Hooray for Things We Do Not Know About

Ink& Gel pen on pastel paper – Words: Joy Harjo

For week forty-five in our fifty week challenge we were asked to create a piece around a poem by Joy Harjo, a Native American poet, former poet Laureate. I had never read any of her poems and thought this one was amazing, it is titled Praise the Rain. I utilized pastel paper to represent the earth and teal ink for the rain and included a excerpt from the text. I wanted it to look like rain drops and drips within the letters.

I appreciate how Joy Harjo reminds us to praise both sides of things…praise the beginnings, praise the end, praise the song, praise the Singer. Life is not just one way, there are two sides to every coin and both serve a purpose. The beginnings brings joy, excitement, nervousness and maybe a bit of anxiety. While the end brings closure, finality, lessons learned and sometimes sadness. We need both sides to appreciate to fullness and duality of our daily struggle. Too much of one allows us to forget to give thanks for the good and the sad.

A side note about this weekly challenge. This is my fourth year in this process and it has really helped me grow my skills, challenge my ideas and given me the courage to step outside the usual, expected responses. I am also encouraged and amazed by what everyone produces, and how the same word or prompt can elicit such different, creative and original responses. The ability for people to create such diverse works and ideas from the same concept is fascinating. Each week I have gotten to see how imagination and creativity are alive and well, which has encouraged me to go further and to keep going.

Hooray for things we do not know about. For artists we have yet to discover and words we have never read before. Hooray for the things people know that we do not and for skills we have yet to develop. And praise for the rain for it brings more rain…which brings life, vitality, joy and growth. Without the rain none of that would happen. Thanks you Joy Harjo for courageously writing from your heart and soul.

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