Brook Hanemann, the director of Banners at McNeese State University, agreed to visit with me on Find the Good News. Like other guests, I knew very little about her before our conversation. Also, like other guests, it was an absolute pleasure to get to know her. There’s something thoughtful and poetic in the way Brook speaks. She often closed her eyes when she would recount stories of her youth, and her descriptions of her childhood haunts were sweet, dripping with heavenly honey. I could feel the light on my own skin in her words, as Brook took me back to the places and people that shaped her, those forever-experiences enshrined in her mind, the catalysts for all of her talents, passions, and dreams. Theatre, art, dance! It’s all there in her timeline. She shared joy and loss, life and love,… death… and birth. As her name implies, we meandered gently downstream, from one lovely experience to the next, never regretting a single ripple or eddy as we babbled along around sharp rocks and soft sandy banks. Brook has a knack for sharing the experiences that shaped her, and this gift gives more merit to her insights. Her story of the sugar bowl—the name of this episode—is revealed in her retelling of a great blessing. You see, Brook was baptized on the isle of Ireland, the land of shepherds and saints, at the hands of one of the most insightful and good-hearted men to have ever walked the earth. Her delivery of this spiritual experience is not something I’ll soon forget, and it imprinted upon me the importance of being truly present and always humble as a child of creation. Brook looks deeply into her own timeline, the whole of her history, and she captures that energy, the full force of that magic, then puts it to work manifesting new and glorious things. I have to believe that some of that mystic, ethereal dust is sprinkled on offerings of Banners at McNeese State University. The good news is that if we look closely at this cultural program we’ll see a bit of Brook Hanemann’s history flowing comfortably into it, fusing and melting directly into our own.
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