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Ocxtober 2019

I've started receiving the online New York Times Morning Briefs. I did not make the decision lightly. These days, I find myself walking a tightrope between staying well informed and shutting out the world of current events. I have to protect my psyche, or forego creating art altogether. My heart, mind and soul only have so much bandwidth to spread around. I have to carefully weigh and measure what I devote my energies to. I think everyone does.

If you understand even part of my story, you know that fear is not what drives me. Hope does. But, sturdy as my hope is, the current state of our nation requires that I fight to hold on—and hold on I must because there are many stories yet to tell, and I am a storyteller/poet. That is my gift, my sword, my way to battle the darkness. We artists have our ways.

Proof of the power of art hangs on the walls of the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio. I was blessed to be a featured author there in September, and I was invited into the vault! I love the word "vault." It speaks of secrets, hints at treasures—and treasures there were. The museum currently houses 14,000 works of art by children's book illustrators! Wow.

Here's what I loved most: casts have been made of some of the illustrator's dominant hands! One section of the museum features an artists work above the casting of the hand that made it. I don't know whose idea this was, but it's brilliant! Each hand is its own poem.

I'm so grateful for art and the hands that make it. The best art is nothing less than light in the darkness.

Oh! I made a new friend while at Mazza, Marie Louden-Hanes, a painter and professor of art history. Another bright light!

Time to hit the road for more of the Ordinary Hazards Book Tour. Here's a little something before I leave. Hope I see some of you on the road!

Till next time—

From Nikki's Journal

The skyscape calls to me,
its painter ever dipping his brush
into rich new hues,
layering light-filled textures
upon the earth's blue canvas
minute by minute,
producing original works of art
hung, however briefly,
on the gallery walls
of the horizon.

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Nikki Grimes

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