On the very day that we laid to rest one of our greatest human rights leaders of our time this :
I am a mom to a compassionate , intelligent young woman . Her kind and giving heart stands up for injustices against those with less privilege . People that suffer because of having less privileges and opportunities simply because of the color of their skin . I am of the same heart and mind as my daughter . Since early in my youth I have felt the call to stand up for human rights , protesting peacefully , writing letters to legislators , volunteering and …listening . And today my daughter faced the ugliness of hatred because of her values and principles . She has Black Lives Matter written on the back window of her car . She has other pro human rights sentiments on her window as well .
Today , of all days , someone chose to threaten her life because of it . A man chose to follow her off of a freeway exit , he sped up along side of her and turned his vehicle inwards towards her car as if to ram her and to force her off of the road . A life threatening action that could have been catastrophe with irreversible results . And all because he did not like her opinions . He violently opposed her values . His risked her life as well the lives of others by his actions .
Here we are America . Threatening each other over human rights . Over what it means to be considered a human being . Wiling to end another persons life because she or he stands up for social justice . It’s time to give birth to a new USA .
The process is painful . My hope is that what is taking place now with the violence against peaceful protests and individuals is like the birthing process . It is a struggle . It is painful and it is violent . And at the other side of it a more just , equitable and compassionate country .
The people fighting against the changes have caught the disease of hatred and fear . Desperation has taken hold of them . They are entangled within their own chains . How might we set them free from the hate ?
In the darkness of such hate we must be the light . Carry a peaceful heart and in the words of Mr.Lewis ” make good trouble ” .
Every day I am awake just before the light . I hear the silence and gather it around me like a blanket and snuggle it tight . And then with a mind partly in this world and partly in dream world I think .
I think about the day ahead . No plans that I can see due to the pandemic and then I ask myself like being given a test ” What day of the week is this ?” . And when I know it right away it’s a gold star for me I say . It’s a fleeting moment of delight and then comes the next question . What shall I do with this day ?
Walk and then walk again . Rest and walk and move into those things that you’ve dreamt of having time for . You have all of this time now but all of this time will run out I say to myself …again and again .
Living alone while covid 19 changes the world forces emotions to the surface and
brings a new focus to the smallest delights . The aloneness is magnified from what is was
before . Suddenly those solitary evenings that seemed to go on for too long and could be
soothed into comfort with the knowing that in the morning it would be whisked away with
commotion was gone . The commotion of being busy and surrounded and connected to other
people gone . Now walking along a trail in a park , mask covered mouth and nose while
passing from a distance a mother and child and suddenly a small child’s smile takes on a
whole new meaning . Noticing the little things like we did when we were children but now
there’s no rush to be at work or to get home to bed for a speedy night’s sleep . The aloneness
before had it’s challenges too though back then there was hope of a plan or a visit or busy work
day to carry through to relief or comfort .
The phone calls and text messages become a lifeline . Each one opening the way to
connecting to our shared plight and to our humanity and our hope .
The tension builds beneath the surface silently . Moment by moment without
entirely knowing that it’s there the layers of uncertainty and loneliness are building shelves
inside of you. And the beautiful , unexpected miracles of noticing an innocent smile or the
kindness of a stranger or the vibrant colors of the sky and my heart swells with a love from
before my existence . A love that has carried us through all of time . Tears well up in my eyes .
Is it the striking aloneness that I feel or the love that is so deep for all of life that makes it so the
tears must flow . When sleep finally comes it’s comfort is a delight and in the morning the hope
and the search for the little things will begin again .
The spring has come and knowing little of our human fright it sings . It beckons . It dances with delight . It must sense it’s new found freedom . I wonder . Does nature now feel it’s man made noose loosened ? The song birds sing more sweetly and the trees less tense . The quietness so soothing for life to be able to breathe again that is for all one but one .
The sadness presses against the quiet . Love and the fragility of human life are in each moment now . The breathtaking moments of courage and compassion rise and in-between is cherished laughter to lighten our hearts and carry us on .
The songs of Mother nature are freely sung now and her wild animals live with less fear . The people that were trampling upon the sacredness of life are the ones seeking to return to what is gone . To fight the flow of change is to create your own despair . And that heaviness hangs in the air .
The rustlings of the trees and the currents of the oceans shake me free from the weightiness of false designs . Turn into the heart and release her songs into all of life and the freedom of knowingness will carry you onward .
The first thought was of how surreal it all seemed . Standing with but a few coworkers in the now desolate work space and listening as a couple of our Chef’s told us that we were being sent home until further notice . To stay home , stay safe and that we would receive weekly phone calls to check in with us . They welcomed our thoughts and concerns . One man spoke of our frightening it all was for him . All I could think of was how much I appreciated the way in which we came together , adapted to our changing circumstances and got the work done with good cheer in spite of our fears .
We parted company almost in silence . As if someone had died . The weight of not knowing when or if we’d all be back together in what used to be a bustling kitchen dance was bringing us into ourselves deeply .
On the surface I told myself that it was an opportunity to work on my art . That it would be the time and mental space that I had longed for in order to create . I had not yet recognized the depth of the sorrow for the world that would hold my heart bringing it’s own challenges to overcome in order to create .
And it was not only the world’s sorrows and difficulties that held me but also my own from the seeds that began my life . The aloneness that is loneliness born from a lack of connection to the people that are supposed to love you . When you are unseen in the moments that deeply touch your heart and are invisible when the moments of joy bring out the laughter and rather than joining in those moments they were experienced alone amongst the people that said they loved you .
I worried that the social isolation demanded during this pandemic would be a great burden on my already wounded soul . I allowed myself to weep . It was deep , anguish throughout the ages , kind of weeping . It led me , somehow , to my place of resiliency and love for life . I awoke from the fear of feeling longing to discover a way to help myself move through this time of global isolation .
Since I felt unable to focus on my artistic passions of painting and sketching then I would safely venture out in the city streets , as often as I had the energy for , and photograph the people and sights that spoke to our humanity amidst a life threatening virus . Capturing spontaneous images of the ways in which we express our kindness as well our fears became my project . By focusing on the visible ways that people chose to express themselves during a previously unimaginable stress is a means for healing my own wounds and stress . It is also a way of feeling to connected to people rather than alone and isolated . I become an observer as well as a participant in the struggle of the unknown .
The spontaneous wanderings around the closed up city with camera at the ready has afforded me the sight that my heart craves . The heart that still beats in the world and shows itself in the handmade signs expressing love for strangers , concern for your safety and courage to keep going .
This photo project that I’ve created as an assignment for myself is not quite done . I look forward to sharing it soon .
Her charms are never ending . Her power to delight an eternal story of love .
She challenges us and gifts us all at the same time .
The Earth and her inhabitants share breath as one .
And the when spirit feels stretched beyond the imaginable allotment of pain she soothes us .
She soothes us with a light rain calming and delicate .
she soothes us with the joyous brightness of the sun warming and exciting .
She soothes us with the wildness of thunderstorms and setting our own wildness free .
She gifts us with so many things .
Every moment , every breath
In the wild , amid ancient trees holding stories of the magic and of the tragedy of life , is a stillness . A beautiful , deep stillness . It is where the wisdom from ancestors may surface . It is where forgotten dreams come to to visit and where the knowing of love , pure and free from ego , expands into it’s gentle power of eternity .
In the wild , amid the star filled sky , cares of tomorrow float up and away making space for a peaceful heart and sweet sleep . The moments are alive and true . Uncomplicated and wondrous , they are alive travel through time , offering songs that only a soul may hear .
Free to roam as the pieces that once baffled and brought tears of questions
roll over . Rolling over like the swells of ocean waves .
Transforming from a silent , soulful burden or thunderous , passionate outpouring
into wings open wide and strong . Soaring beautifully with the breezes , playfully diving
downward then swiftly upward once again .