A Magical Day in a Magical Life

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.

Kara Walker.

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.

A Note from the Journey.

I saw his face when the crowd ran towards him. Was told he was stabbed. I cant lose another child. A sigh of release when I saw his face. He is ok. for now? 

He came to visit me today in Art class. He doesn’t have Art anymore and isn’t happy about it. He stands tall. I am up to his armpit. We laugh. He sits down on my stoll. We are facing the entire class. They are creating logos.

He lays his head on my shoulder. We stay in that position. I can feel his heart beat. I lay my head on top of his. How are you my child? I am tired Tiffany. I can’t believe he’s gone. I am tired too. I know what tired you are. You know I love you right. You’re my special baby like Raphael. You love us trouble makers huh Tiffany? You trouble makers need the most love. smiles and warmth. He lays on my shoulder in silence. 

A student asks for help. Can’t you see we having a moment. I giggle. Stop it be nice. He doesn’t move. I answer the request for a logo edit. He moves. I love you Sean. I love you Tiffany. 

Last 5 mintues of class. Review of the day, deadlines and now it time for the next class. I love you all come back to me in one piece. They leave. Some with hugs. 

Tears fall down my face as I remember stories and visions of my child. Smiles. Show them his sketchbook. 

They make me laugh. They know me the best. Blessed. A mom and sister as best friends.