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Posts Tagged ‘Philip Bither + Henry Threadgill + Michelle Kinney; Catherine L. Johnson;’

#849 + 12 February 2019 + Abraham Lincoln ENTERED the world + ELEgancE #12 2019 Catherine L. Johnson + Henry Threadgill’s “CELEBRATION”

PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE + FOR DETAIL

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ELEgancE #12                                                                                              Catherine L. Johnson 2019
An improvisational performance of gold pencil on black paper.

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HENRY THREADGILL

https://www.henrythreadgill.com/

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Celebrating Henry:

A Threadgill Festival

https://walkerart.org/calendar/2019/celebrating-henry-a-threadgill-festival

15 February + 16 February 2019

@

WALKER ART CENTER

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Walker Art Center  McGuire Theater 

15 February 2019

Henry Threadgill’s birthday
 
Philip Bither / Henry Threadgill / Michelle Kinney   (CLJ)

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Henry Threadgill / CLJ / Anthony Cox  

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Anthony Cox honoring Henry Threadgill on his birthday
acknowledging Threadgill’s improvisational gifts, inspiration and his legacy.

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Anthony’s arrangement of Threadgill’s  ‘Paper Toilet’.

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My maternal Grandfather,

Emil Cottor,

gifted me

Abraham Lincoln

bookends
when I was 7 years old.

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A gift before my next scheduled
reconstructive orthopedic surgery.

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My

beloved

Dr. Mark B. Coventry,

Mayo Clinic,
provided me

the life template of Abraham Lincoln

as a blueprint of living
a life of honor, respect, grace and vision
navigating
a life of adversity.

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The evening before surgery was always a time of me entering a sacred space.

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Grandpa Cottor,
after THE ceremonious “pre-surgery” dinner
my Mother prepared
attended by my sister and brothers,
Lynne, Bill Blake,
presented me
a wrapped box with satin ribbons.

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I was a wide-eyed child:

everything was wonder and awe and fear and courage.
The box was very, very, very heavy.
I opened it slowly and carefully,
rapt with anticipation,
and
when I saw
the busts of Abraham Lincoln,
I was overwhelmed with joy.

I burst out crying an ocean of joy!

Crying was not easy for me – living in body casts stifled crying.

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Grandpa Cottor KNEW Abraham Lincoln
was a signal,

a  secret code,

a dynamic symbol to me.
The fact of my Grandpa’s knowing
rushed
the feelings of being seen and loved
throughout
my body.

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On 12th February,
  when I was home from the hospital,
my Mother,  Doris Cottor Johnson Omlie,
always had a birthday cake
celebrating
the life of my childhood hero.
 

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GRACE LOVE.

AWE LOVE.

WONDER LOVE.

DIGNITY.

RADICAL HOPE.

VISIONARY.

INTEGRITY.

COMPASSION.

COURAGE.

Cœur.

 

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Catherine Louise Johnson

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Catherine –  meaning “pure, clear”. 
I was named in honor of my maternal grandmother:

Edna Catherine Strand Cottor.

My Grandma Cottor was an elegant and extraordinary force of life.
  She was confined to bed at 53 y/o with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Her body was frozen in the space of her bed.
Grandma Cottor’s remarkable creative intelligence
explored/ traveled the world and beyond.
Her body was frail and her presence radiated colossal. 

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Louise – meaning “famous warrior, renowned fighter”.
I was named in honor of my paternal grandmother:

Florence Louise Knoblach Johnson.

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Johnson – I kept my Daddy’s last name in honor of him,

Richard Harold Johnson,

who fought for me and my rights to thrive while living in hospitals
My Daddy was killed in a car accident when he was 32.
I kept the last name Johnson in honor of my Daddy’s brother,

William Henry Johnson,

a WWII pilot, who was killed at 23 y/o in his B-17
– safely returning his crew in his heavily damaged plane,
flying over the cliffs of Dover from a bombing mission.
He ordered his remarkable crew to bail out.
Uncle Bill’s faltering plane was heading toward a farmhouse
with a family waving their arms.
Uncle Bill, at 23 years old. made the decision to avert the farmhouse
and
he went down with his plane.

 

I was told, multiple times, 
by my Daddy’s family how they were 

PROUD

that I kept the name

JOHNSON

with fortitude, grace, honor and respect
of those before me
who lived their lives known
by the name

JOHNSON.

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My beloved
– Johnson side –
cousin “sister”
and
niece to my Daddy,

Connie Cates Shella,

lived, persevered and endured
with
grace, love and valor.
https://catherineljohnson.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/847-she-in-the-dark-found-light-brighter-than-many-ever-see-connie-cates-shella-5-september-1954-23-january-2019/

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I am aware,
at my age now,
I could be my Daddy’s parent
and
I could be my Uncle Bill’s aunt.
Yet, they are forever monumental to me.
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I can only hope
I live the life
that echoes the names I was given
and
amplify the templates
I was provided as a blueprint,
a vision,

to rise

in my own life.
 

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NAMING

“Words are things.
You must be careful, careful about calling people
out of their names,
using racial pejoratives and sexual pejoratives and all that ignorance.
Don’t do that.
Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words.
I think they are things.
They get on the walls.
They get in your wallpaper.
They get in your rugs,
in your upholstery,
and
your clothes,
and
finally in to
you.”
 Maya Angelou

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WEARELOVEAWCCLJROLLEDDINMUDROLLEDINGOLDOVERANDOVERBEAUTIFUL

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