It comes as a surprise to no one who knows me, but I was a deeply artistic, creative child.
I took as quickly to color and paint and clay, beads and yarn and texture, as any child takes to its mother’s milk. These things nourished me, fed me. Bone deep.
When I was ten I had a teacher. She had long, long dark hair she kept in a thick, braided hank that flowed down to her waist. She wore bright blue overalls covered in felted flowers and checkered patches. Cherry red sneakers. Great, big earrings that dangled to her shoulders. Round glasses that exaggerated the smile of her almond eyes. And her room, every last square inch of it, WAS art.
In that room we learned one point perspective with pastels. We built elaborate, textured world maps from salt dough. Holiday ornaments from colored construction paper. We listened to music and made music. Took field trips to the ocean. And wrote poetry when the spring flowers started their blossoming.
I learned something about how I wanted to live my life that year. A hope, strong and bright as those spring flowers, blossomed in my heart, that somewhere out there, at some future date, a path would be waiting for me. A path that would lead me, always, back to the beauty of her room. I wanted everything about my existence to be what I felt while I was there. Colorful and joyous and unapologetically bright.
I think I have finally found the courage to begin my journey back. Back to that room, that happiness. I will travel this road lined with color and paint and crochet and short stories. A road that will lead me back to my highest joy, my fullest self, my inner artist.
Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, I celebrate this woman. Ms. Kitagawa. My 5th grade teacher. My model for this happy, heartful, beautiful life.
This amigurumi blue bird was based on the body pattern of Sarah Horrock’s Scratch the Chicken pattern. Sarah has a wonderful selection of amigurumi patterns to peruse!