Thursday, December 11, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Prepare

On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend five collective minutes writing on a single prompt. It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week. This blessed, beautiful place where we open our hearts and let words and tears and the inner workings of our lives bleed and flow and dance across the virtual pages. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.

You’ll forgive me if I steer gently around the holidays for this post. It’s drawing me – so much to say – so much goodness. I’ve been writing about this a little already – I fact, my second Advent post spoke to exactly this. Maybe that’s why I’m pulling myself in another direction. Besides, it was art class today.

This week: Prepare


They are so small: these tiny hands that grasp gently at the elegant length of deep oxford blue drawing pencils. I sped so little time in the world of children – despite having my own. Her life as an only lends itself towards more grown up conversations and themes – though I fight hard for every inch of childhood.

I sometimes forget the precious lives that inhabit the world two feet below my shoulders. But these children have utterly enchanted me. I have the privilege of sharing art with them once a week and I dearly wish it were more.
Our public schools have been losing curriculum they consider superfluous or unnecessary. Or simply not cost effective. These learning pillars that fall? They’re art; music; library – sometimes even physical education. Despite learned knowledge that these pillars shore up and round out an education as much as math, science, and writing.
So in I go every Tuesday morning. Heart pounding and completely terrified that they’ll look up; see beneath my carefully prepared lessons; and discover that while I might have a passion for arts and a flair for the creative, I am not actually a trained artist. My diligently packed 31 Gifts bag overflows with pens, pencils, color in many mediums, sandpaper, scissors and clips, paintbrushes, and books.  But is that enough?

After much thought and still with some trembling, I must say yes. Solidly. Completely. Confidently. While I might not have credentials behind my passion, I have a dedication to the craft and a deep desire to prepare their young hearts and minds to understand that they too are artists.

Soon enough, they will come crashing headlong into the naysayers and critics – those who will tell them they are not good enough; that their lines are wobbly; that their colors don’t work, and that cats simply cannot appear in every piece of art they create. They will face a lifetime of detractors and barricades – they may even find those barriers surfacing out of pools of worry and anxiety in their own hearts.

It is my deepest hope and prayer that in those moment, they will have a memory – something from way back – when someone leaned into them, believing, and said, “great job – I love what you’ve done with light and shadow there.” I hope they’ll remember a compliment of color, standing around images of the galaxy and learning about grayscale, putting pen to paper and making their first zentangle.

I hope my hour a week gives them the launching pad they need to leap deep into the pools of creativity to discover and navigate confidently through those waters on a lifelong journey.


How to Join
Want to know about how Five Minute Friday got started, and how to participate? All the details are here. No editing or second guessing. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

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  1. I am so delighted that I found you this morning. I share with you the experience of once a week taking a group of children under my wings and doing art with them. They are my grandchildren. All four of them come because I want to share with them the healing of art. Your words reinforced my conviction. Thank-you so very much

  2. Yay for art! And bless you for sharing your art and passion and encouragement with the little people of the world. They will remember. Kids always remember kind words and encouragement.

  3. Love this! I'm in the depths of rereading The Artful Parent, and reminding myself that art is more of a lifestyle than a profession, and that sometimes the credentials and training are walls to the box we grown-ups build for ourselves. It's wonderful to see children create with abandon - and wonderful that you're able to be a part of that process! <3

  4. I know I have told you before but I can't say enough how much I LOVE that you are pouring your love, knowledge and encouragement into these kids. My favorite line is ""After much thought and still with some trembling,I must say yes. Solidly. Completely. Confidently." So many times I say yes but not as Solidly. Completely. Confidently as I need to get the job done. Love ya friend and so thankful for all you do

  5. I'm so glad you happened to be my "neighbor" this week so I could stop by. I am so blessed by these words. I, too, have a passion for art but minimal training and not nearly the talent you have. I see so clearly how having someone that believes in you is foundational. When someone believes in you, it makes you brave and you begin to believe in yourself. Thank you for doing that for these children.

    Good job girlfriend. Good job. :)

  6. Wait... what? You wrote a FMF post? ;) It's so good to have you 'back' and to read your words and your passion and I am so so so very proud of you, my friend - for sharing your gift and pouring into these little lives - for leading the way in showing them how to make Art in their lives!

  7. These children are so blessed to have you! Thank you for stepping out in your passion and investing in the lives of these young artists.


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