You must dream of good things,

and you are sure to get them.

After a long summer workshopping Thesis ideas, I lost momentum. I had originally intended on starting on my blog about thesis in August, and now the jack-o-lanterns and spooky costumes have brought us to October. But I’m not beating myself up about it. Life got in the way and sometimes we all just need a break to refuel and reenergize so that we may reset our intentions for what we set out to do in the first place.

Since wrapping up Thesis I in August, I’ve had time to fully gather and organize my thoughts. This past summer I learned, and am still training myself to do, is to narrow down my questions to one focus question and research topics around my main premise. I know I tend to go off in tangents and lose myself in other topics that are, while still important and vital to my central topic, not necessary for me to answer in the discourse of this project.

Working Thesis Title:

Truck Art Meets Little Free Library

Activating Public Space Through Art for Educative Functions

The content of this blog will include:

  1. My journey and progress throughout the course of the project

  2. Academic and scholarly research on my topic

  3. Examples of my topic in the existing world

  4. Stories of the people and community I’m working with

But before I dive into what my project is about, I want to, most importantly, say why this blog also serves as an exploration of my identity, my culture, and my lineage. These things have made me the person I am today, and the person I want to become. I believe we have to know where we’ve been to know where we’re going, but also take into consideration the intentions of why we chose to move in the directions that we do. It is intention that guides us in the path of reaching our destinies. We should always intent good things for ourselves and for the work that we do. Passion ignites our desires, but true intentions put sincerity at the forefront of our mission.

My nana (maternal grandfather) used to tell me, you must dream of good things, and you are sure to get them.

My nana was a poet. A published poet.

Most importantly, He was the love of my life.

Through my work, I want to tell you about the most amazing man I have ever known, a true artist who approached his life with sincerity and humility. Poetry like any other art form entices action, a subtopic I’m exploring in my thesis work so that I can understand how art forms like poetry, whether written or visual, influence social change. As I continue my quest in the artworld and grasp the ideologies of what arts administration is, I wanted to find meaning and purpose behind my intentions for this project. Instead of doing research about how poetry entices social change, I’m allowing this project to enact how poetry actually achieves this.

Recently, I worked up the courage to embark on a journey of self discovery by seeking out something that I had kept private up until this point. I wanted to read nana’s poems. I asked my khala (maternal aunt) for nana’s book and after much searching she found it in her collection. She and I have begun the process of translation so that I can fully understand the content since the Urdu used in poetry is closer to Persian. Each poem serves as my guiding light, constantly renewing my intentions of the work I’m doing on my path to becoming an arts administrator. The poems will also inform my practice of cultivating and presenting Truck Art as an art form that is deeply rooted in and stems out of poetry and calligraphy. And lastly, nana’s poems will enrich my journey of self discovery of my culture and identity. While the rhythmic tone and beauty of the Urdu language is lost in literal translation, I will try my best to adhere to closest meaning of each word, but I also leave some interpretation upon the reader.

My nana was a poet.

His name was Muhammad Islamuddin, and he encompassed everything this beautiful name entitles. In his actions, in his words, in his patience, in his submission, and above all in the way he loved, he wholeheartedly embodied the real meaning of a true believer.

As I began the journey of translating his poems, it is in the forward of nana’s book I found my answer right away and was able to renew my purpose and maintain clarity of the intention of this project. With everything that encompases my exsistence and my internal and spiritual being, I give you the greatest treasure I own, Mushthi Ghubar.

Dedicated to all the Dreamers.

Many thanks to my khala, Dr. Aquila Islam, Ph.D for her efforts and time in finding and translating her father’s words. You not only carry on his name, but have now helped bring his poems to a wider audience where his words will live on. I am forever in your gratitude.

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