After a nearly two week road trip all around Florida, I am back home. And it is frigid here in Maine. I have not yet come up with a sane reason why we hardy souls live up here when a few hours south (by air) the temps are more habitable. I do know that this indoor time makes for long hours of devoted attention to studio art making! Yesterday I began an artist residency at the Charles River School in Dover MA. We are using the Silk Road as a pathway of study. Stopping at three destinations along the Silk Road, students will learn about weaving and work on a project that connects with the culture of that region. Yesterday we explored the Chinese Taoist philosophy of Yin Yang and created this collaborative paper weaving that highlights personal strengths and challenges. When this community paper weaving was completed, one student remarked that on her strip of strengths she had drawn a picture if her cat. When the strips were woven together, the cat became hidden under another strip. She asked if she could draw another cat on her strip where it would show. I said “sure”. Later, I realized that part of the magic of weaving is there is an “under”. In other words there is always something hidden that we don’t see. We KNOW it is there, but it does not always show. We do not always share our strengths or our challenges/weaknesses. We hide our talents, we keep our perceived weaknesses hidden. So sometimes, as my student-friend did yesterday, we need to “flaunt” our own strengths… we need to let our cat show! So if you are hiding your strengths or not acknowledging your challenges, try letting them show today. We are all woven with these beautiful characteristics, the Yin/Yang balance of our humanity.