January 21, 2017. My best friend Darlene and I attended the Women’s March for America in Boston, Massachusetts, our home state. By being present, we were two more voices among millions who came out across the country, and the world. Anti-president Trump messages filled the air. Scores of people raised their voice for women’s rights, and for the rights of all people. Over 150,000 came out in Boston. Side by side, women, men, and children, marched in peaceful protest. The overwhelming enormity of the day gave a sense of empowerment and hope. Still, I felt sad for our future, our children, and our beautiful Earth. We must continue to go forward –women rise up.
I’ve had a surge of mixed feelings lately, some which involve my employment in the arts, an area always hit by budget cuts. For the last three years, I’ve been working in a diverse city neighborhood–all races and religions living in close proximity to one another. I find common ground among these people and consider them like my own family. Arriving to class, I see faces with eager eyes. “Miss Robin,” they quip, “can we free draw today?” They are gleeful and full of wonder, as any kid should be. “Why of course you can!” I support and engage them socially and intellectually, and allow their voices to be heard. I know life is not easy for many of these families. Pictures tell stories.
This past Wednesday, my adult students become so involved in their projects they simply didn’t want class to end. This happens often. They love to make art and be social. I remind them; “It’s a good idea to step back and look at the work with fresh eyes. Next week you may see something more.” They know their canvas will be waiting for them. Knowledge is a gift to pass on to others. Spread kindness and be there for someone. We all matter.
There have always been strong women in my life that I admire. My aunt Josephine (Jo) is one of the strongest I know. After my mom Ellen (her sister), died of breast cancer 44 years ago, Jo was there for us kids in our time of need. We’ve remained close since. At age 95, Aunt Jo is still with us. A woman of wisdom, laughter, and love of family. You’ve helped me blossom into the person I am today. Now I’m the one helping others. My deepest gratitude to her and all the strong women, and men, I know.
I’m not really big on wearing hats, but there I was, marching with a new hat to add to my growing collection. Thanks for reading. Please be kind.