By Monteque Pope-Le Beau
This is a time for some of great uncertainty with the matters of the of the world seemingly growing darker by the day. I sometimes find that as we move forward it seems like we have moved many steps backwards repeating the ills of the past and yet for me there is great optimism for the future. For a brief moment let me express the reasoning behind my optimism.
One might say that there is no reason for this, but I would argue differently and it is because of this that I can look forward to a brighter future.
I was raised in a family with a great deal of love, compassion, empathy and understanding for others. Being the only child of my mother was not only special, because of past difficulties conceiving a child, but also perceived as a wonderful light of the family or as my mother had stated many times a wonderful gift. I lived a very blessed life, everything I could ever imagine was granted to me without fail. I had a family that introduced me not only to the world of travel, but also to the world of knowledge. Books have always been my companions even in my darkest moments of my life. I could always turn to them for comfort and guidance. Art was the root and foundation upon which my family was planted. My grandfather was an excellent photographer and storyteller. In my saddest moments he could always lift my spirits to a place that my imagination knew no bounds. He taught me what it was to be a storyteller and to transport a persons imagination to that of the otherworldly. My mother who is the reason for what I do and who I am showed me what it was to be an artist. She was my Leonardo da Vinci and I was her simple apprentice. She would not let any forms of discouragement pray upon me nor failure take up space upon my thoughts. I was inspired by her extraordinary artistic gifts that I was privilege to observe up close. Whether it was her poetry, her painting or sketching it was a sight to behold. From my grandmother and great grandmother I was given the gift and love of cooking. They showed me that through cooking you could uplift people with the love that you infused in the food. Sometimes it seemed like magic poured from their hands into the food and from the food into our hearts, but later I found that it wasn’t magic it was just pure love. This was my world. A world that was rooted to the love of the land and all living things with respect to all and malice to none.
I never thought that my world would ever change. I always thought that I would have my family always around me and my good fortune would always continue. No darkness would ever darken our doorway. As I write this these words it humbles my thoughts reminding me of how naïve I was to what was to come.
It started as a trickle then grew into an avalanche that we just could not out run no matter how much we tried. I became severely ill to the point that it was foretold that I would not see my 20s let alone my 40s. To think otherwise was to live in a delusion which was not part of reality and the reality was that I was going to die young before my life had even began. My mother’s instrumentality would not allow her to entertain such rhetoric. Through her sheer determination and perseverance she would ensure that I would live a long and prosperous life. I often say that I am here because of a mother’s love for her child and this is so true because without my mother and without the support of our family I would not be here today.
While I was going through my sickness I lost my grandmother, my great grandmother and my grandfather. There is no words for the grief that was bestowed upon us, but we continued on regardless of the toll it had taken. Soon the rest of the family would be gone and all I would have was my mother. She was everything to me. She who seemed to by her very will hold back the test of time and the terrors of illness without giving a second thought to the naysayers of my fate continued until she could continue no more. A thief had come and robbed her of her health, but it didn’t do it all at once it did it bit by bit until there was almost nothing left and even then she would not surrender. For she still believed that by her will alone she could force a different outcome if not for herself then for me. I was left alone standing in the haze of uncertainty about my life. Depression’s swirled about me like the winds of a storm. Sometimes I even wished for death just to be with my family once more. To put me out of my misery, but my prayers for the ultimate release was never answered instead it was replaced by a question. What was I going to do now?
Still grieving and in the darkest of places I had to find a reason to live again. To rejoin the living, but to also give back to a world that had little knowledge of my plight, circumstances or even who I was. I was given my life back and wanted to create a way that others would be able to live the life that they wanted. I devoted myself to be a person of service to others and to help those that were placed upon my path in anyway that I could.
In the end I found my reason was my mother. It was her dream to create a place for people to come and find community with one another along with support. As she and other great thinkers had once stated happiness is our being’s end and aim. Regardless of a persons circumstances they deserve to rise above the disadvantages and situation or misfortunes that have been placed upon them. Allowing them to become their own person and to pursue that which brings them joy. Through information, knowledge, self discovery and invention The Dreamweaver Artist Ranch allows for the cultivation of artistic creativity. The Arts are the fruit that seeds society with the prospects and ingenuity of a better tomorrow and yet the arts are under supported depriving future generations a chance of manifesting a prosperous and meaningful destiny.
This is why The Dreamweaver Artist Ranch is dedicated to the support, teaching and mentoring of under privilege, at risk, and LGBTQ+ youth. By using the artistic and creative capital to better improve the the conditions of their diverse situations. Allowing them not to be fixed to the conditions that they were born under. Being productive in their creative labor and educated in the arts is one of the missions of The Dreamweaver Artist Ranch along with being a community benefit that supports the arts. It is also a place of unity and equality. A natural companion to the arts is education and this is the most important consideration and purpose of The Dreamweaver Artist Ranch. This is the driving force of its creation.
The Dreamweaver Artist Ranch is my greatest task to complete my mothers unfinished work of creating a safe haven for all artist. Allowing the artistic ideas to flow like a river in the garden of creativity. It is an cultural art institute, a farm, a creative safe haven, and a community benefit with supportive housing. The Dreamweaver Artist Ranch is why I am so optimistic for the future . It is a place that is environmentally sustainable and NetZero, but most importantly is a place of cultivation, intellectual ideas, invention and creativity.
I and the team of the Dreamweaverarts Organization cannot achieve these goals alone that is why we are turning to the community to help us make my mother’s dream a reality. Only together can we achieve this lofty goal and community benefit that is open to all creative and inventive minds. So I invite you to join us in supporting the foundational ideas of The Dreamweaver Artist Ranch by donating to its creation. This It’s more than a dream this is an idea that it’s time has come. This is the dream of my family, but it is the dream of the future. Help us bring it to fruition.
Thank you so very much for your support and graciousness.
Monteque Pope-Le Beau