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More and more I have come to admire resilience.

Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam

returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous

tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,

it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.

But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,

mitochondria, figs -- all this resinous, unretractable earth.

- Jane Hirshfield

Moving forward with my work, a preoccupation with language remains; but I think that there is something larger that my work has always been about: Optimism. Often, I locate resilience through my struggle with dyslexia. Unlike other things in life that have torn me apart, where after stitching myself back together I could leave those things behind, the dyslexia comes with me wherever I go. We all have the wound that comes with us wherever we go, and we are so tired of stitching it up. I want to leave behind evidence of my keep going-ness, so that others may know that they can keep going too. I see my work as the evidence that I kept going and hope that it will encourage others to do the same. The bright colors that I use in my work, my playfulness with forms, all ties into a defiant optimism that is core not only to my practice, but who I am. The preoccupation with language and my relationship with dyslexia becomes a vehicle for talking about something larger, which is optimism of a worldly sort. Its knowing that not every wound can heal and yet resolving to not being broken.

What I want to say is this:

Optimism—not of a naïve nature but of remembering when, with a needle and thread, we mended ourselves after being torn apart—is at the heart of my work. Scars become not just evidence of past abuse, but of a stitching back together, deciding to move forward. Graffiti-like marks in my work conjure feelings of rebellion and resilience. My work is the evidence of my drive to keep going; through its imagery I hope that you locate something in yourself that is both fierce and beautiful.

Pictured: Work in progress Spring Semester 2018

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