realize who was sharing space with on this cold December day.
There I sat in a bundle of nerves thinking of what should I say, should I say anything!
Then I remembered the Universe would not have placed me on this train, at this time, with her, if we weren’t meant to meet. So I stood up and said hello. She smiled and we talked a bit. I thanked her for inspiring me and my students. We wished a good day.
I met Kara Walker.
The school day welcomed students on time and ready to create. Excited I shared my morning surprise. They were happy for me and curious about the artist that left their usually outgoing Art Teacher speechless. Discussions of the intersections of race, class, gender, gentrification, police brutality, choice, education, agency and a need for change. Thank you Kara. A meeting of the minds. I am reminded young people are our hope. They are our now and forever. Nothing planned occurred. But everything that was supposed to happen did. I am inspired by their energy and insightfulness.
We are never to old to play. We are never to old to try something new. Simple inks, water and paper produces laughs and gasps of discovering as bust of color bleeds on paper. We create cards out of hand marbled paper for our sister/daughter who has experienced great change. Through creation we build community, connections and space for healing.
A chilly and nervous walk through Harlem. My name is on the guest list of my favorite artist. She is now becoming my collaborator and mentor. I am humbled and honored.
Talks of blackness. Sounds of our multifaceted existence. Sounds of our complexity. She calls us MAGIC.
I am welcomed with a smile as I walk towards Meshell.
Meshell Ndegecello is excited to meet me. ME!
We hug tight. An internet connection meets the physical world.She introduces me as an amazing educator and artist for the people, I beam.
Long ride home. My joy surpasses my exhaustion.
A man prepares for his stop. Walking to the door he thanks me. Thank you and holds my hand. I am unaware of how I impacted him. Sometimes the universe speaks through our physical bodies.
I am humbled. I am honored. I have arrived. I am where I am supposed to be.
I am living my magical life FEARLESSLY!
I am thankful.