This past week my high school friend, Reed, had a birthday and we chatted on Facebook after giving him birthday wishes. There he gave me permission to pester him to get off his butt and do art again. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and gave him an assignment right then and there! If you know me, I love to give homework! I suggested that he do a photo essay about presents. I didn’t just mean gifts, but a sense of time, production, and your portrayal.
I am sure Reed is busy working on this assignment. I gave him a week, my students will vouch I am very forgiving for tardiness if there is good reason. So, that made me think about what I got for Christmas gifts and how it would relate to my presents challenge.
I received a box of chocolate toffee from my Uncle Paul along with many other treats and sweets from relatives. Food has always brought my family together, as well as, made us late for many other things. We are known for lollygagging standing around while eating cookies or candy. Those are quality moments with family while someone is waiting in the car to get a move on.
My parents got me red gloves I can use with my phone, a white sweater, and pearls. All quite special and bring out the best in me. I adore learning and teaching technology to help people express themselves, promote their superpowers, and stay connected with family, friends, and the future.
Because I value customization so much, most of my supplies to create apparel are white so I can dye them. I am terribly fussy about the hues I wear, so the gift of a white sweater assures I can dye it just the right shade of orange or yellow or red I need. My colorful appearance is my art and a way to encourage others to be their best selves.
Lastly the pearls, not only are the lovely to look at and wear, but they are a symbol I use often in my artwork. Pearls are an icon of wisdom, education, life lessons, and making something wonderful out of a mistake or disappointment.
Lessons learned, I think back to that Commercial Art class Reed and I had together with several dear friends our senior year. I know I didn’t make it easy on myself when I challenged the instructor publicly as an editorial in school newspaper on her disrespect of my classmates’ intellectual property rights and mine. Her conduct just helped push me to be a better educator and arts advocate. That was a present too.
We all have gifts, receive gifts, and give gifts. Having each other in our lives is also a special present we are fortunate to acquire and that I am grateful for.
What presents do you celebrate?