The birds seemed to be utilizing their bragging rights on that day even more than was usual. Certainly, on this glorious day, it was justified. A lone whimbrel sounded a long trill of joy just as I passed. Two white egrets walked with quiet stealth in the low waters at shore's edge. Ruddy turnstones and other shore birds sang out all along the beach. On the sunny bluffs above, the chaparral rang with music of our many local songbirds in chorus with the louder crows and gulls that frequent the area.
As I walked along rejoicing in the day myself, I found my mind wandering as it often does on these solo walks. The alone time is good for planning, creating space, or just mulling over myriad things and watching them form a pattern.
One such pattern had come up lately in the form of "the brag." The first instance came from student and new friend, Faith Fontan. When she spoke, she was adamant in saying that co-teacher Suzette Rosenthal and I just didn't talk up our own work enough…didn't brag. "You both are too humble," she said with vehemence.
Speaking of this later, Suzette and I had to agree that we did not brag, that we probably were humble, and that we were okay with this. Still, the signposts kept popping up. Did this mean something? When might bragging be justified for us, we wondered? How might we manage to do it and still be ourselves?
When the latest nudge came it was in the form of a weekly newsletter I receive from a woman named Alyson Stanfield who coaches art businesses. In the newsletter she caught my attention with "Brag Better About Your Art, About You." I thought, "Not again," but there it was. Knock. Knock. Knock. At what point do we answer the call?