Anne Frank writing in her journal
My favorite picture of Anne Frank because her hair looks so cute!
Miep Gies in the Spring and Winter of her life
Two things of note have touched my heart in recent days. These two things are quite different from one another in most ways, but in at least one way they are connected.
The first event is the death at age 100 of Miep Gies, the woman who harbored Anne Frank and her family for two years in Germany to avoid their capture by the Nazis, and who saved Anne Frank's diary. I find it amazing when anyone lives to be 100 years old to begin with, but it is truly fascinating to think that someone who is a thread in the tapestry of our world's history from such an unbelievable time, and from such a memorable and impactful event, that seems larger than life, lived to be 100 years old and was still receiving large amounts of mail before her death. I don't think I'm alone in saying that I, as a girl, always felt a connection to Anne Frank and have also always been in awe of the many people who, like Miep Gies, risked their own lives to help people like Anne Frank during the Holocaust. Anne Frank touch the lives of so many people, especially girls and women, and taught us what it means to have strength, courage, and perseverance in life. She also taught us to see the beauty in life and maintain hope, even in the darkest of circumstances. By the example she set in her short life, she spread beauty and hope to those around her, and then to the world when her diaries were published. And without Miep Gies, none of us would have had the chance to experience the beauty, hope, courage, and strength of Anne Frank.
The other event that has been the end of an entirely different era for me, was the loss of "Bayou Shimmy" to a fire on January 1, 2010. Bayou Shimmy was the heart of the belly dance community in Baton Rouge. It was headed by Charlie "Shamsi" Pettus and Kaye Noura Buhler Skakri about 7 years ago. It was located next door to The Caterie, a local bar. It was a place where women (and a few men) of all ages, shapes, sizes, races, and personalities would gather to celebrate the art of middle eastern dance, and celebrate being women (and a few men). It has been a while since I was enrolled in a class there, but I always knew I could return any time. Well, that's what I get for relying on permanence. I know that many changes will come from this and that change can sometimes be painful. However, I also know that the women (and a few men) who were a part of Bayou Shimmy now share this connection and the seeds of that connection will now spread and grow.
So I suppose I feel as though these two VERY different events are connected to each other in my eyes because they revolve around the souls of strong, beautiful, and amazing women (and a few men) who have touched and inspired more people than they will probably ever know.
"Gypsy Hips" dance troupe of early Bayou Shimmy days. I'm the second one from the left.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Making art is something that I do...because I have to. It's as important to me as breathing. But when it's noticed and appreciated by others, I can't help but to get excited about it. It makes me feel so grateful that something I created, from somewhere deep in my soul and imagination, can be genuinely enjoyed by someone else. I recently sent a press release to the local paper, The Advocate, about some of the artwork my students have been creating in my art class at school. The journalist, Christy Futch, who wrote the article ended up coming out to Donaldsonville with her photographer to take some pictures of the work and get more information about what we've been doing, and another article was done about my art program. I mentioned my Etsy site to her, in case she was interested in ever doing a piece on my artwork, outside of school. She said she was coincidentally already working on a piece about local artists who use Etsy to sell their work, and that she'd love to involve me. I was thrilled, because I honestly thought it was a long shot when I mentioned it. So yesterday, I rode out to her office, had my picture taken, and will be featured in the paper sometime next week! Then, as if that weren't enough excitement for me, I checked my email this morning and found that she had ordered 3 paintings from my Etsy site! I just can't express how great that made me feel. I mean, she needs to have stories to write about, so I couldn't totally say that she was featuring me due to her true love of my artwork, you know? But she certainly did not have to make those purchases! She did it simply because she liked my work. I'm just really touched that she wanted them enough to spend her hard earned money on something of mine.
In addition to all of that excitement, I also had a email from the Red Stick Roller Derby Girls who saw my work on my Etsy site and invited me to come to the next Derby Match with my art to display at one of their vendor tables, free of charge! I think I might even make a few painting of chicks on skates!
So...needless to say, my ego has been stroked quite a bit over the last few days, and I'm feeling very happy about my art, and inspired to make MORE MORE MORE!!
Feeling thankful and appreciated. Ahhh. Good stuff. :)