“An Unexpected New Dream” Book
…as told by Tunu Thom, the Artist Mommy
☥ What is “An Unexpected New Dream” here for?
“An Unexpected New Dream” is a children’s book I wrote about the challenges that young Nina Simone faced as a child. It has a multifarious and multidimensional purpose. As First World, African and Indigenous people we experience the creation of art as ritual.
“An Unexpected New Dream” is for me to remember the importance of ritual in my life. As an individual artist serving a community that I can always be present with.
Nina’s legacy and soul force is honored in this work (past). “An Unexpected New Dream” will impress the minds of children in the pre-sleep ritual of the bedtime story (present). The book shares these values:
- A young person’s voice aligned with truth holds authority.
- Cultivating yourself takes time, and your contributions can be quite unexpected.
- It’s time to shine a light on the unnecessary pain, prejudice and division that racism in the United States of America has caused.
- Discipline and dedication as jewels on the crown of artistry.
These values have the potential to heal adults as we read, children as they listen, and one another as we engage in conversation (future).
In all of our First cultures, ritual is central to the health of the community. Ritual transcends time and combines past present and future. It’s honoring the ancestor Dr. Nina Simone a warrior a powerful womb-man and worker of music.
☥ How did it get here?
“An Unexpected New Dream” came through me. Nine years ago, I was pregnant with my daughter. I was told by an elder that I was to begin rearing my child as soon as the seed was planted. Once she was born she would already be “raised.” Taking heed to this wisdom, I sang to her, I talked to her and I read children’s books to her incessantly.
Simultaneously, I had studied the life of Nina Simone for about 3 years. I was set on writing a play about her life. I had studied several biographies about Nina Simone and became a lover of her music and interviews. Nina Is A WONDERFUL FORCE!!! One day I sat down and the poetry of the book flowed from my mind in a rhythmic rhyme form. I remember running to grab a pen.
☥ What sparks yOUR imagiNation?
My imagination is sparked by every dag on thing. My imagination is sparked by color and light, texture and sound, nature and the future. I have a lot of fun alone in my head. It’s also sparked by huge challenges. I always see the end of a challenge as I desire it and as the best possible result for all parties involved. My imagination also is stimulated when I find an uncommon similarity in two things… I think to myself “WOW… WHAT CAN I CREATE”
☥ How did you process what this needed?
I am still processing what this work needs and what it will blossom into. I dont give myself the burden of processing what it needs. I trust myself enough to know that I have birthed it and now “An Unexpected New Dream” is in the world. Its no longer for me to process what is needed.
☥ What are yOUR gifts and how do they lift this work?
My gifts are creating systems for optimal life function, bringing joy and laughter, and creativity. They lift this project because “An Unexpected New Dream” is a manifestation of my gifts. The book lifts my gifts as a manifest of said gifts.
☥ What accomplishments are you celebrating?
I celebrate my breath. I celebrate my eyes opening. So many people didn’t make it to today. I celebrate my health. That’s a phenomenal accomplishment in a global pandemic.
Accomplishments are a matter of what one deems as successful and for me success is not an outside thing. It’s an inside mental and spiritual experience of moving toward a goal. Success is a verb it’s about ritual, action and vision. I am accomplished because I’m here. I celebrate that constantly.
☥ What do you have to say?
Love the children with all your soul. Give them the tools to value learning and loving. Share with them the passion for receiving wisdom, growth and loving themselves deeply.
☥ What have you learned?
I have learned that the most beautiful things happen when one is in the flow. I keep my recipe of flow flowing… it’s good in the flow…
☥ What’s do you take forward/leave behind?
I leave behind worry. I take faith. I take trust and deep love. I take my values an also I take an open mind and an open heart.