It’s crazy how small our world can become when we are focusing on our immediate families. I didn’t sleep last night. Anxious about my kids’ first days, lunches to be packed, new children in my daycare, routines to change…too much on my mind.
I’ve seen all the first day of school pictures on facebook and instagram. (I’m curious how it became a thing to do them outside your front door…?) And they are fun to look at. But I’ve also seen students walking out of their college in reaction to the DACA program being ended. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a program implemented by the Obama Administration to provide work permits, social security numbers and federal benefits for over 800,000 illegal immigrants.
An hour ago a courageous journalist by the name of Shaun King was live in front of the Trump Tower in NYC where immigrants who relied on the DACA program were doing a ‘sit in’, risking arrest to make their voices heard.
And I’m worried about my beautiful babies having their best friends in their class. It seems insignificant and foolish but going back to what I’ve said time and time again…they are our future. We need to teach them about what is happening in the world. We need to teach them through example how to love all of our neighbours, even the ones who won’t share their toys. We must make it a priority to guide them in the ways of love, and understanding and compassion, and having productive conversations and to really listen to others.
This world is getting scarier by the day.
I will make a commitment starting today to reach out to someone EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even when I am tired, or feeling self indulgent. I must make the time for others and their needs. We are all worth it.
So I’ve made a decision tonight. It may be a decision that I regret about a year from now but for now…it seems like the right thing to do.
If we always choose what is within our comfort zone, will we ever really learn or grow? It may be scary but, if we don’t make difficult choices we can’t evolve. And so, almost exactly one year from now I have booked a space for my next art show. Not an art show like the one I just took down…more…more involved, more work…more collaboration…and more work. I will be doing an entire show in pointillism. God that word is scary. But there it is.
So much love to everyone of you willing to read…
When the art show is over, where does the art go????
Now I have twelve portraits at home and they don’t look quite as bright as they did when we were first hanging them. I don’t feel quite so bright having them in my home. And I’m not sure if even the subjects would want them in their homes, really…that’s ok. I created a show, I spoke a message through that show, and I gave these twelve people a platform to tell their stories and hopefully to be heard. That was worth these twelve pieces in my house.
And it’s not like I can sell them. That wasn’t the point. If I was a smart artist I would figure out how to draw portraits that would sell. But to me, to have people even consider buying one of my pieces would mean that they are judging…I don’t want to be judged…I just want to DO. I realize there are always the critics but then I don’t DO for them. I DO for those who will receive at least some small bit of joy. I want to make people smile. I want to make people feel good and inspired and moved by what I DO.
It’s the same with my writing. I struggle with critiques. Not because I think I’m fantastic but because I don’t want my body to contain any fear to create. If it’s not a hit, then it was a miss; so be it. I will probably have learned something from it and will still hold the piece dear for that. And then I will just try again. It’s in me to DO. I know that. But I just want to DO it.
I’ve been finding a lot of comfort in my bed lately. Infact, I pretty much avoid being alone in my living room these days…The living room is where my writing and drawing tools dwell and I’m afraid to be alone with them.
I think that perhaps I have reached that state of being overwhelmed. There is so much going on out there, so much work to be done and I cannot seem to figure out where to start, or what I would like to…do, or even how I feel about it all. It’s all too much.
Over the last couple of weeks I have had conversations with friends and neighbours about the state of things and so many of them have made a conscious choice to shut down. They’ve disconnected their twitter, instagram and facebook accounts, they’ve stopped watching the news and refocused themselves inwards. I understand that need…especially right now. But it’s also upsetting. Just imagine if everyone did that. If everyone human being around the world turned off and focused only on their family there would be such a disconnect. Actually, there is a small glimpse of bliss within that idea but of course not realistic.
It just scares me to think that people can so easily turn off what is happening to others. I know that it is a case of self protection but…we need to do the opposite, don’t we?
No, that’s not a question.
We need to do the opposite. We need to each find ways to help in any way we can within our own limitations. If every one of us affects one person positively…if each of us can help to make a difference in just one person’s life the ripple effect will be phenomenal.
An internal pep talk was required in order to just sit down and write this…but perhaps I’ve broken the seal. And if it hasn’t, I promise to try to sit down again tomorrow and give it another go. I know there is work to be done. I know that it is overwhelming and scary. But we all need to do what we can to break through and make an attempt.
What can you do today to make a difference?
Drifting in a boat without oars…searching for someplace to place my feet.
The small dry space around me is complacent but the vastness of the ocean yearns for more…
So I dive in.
When I was 17 I dated someone who identified himself as a skin head. At the time I had no idea what that meant.
I met him at a ralley to support the troops. I believe that is what it was called. His father was very forward and loud, and he was more quiet and…I guess seemed kind.
We dated for about eight months and during that time I spent many afternoons in the basement of his family’s house. His older brother was obviously abusive to his current girlfriend and his mother was a shell of a woman who was emotionally, and probably physically abused. I only heard the sounds of his brother’s abuse as his girlfriend was shoved against walls or God knows what else…unfortunately, at 17 I felt I had no place to make any comment on other people’s life choices and predicaments. I feel shameful for that now…but that was over 20 years ago…and I hope that that has since been forgiven.
I do remember him once telling me that if he ever left that house screaming “fuck the world” with his dagger in hand that I should run in the opposite direction. That has somehow stayed with me for the last 25+ years…
Looking at his family life…the house he grew up in and everything he had as an example as a child…I can empathize with how he developed into the young man I knew back then. It makes complete sense…and I wonder how many of those men and women in Charlottesville had a similar upbringing. I will never know. And if that is all you know…then how can you possibly think any differently?
And once again that brings me back to the education of our children. We already have formed ideas that may be difficult to be unlearned. But our children are still full of possibilities. We have to take advantage of that. We have to bring our children together, teach them the difference between right and wrong and make them aware that we are all a part of the solution. All of us together. Each and every one. We are all part of the solution.
I attended the vigil today…but I worry. I worry about the honesty of our modern world.
The words spoken were kind, and just, and kind of informative. For anyone who has been closely following everything that has been happening…it could have been more. It should have been more.
I’m probably being picky.
It’s amazing in itself that our city was able to organize a vigil for Heather Heyer and anti-racism. And that approximately 60 people attended is worth a celebration in itself. I just want more. I want it all to be and mean more.
We should all care. We should all speak out and be present and search for ways to be better. All of us should. But today…in Waterloo…we didn’t.
I noticed that most of the attendees were….”artistic”. I use that word as a way to describe a crowd of rainbow coloured hair, tattooed, alternatively dressed individuals. Does that make the artistic more empathetic? Do we understand and feel and care more than others? That shouldn’t be the case…but maybe it is…maybe it means that the above mentioned individuals are just more courageous.
As far as I’m concerned…it’s not enough. We should all be outraged by what’s happening. We should all care and we should all be trying our best to find a way to stop it, to speak out, to make a change or a difference…or…at least not be silent.
Do not be silent today…tomorrow…or any day.
Let us be a world of voices. Voices who speak their truth. Who speak against what they believe to be unfair, unkind, unethical. Speak up! Denounce what you don’t believe in. Let your voice be heard. And let us together make a difference!!!!!!!