Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wishes for the New Year

For many, 2016 was a difficult and divisive year. We lost many creative heroes, from legendary musicians to cherished actors and actresses, but still saw the emergence of new talents and wonderful works of art. We also survived one of the most contentious elections in American history. As we peer into the future, hoping for the best, here are our wishes and other thoughts for the year ahead:

My wish for 2017 is for our veteran programs to take off. The work we are doing in our exhibitions and writing classes for Texas Veterans has been very meaningful work and I would like to see these services reach more people across the state. I believe this is a very achievable goal because we have a great team of staff, teaching artists, partner organizations, and of course the veterans working on the project. So keep an eye out for bigger and better creative work by Texas Veterans in the coming year!
Untitled, an acrylic mixed media by Salina Loriaux, an Iraq War Army Veteran from San Antonio, TX

I hope in the New Year that we all have more time for being together with friends and loved ones in person. May it be possible to give more real hugs than virtual ones.

My wish for the New Year: Peace on Earth

My wishes for the New Year are that I would be able to simplify my life and be more present for my family and kids. I want to learn to speak with eloquence and honesty about issues that are hard and difficult with people who matter to me. And to be able to continue to learn while teaching dance and movement to diverse populations. Hyvää uutta vuotta kaikille toivottaa Silva!

  1. Get published in a higher end literary magazine. Advance my writing techniques and become a better writer overall.
  2. Perfect the art of cooking three different tasty meals, meals I prepare on my own, so good people ask me for seconds and thirds.
  3. Sell ten pieces of my art under Outsider Art on eBay.
  4. Love myself more.
  5. Get an iPad and transition from drawing in journals to doodling on an iPad.
  6. Swim.
  7. Love others more and talk less (definitely talk less).
  8. Go to Maine and Niagara Falls.
  9. Visit a maple syrup factory and see how syrup is made.
  10. Get businesses to donate to VSA Texas.

Here is what the Chinese Zodiac has to say about the upcoming year. From Astrology Club:

The Year of the Rooster (2017) will be a powerful one, with no middle of the road when it comes to moving forward. This year, impressions count. You’ll want to look your best and be clear on your intentions concerning love, money, and business. Stick to practical and well-proven paths to ensure success, rather than risky ventures. In a Rooster Year, all of the Chinese animals can reap great rewards by tapping into Rooster traits. Loyalty, commitment, hard work, family values, and top-notch appearances are just some of the characteristics that will be rewarded this year. This will be a year that the most vital promise made will result in a flawless job no matter what it takes to achieve it. It will be a year when it is truly better to do less, but do it perfectly.

The year of the Rooster teaches the lessons of order, scrutiny and strategic planning. The sage advice of Sun-Zi, which is still taught in modern military circles, advises one to “achieve psychological advantage over the adversary and use force only as a last resort.” I think we can all take heart of that advice in 2017, the year when diplomacy wins!

As a Rabbit in the Year of the Rooster, I plan to use my skills of diplomacy and strategic management to broadcast my essence for the greater good! Click here to read more about the Year of the Rooster.
White circle over purple background featuring the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac with a rooster in the center for 2017.

My wish is for healing: of fresh and old wounds, of past pains that still feel new, of fear, anxiety, uncertainty, of families torn apart by seemingly unreconcilable differences, of friendships that have withered with time and change, of the Earth itself with its vast scars we ourselves have made. May the New Year bring a fresh start, an opportunity to focus, dig in, and work harder than the year before, a chance to grow closer to our dreams, to accept our limitations as well as our strengths, and to let the regrets that distract us from the present wash away with the rain.

I am wishing for those Peaceful Waters. From Gordon Lightfoot:

The dead leaves of autumn
That cling so desperately
Must fly before the cold October winds
Their simple lives have ended
Must they be born to die again
Oh may the light of freedom shine
For all the world to see
And peace and joy to all mankind
Through all the years to be
For soon the leaves will die
And the long hard wind will blow
May this world find a resting place 
Where the peaceful waters flow
The VSA Texas crew outside Magnolia Cafe. From left to right: Janelle, April, Celia, Eric, Lynn, Adrianna
What are your wishes for 2017?? Tell us in the comments below!

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