Today is a brand new day!
This website, formally known as "the art room" and braniganart.weebly.com is currently undergoing a sort of metamorphosis alongside yours truly.
It's going to be a work in progress for a while. It'll get a new name and some curated content maybe some branding eventually. These things take time and money.
I want to thank you Internet friends and readers for all your support over the past five years! I've inadvertently gained quite a readership and in checking the free stats available for this site, I found that in just this past year alone, i've had 80k page views!!! That seems like a lot.
Clearly, this website isn't something that I should abandon. Especially now that I've really got some things to say.
So, never fear, I will still be bringing to the internet all sorts of news and goodies from the world of teaching art. This time, in a whole new light.
"There is a light that never goes out." -the smiths
I have a dream, y'all. This is just me, chasing it down.
I hope that you will join me in dreaming. I hope that you will shift along with me toward a vision of a better world for everybody and brighter sustainable future for our children, all of them.
"Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better." - maya Angelou
I've realized lately that everything in life can be a lesson and everyone is a teacher, whether they know it or not.
I've thought long and hard about just what it is that I want my life to teach. I've thought also about what I've been told and taught and directed to teach about and what I have spent my time teaching about in the past, much of it very good content but sometimes, many times, it's felt as if it was missing something.
I figured out what it was missing:
the rainbow connection.
In this vision quest I've been on, I've realized that my purpose, at least for now, is to let my love shine in the school where I spend my days and to let my light shine to other hungry hearts out there in my city of Richmond, Virginia and in the Internet realms. I'm especially interested in connecting with teachers and parents and folks who are responsible for the shaping of childhoods.
I am a teacher. I am a messenger. I am a writer. I am an artist. I'm a singer, I'm a dreamer, I'm a river girl. I dwell in the present moment.
I am many things and all of these best parts of me will be in rotation as I structure my days to come with the children In the art room at my school and in all of my creative endeavors.
"How you spend your days is of course how you spend your life." -Annie Dillard
I have no way to know exactly what lies ahead and I don't need to. The present moment is the only one where i can truly dwell, anyhow.
Sometimes I feel scared but lately I feel bold. children need to know this truth about the present moment so their daily lives can begin to shift the future. It's easy to see that many of us human beings have drifted off course for far too long.
Somewhere along the way, we lost the knowledge of our true radiant selves.
Children know it.
"Let the children play. Worries for another day." - fraggle rock theme song
The future is now.
This is me, saving myself by learning myself, knowing myself and being myself.
There is still so much to say and I hope plenty of time to say it in.
Oliver Sacks died today. I've been reading some of his writing lately and his reflections on dying. He lived a good life. He shared it with us. I want to emulate his transparency and vulnerability as I, too, have this fire in my belly to write, to share, to shape, to sing, to create, to paint, to collaborate with children and with the dreamers of the world.
This is the beginning of a new trail that we will create as we walk it. We will build the bridges as we need them, we will ask for help if we need it. The lovers, the dreamers and you and me.
I can't tell you quite where we are going because we are dreaming it together as we go. I do have some great tools I've decided to carry with me, I've also got great friends and allies, I've got heroes and teachers, I've got poets and peacemakers. I've got you and you've got me.
My art will be my life. My life will be my art.
My life is teaching, painting, singing songs, walks in the woods, swims in the river, laughs around a fire, trips to beautiful and sacred natural places, finding peace, making friends, gathering to eat together. My life is front porch swings and summer camp backyard.
My life is in my son and in my husband, forever and always. They are the earth family that I chose and that chose me.
My life is planted here, in the south.
"Grow where you are planted."
The time is now. Now is the time. Now is everything. Everything is everything.
"This is our time down here!" - from the goonies
Tomorrow, more of this.
Tell me, are you with me? Do you feel me?