Come Back As A Flower

Come Back As A Flower
Mixed Media Self-Portrait (Sculpted clay mask, fabric & digital illustration)

The Blessings Of A Birthday

Mercy, Mercy Me! How Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

It’s my birthday as of 3:00 AM today, September 24th.  I’m thankful to be able to witness another birthday.  In my case, I know first hand the miracle of just surviving.  A friend told me once that we have to will ourselves not to die in the wilderness!  I’ve been through a lot, but by God’s Grace I’m still here.  I’m thankful for every birthday and every moment of life.  Most things that women have in this society that defines us, I don’t have.  And, it’s okay!  I’m content with what I do have, and with the circumstances of my life.  I’ve loved and been loved.  I have joy and I’ve experienced pain and heartache.  The good out weighs the not so good by hundreds of pounds.  I’m blessed and I’m redeemed!  I’m Still Here & I’m Idle No More! Happy Birthday 2 Me!

Dear World
Still Here!
Just As I Am, Lord!
Just As I Am.
NC Tuscarora standing proud.
Yes, my scars show
My brokenness,
My troubles
It all shows in my face.
But, I'm Still Here!
Everything that was done
To beat me down,
To silence my voice,
To erase my existence
Didn't work.
Cause, I'm Still Here!
Nooherooka 300 happened
And, set me free.
I'm free to be me
The me I was born to be
No longer hiding in plain sight.
Me, as First Nations Tuscarora and Seminole
Shouting for all to hear
"Free At Last, Free At Last
Thank God Almighty, I'm Free At Last!
Cause, today is not yesterday,
Yesterday is gone forever.
I'm here today and in this moment
And, I'm Idle No More!

The Thrill Is Gone

Flesh on my body hurts!  My body is in pain from longing to share intimate moments with a Yankee Nottoway Turtle Blues Man, who once upon a time sang me a song and played a guitar under my window.  That time and that love is gone like the wind.  I’m dancing out The Blues through my creative hands beside Lake Vann.  I’m listening to the ancient Skaru:’re Trading Trails under Hwy 42 East and Hwy 258 North.  I’m brought to Meherrin and Nottoway Tribal land to be a witness to The Penland Experience.  Sweet Baby Jesus give me the resolve to walk out The Real Folks Blues.

What Do I Want To Make Today? Faith & Courage 2 Endure Pain

Dyed Cloth On Clothesline Blowing In The Wind
Some moments and circumstances are just plain painful.  Today I want to make calm and peace inside myself to counter balance the pain in my body.  I’m experiencing a moment of distress when my flesh feels rotten.  It’s moments like this that I have to “dig deep” inside myself and demonstrate faith and courage to push through the pain.  Pain fades like the Blues in The Light of Divine Mercy.  Now matter how I feel and what my circumstances dyeing cloth heals my brokenness.  These dyed torn remnants represent old fashioned cloth bandages used by women in my family before disposable sanitary products were available.  These are stained as a metaphor for the pain of heartache, rejection, brokenness and misunderstandings.

The Blues Don't Last Forever Thanks 2 Jesus

We All Get The Blues 'Cause The Land Has The Blues ~ Jesus Gives Salvation!

The Blues have attached themselves to Skaru:’re Homeland because of all the mean-spirited and shameful sins inflected on River People of Color in the Coastal Plains.  But, no matter ‘cause the Blues don’t last forever!  The Divine Mercy of Jesus’s Passion gives salvation, peace, joy, hope, faith in things unseen, grace, mercy, The Light, transformation, healing, justification, sanctification, eternity, sense of purpose, belonging, love, security, blessed assurance and steadfastness to the remnant that’s been hiding in plain sight for the past 301 years.  We know who we are!  We’re relearning our language!  We’re reclaiming our birthrights!  We are The Fort Neyuheruke River People of the Coastal Plains!  We are free!  The shackles and chains from slavery on this land are broken!  Freedom Train is loading up on the train tracks of the Blues.

The Debt Is Settled In My Mind

The Debt Is Settled In My Mind

Holding on to yesterday’s pain, heartache, anger, resentment, bruises and negative sentiments is like holding on to smoke.  Yesterday is gone forever, Dear World!  None of us can turn back time.  I hear people talk about the “good ole days.”  What good ole days, I ask?  This is today, this moment of seeing, experiencing, creating and breathing.  All I have is what is in front of me at this precious moment.

I’m settling the debt that's at the root source of my Blues.  As I sojourn over ancient trails, I’m listening to the echo’s on the wind.  I soak in the wonder of the Big Sky over North Eastern North Carolina.  We have an amazing state with a wide range of diversity and life styles.  Sad that those of us calling this land home are so fragmented and marginalized.  Oh well!  Such is the way of the world.  I’m sticking with Jesus.  At this place in my life, I don’t have anything or anybody but Jesus.  Jesus is enough for me.  Being a maker of things with creative hands requires joy, peace and contentment with no drama.

People drama tears my nerves out the frame!  Literally!  One glimpse of drama and I’m spitting on the ground, walking away and not looking back.  We part in peace and sojourn on our own Trail of Tears, separated from each other.  All of us are never meant to get along all of the time.  But, war is not the answer.  War just makes more war but no problem gets solved.  So, what do I want to make today?  Peace that comes from the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the sacred name of Jesus through Lord God Almighty.  Peace that comes from my being content with and confident in walking out the Purpose of my Earth Walk to be a maker of unique art objects to enlighten an  environment.

Mercy, Mercy Me! #selfienation

Mercy, Mercy Me::The Debt Is Settled In My Mind

Design on Clay That Going on Next Quilt Square
Words I will embroider on my first “Wounded Heats on Indigo” quilted wall hanging will be “Mercy, Mercy Me”.  I’m a Sole Sojourner on the road less traveled from Paris to Chowan by way of Penland School of Crafts.  Driving clears the mind of everything except driving and road conditions.  Circumstances that seemed major blow in the wind over big sky North Eastern North Carolina.  Hwy 258 North is on top of one of our trade routes.  For a thousand years it was one of the original “Trail’s of Dreams.”  Insights I’m observing 1) if you want peace expect people to make war with you; and 2) if you want unity expect friends to banish you.  It’s not personal, suck it up and ride on up and down the hightway!  Part ways in peace, let them pick the direction and I’ll go the opposite way.  Peace is impossible without Jesus.

Peace is not something that we can pull off on our own.  Peace is made possible though Divine Mercy, grace, justification by faith with the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus and Lord God Almighty & Everlasting.  Have mercy on me Lord!  Sweet Baby Jesus please have mercy on me!  Lift up Patricia Brayboy to be a potter for all the world to see|  Protect & Comfort Pura Fe | Show mercy to my BFF | Pour out abundance on Priscilla Hope | Healing for Jaki Shelton Green | Knowledge for Mary Eagle | Strength & endurance for David Branch Sutton | Wisdom to lead our People for Luis Santigo | Insights for Buck Allen to inspire us | Peace for Judy Hood, Barbara Walker & Margaret Jones | Divine Mercy 4 The Whole World!

Chowan Tree
Observations From Driving Hwy 258 North from Hwy 42 East:  Several Plantations remain – one with a slave cabin and horse barn that I would like to draw.  The stories on that track of land!  There are lots of big farms with huge amounts of green tobacco.  So much was on the road this morning it would have filled my trunk.  I want a photo before it all gets gone to accompany my review of a STEAM lesson: #selfienation

The Road Less Traveled

Middle Panel of Triptych
The Road Less Traveled isn’t traveled for a reason.  Traveling this road means going in a different direction than the world.  I’m up between 3:00 & 4:00 AM.  Sleeping in means sleeping until 6:00 AM once a week on Mondays.  Drive two hours down the original “Trail of New Dreams.”  I’m getting stories riding from Toisnot going east down Hwy 42 and branching off at a X-Roads north on Hwy 258 to Meherrin Homeland.  I want to listen to the trees in Squirrel Park.  I want to hear what tales they tell!  “Trail of New Dreams” are short stores about Warrior Trail Runner adventures of Beaver and Deer Clan Mothers.  My mind is on the transformation from fundamental mark making to seeing.  How can we turn off knowing and turn on seeing? STEM 2 STEAM Experiment:  Materials: Graphite Paper, Stylus, 9”x12” mixed media or watercolor paper, India ink, bamboo nib, calligraphy bamboo brushes, sticks & sand block.  Trace Matisee drawing onto mixed media or watercolor paper.  Trace and embellish with pen, brush and ink.
In Progress Cover of My Concept Art Visual Journal

Another Day's Journey

Quilted Wall Hanging:
"Indigo Blues Heart Healing Trinity"

It’s just Jesus and me on my journey from Wilson to Chowan beside Lake Vann each day.  It’s only about 75 miles but it takes two hours because I drive through towns and farming communities.  I’m settling in for the long haul.  I’ve missed one day with the Tuesday – Thursday Crew of Learners.  Just stick with Jesus and His plan for my life.  Let go of self!  Trust & Obey!  I’m a learner with learners!  Today we begin learning the Elements of Art!  STEM to STEAM!  Praying Divine Mercy for my Prayer List and the whole world.  That’s the blessing of The Divine Mercy Chaplet; it’s not a prayer about your self.  Thank You Sister Faustina for your example of obedience.
Blanket Stitch w/Beads

You Don't Know What Love Is Until You've Learned the Meaning of The Blues

Finally, finally! At Last! The deep rooted Blood Tie of me, Skaru:’re Toisnot @ Contentnea to a Nottoway Turtle Clan.  At Last!  At Last! I get to walk out the source of my own mess.  The shards of my own brokenness!  Traveling the Ancient Trails on paved Hwy 42 and branching off North through Princeville, Scotland Neck, Rich Square and Woodland on Hwy 258.  I AM being made a Neyuheruke Runner to bless the hearts of Eva Kwong, Jaki Shelton Green and Rebecca Cross.  At Chowan beside Lake Vann, I get it!  “You don’t know what love is until you’ve learned the meaning of the Blues!”   I can look at myself in the mirror and say it without moaning and sobbing.  I ain’t got nothin’ and nobody but Jesus!  It’s just me and Thee!  I’m taking ownership of my own pain and heartache.  “Cause long as I got Jesus I’m okay!”  Friends will banish you and family will become separated from you.  It’s Cool!  We all are broken!  The land has got The Blues!  And, all the people connected to the land got The Blues.  I’m talking about Skaru:’re Blues, Contentnea Creek Skaru:’re Blues traveling Hwy 42 to Hwy 258 up to Murfreesboro.  Eastern North Carolina’s First Highway of Dreams!

Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Freedom

Oh! Lordy! Lordy! Lordy! Whem!  I’m letting it all hang out!  Purging up all of it!  I’m thankful that The Blues don’t last forever because of the work Jesus did on the Cross.  I’m thankful Lord for your mercy and I pray Divine Mercy for our world.  Sunday Morning ~ New Day! New Way! Standing on the Promises!  Well, Lord, here we go!  “Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom!”

Walking Out The Chowan Lake Vann Blues

Dear World ~ What Do I Want 2 Make Today | The Indigo Blues | Sometimes pieces of ourselves gets lost on this Earth Walk.  We leave breadcrumbs to ourselves so we’ll know to listen to things more than beings.  That’s my realization from listening.  Too much talk and too little action! I’m at war with myself!  I’m walking out a Chowan Blues song to the lyrics of Ms. Billie Holiday, “You don't know what love is, until you've learned the meaning of the Blues.” Sweet Baby Jesus I get it.  Traveling over the Ancient Trails of Hwy 42 and 258, I feel the blood of Our Ancestors.  It’s so many of us! If we could stop bickering with one another The River People of the Coastal Plains from Mt. Katahdin to Florida would be a mighty Nation.  We are all the Remnant of First Nations People who were ground zero for the take over of these lands.  We all got The Blues!  But, I’m walking out my Blues at Chowan beside Lake Vann, with nothing and nobody but Jesus.  Journaling My Journey!

What Do I Want 2 Make Today?

Dear World:  I’m still working on developing my new habit of journaling my journey.  Journaling is like drawing in that you just have to keep at it day by day.  One of my favorite artists is Hans Hofmann.  One of his quotes says, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”  The development of my daily habit to journal is like stripping my creative life down to a contour drawing.  What’s the most important?  What must be done in this moment to achieve my goal of making a body of work?  If I am truly transformed does the reality of my life visually witness that transformation?  Day three of many more to come as I journal while indigo dyeing on the Tuscarora Ancestral Homeland.

What Do I Want To Make Today?

Dear World:  Today I want to make a new habit.  As I reflect on teaching Internet Technologies thirteen years ago at Johnston Community College when the world as I knew it changed, journaling my journey is where I am in this moment.  I can still remember the person who came to my class and told us a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  I can see our faces as we watched the tv in horror as the second plane flew into the second Tower.  In that moment, all of us knew it was not an accident.  In that moment of realization we all held our breath in shock and dismay.  My students and I lost our innocence in that moment.  Everything that we thought we knew about being safe and secure was gone in an instant.

We all have a choice as to what we want to make today.  Some people choose to make war, chaos, mayhem, murder, rape, scheming, plotting, vengeance, hatred or just plain mischief.  9.11 shows what comes out of a human heart made hard by hatred and vengeance.  Hatred breaks many hearts but I’ve known of a human heart healed by it.  Hate just makes more hate.  So, what do you want to make today?  Do you want to make the world a better place or a worse place?  Hating and killing another person is never going to solve a problem, and it’s never going to make any set of circumstances better.

What do I want to make today?  A new habit of journaling my journey that fosters dreams about combining indigo dyed cloth with clay to make decorative and wearable objects.

What Do I Want To Make Today?

The 300 year public anniversary of Fort Neyuherú:kę down Hwy 58 from where I live and was born set me free.  For 300 years my Tuscarora bloodline hid out in plain sight.  Now, I’m free to be me!  The shackles of being a brown skin Indian girl are broken.  God’s grace and Divine Mercy is redeeming my mind, my body and my creative hands.  My struggles to be a clay artist have been like a song I wanted to sing that the world was hell bent on beating out of me.  Now I know why…. Because I’m really a fiber artist!  My voice in art was hiding in plain sight just like I was.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a love affair with clay, but I finally realize that the art I’m to make and be known for involves cloth.  I’m born to it!  Momma, Mama, Mat, Ma, Big Ma, Momma Mary all sewed and made quilts.  What’s born in our blood, we can’t beat out of our flesh!  And, now I’ve reawakened indigo dyeing in me and on Skaru:’re Ancestral Homeland.  Life is a journey that takes us to unexpected places, when we let go of self and let The Holy Spirit guide us.

This blog has been an on again, off again event in my life.  Now it’s on and will become a daily habit because I have a responsibility to be the Penland Experience to 90 learners at Chowan University.  I’m humbled by the circumstances of how God brought me to this place and to these people.  The campus is on Meherrin Ancestral Homeland nestled around Lake Vann.  When God does a thing, He covers all of the details.  Vann is the name of the only man I have loved up to this point in my life.  Our story of love is a tragic one that has broken my heart three times.  However, in my brokenness I’m learning what it means to love yourself and to love another person unconditionally.  What we seek from another person must first be inside of us  If true love isn’t in my heart, I can never receive it in a relationship as part of a mated pairing.

So, the journey of my creative hands beside Lake Vann begins as I teach and create a concept art visual journal in mixed media drawing to a group of endearing, creative young people that I’m head over heels in love with.  I’m once again journaling my journey one day before 9.11 and one day after Apple introduced it next big thing.  Today, I begin anew, creating a new habit as a witness to the transformation of a redeemed heart!