On New Year’s Day, my husband purchases four sets of roses, each a different color for each member of our family. Before we go to sleep the first evening of the new calendar year, my husband fills a bowl with scalding hot water and sprinkles the petals of a single rose into the bowl. Our instructions are to bathe our feet, wash away the old fears and defeats of the previous year and concentrate on positive goals and aspirations for the present year. This year, my husband sprinkled red roses into my foot bath as symbols of love, courage and passion and therefore infused into my meditation. He chose my color wisely, for I will need to love and have courage and passion to support me in achieving what I have in mind for 2013.
Last year, one of my three words was ‘writer.’ I became a member of Grub Street and attended weekend sessions and the annual MUSE conference. I was blessed to have a writing group form out of a historical writing research workshop held at Grub Street. We meet one Saturday a month and exchange our writing achievements and challenges. There is no defeat in this group. There is criticism challenging us to put our best work on that Panera table each week.
This year, my word is ‘author.’ Whether the writing has been good, great, or indifferent, I have followed pen across paper and fingers across the keyboard for 25 years. Sharing my writing, the characters and thoughts that have lived inside my mind and only with me for such an extended time is difficult to share. This year, I resolve to find the courage to stop perfecting and share the writing, stories and characters and all of their beloved faults with the world. I will be published. Even if I have publish on my own, I will become an author and my name will be attached to a finished story.
Also, last year, I made the decision to go back to school and begin my second graduate degree with the focus of museum studies. For once, I feel like I am able to focus all of my interests and previous education into this new industry study. As a child, I could always be found with my nose in a book and enjoyed every museum adventure. I lost myself in history. History is often written or influenced by the victor and I wanted to know the stories through the objects and artifacts of the voices of the average person of that age – those who didn’t have a voice in the spoils. I fancied that I could hear the calling of these voices asking for their stories to be told.
Museums are not about nostalgia. They give voice to the community of past and present. How can we learn from the past? How are we labeling, classifying, and describing current events that will shape the opinions of future generations? The community has power. The community has a voice. I want to explore how this voice resonates inside and outside the walls of a cultural institution. It is not so different than the questions and planning of other businesses across a plethora of industries. What is the common denominator? What is the root of community engagement? I don’t know, but I am going to seek answers. I hope you will join me on this adventure, share your insights and explore community in a new light.
To be an author and a student, I cannot be confined to one perspective or physical space. I crave the exploration of other cultures and beliefs. I want to challenge what I think proof positive. Alone and with my family, I plan to place a priority on travel. We do not have to go far or go into debt for such adventures, we just need to…I just need to not get stuck and narrow my views or perspectives.
Resolutions are difficult to keep unless you look at these goals or changes in the context of a new life habit. This is what I will be doing one word at a time, calling upon the graces of love, courage and passion to see me through the good and tough times.