Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day 129: Bystander

Nine years ago my dear English-teaching friend and I started something at the high school where we taught.  We had no funding, no history of working together, and were charting completely new territory. 

What started out as a simply beautiful Fine-Arts Journal turned into a well-attended book release party and art sale/poetry slam.  That first night we had the ultimate high of creating something from scratch only to have it so awesomely received in a community that must have been craving it.  Every year it grew and got better.  She left the school and I gained a new partner - someone who took my ideas and made them happen.  People wanted to be involved.  Other departments offered to be a part of it. 

When I left the high school three years ago it was big and beautiful and amazing.  I was scared of what would happen to it without me there - one of the original planners who had tucked all of her ideas deep into the depths of her brain because she is unwilling to hand things over to other people.  (She sounds awful - I'm so glad that person no longer exists.)

Tonight my dear English-teaching friend and I decided to check it out as patrons for the first time since handing it over.  It wasn't only out of pure curiosity, but also because we have some pretty amazing friends that have taken it over in our absence and we wanted to support them. 

They didn't just take it over, they made it flourish. 

Guys, it was more beautiful and bigger than anything I had ever seen.  It was no longer a book release party, but an event.  It was lovely and fabulous and all of the other nice adjectives I can't conjure up at this late hour.

And I didn't have to do any work.  I simply walked in as an art lover and wandered around admiring the talent that comes out of that school - a school I hold dear to my heart.  I know pride is a sin, but at that moment I couldn't help but feel proud of how far it had come and how it had not only sustained itself, but had blossomed into something amazing.

Today I am thankful for the experience of enjoying something from another angle.

And for the hard-working teachers that make it happen.