There is this amazing program called Art from Ashes. They go into schools and shelters and do poetry with youth. Their maim message is that everyone is a genius. They teach kids how to turn off their left brain and write without judgment. They ask poets to come and be examples for the kids. They called me yesterday and asked if I could come last minute, since I was scheduled for another thing later that evening. So I went.
The woman who owns and runs AFA always loves to see me. She was a little stressed out because one of the grant funders were coming... I hugged her. Held her. Told her she was loved. She said that I always showed up at the right time for her...
I went into the next room where there wsa a flutter of activity. Everyone was gettig ready for the various programs they were going to.One young lady had gotten sunburnt pretty bad and was suffering. I gave her painkillers because I had some in my backpack. But I asked if she would let me do reiki on her. I took a waterbottle and put reiki symbols on it to help her. THen I also did hands on because she said that she was dizzy. So I helped ground her and helped with her body to feel better.
The facilitator who was driving me to the workshops was pretty stressed and one of the other facilitators was trying to get her to calm down. I had my choice of who to drive with and decided to drive with her... since she was also supposed to be taking me to the 2nd workshop as well. As we drove the main highway I25 was cut off on 2 different entrances we tried. But I just talked to her and was myself and she felt better and better as we went along until... she was almost non chalant! Even though we got there 20 minutes late she felt great by the time we got there.
The kids were in a latino middle school... they were all wiggly, and giggly, because they were in a new room and we were late. Once we got started they shared their poems, or one sentence based on their own comfort level. I got to go up and share one of my poems about cookies because one of the kids drew a cookie monster. They loved it! I've done this workshop before, but they had the most questions for me of any group I've ever done. They were great! they were told I was also an artist and were enamoured with that. I showed them my chalk art on my computer and they OOOOOooed and AHHHhhhhhhed!!! They were adorable! I hope I will get to go back again because 2 of the kids got up to the mic and read for the first time because I was there!
We had to leave early because I needed to be driven to the next event, which is at a youth homeless center.
Again my driver was a bit concerned, and I did what I could to sooth her... and we actually got there on time.
I've been at this center several times before. The youth here blow me away with the pain and the poinance of their words. They are so brave, and wise beyond their years because of the harshness of their lives. One of the things about this program is the microphone. Each poet goes up to the mic and has to say their name, afterwhich the whole room claps and cheers.Then they read their poem and the whole room claps and cheers... that kind of positivity is amazing for these young people.
I am honored that I have been asked to be a part of such an amazing program. I am glad I can be ther for these kids, because they are all genuises!