Tender words of kindness

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Ups and downs in Covid-19, constant adaptations to keep DIY Textile School running during the pandemic, and worries and responsibilities about the care for my elderly parents in the U.S. – it is not a good combination. But just when I started to doubt myself, wondering if I would have to give it all up, shut down the school, stop the madness, a sweet thing happened… I received beautiful handmade thank you cards that helped to remind me why I do this work, why I began this school…. Then came tears, and new, more inspired self-reflection. Big inhale….

Now a new summer class starts, students are inspired, everything goes smoothly, the students want to attend more classes and ask about the longer programs and I breathe and remember again: yes, this is why I do this work.

Then it came to me, I realized why I also felt so down… I knew I felt bad that students missed their traditional exhibition, but I missed our student exhibition, too! It is the culminating event of a two-year program that I am heavily involved in myself. I teach, I coach, I guide the students to find their own creativity, to develop, to reach that better place in themselves that wants to express itself through art. Then they share it, first among their peers, and then with more confidence to their family and friends. I get to watch their joy, their sense of accomplishment, their pride in that one moment in time – the exhibition!  The opening of the exhibition is the moment when I feel their joy, their sense of accomplishment, their pride in what they have achieved! We all missed it – but I had not realized how much that moment mattered to me. Damn you, Covid!

Despite Covid, though, students are signing up for classes again. Fall classes slowly fill up, the Textile Art program that starts in January is full (yet with only 8 students). I gain hope again. I can breathe.

So, thank you, senders of those tender words of kindness, in a thank you card. A reminder, closing the gap – connecting. It can mean the world to someone. It meant the world to me!  So, a big shout out to those who took the time to send me a card this summer.  It’s a helpful reminder for me, too, to show my gratefulness to others. And a shout-out to everyone: Let’s show our gratefulness – say that one extra word of kindness today and take that one extra step to connect. Especially when we are all expected to keep social distancing. Let’s bridge the gap in other ways!

How will you close the distance today?


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