"Little Gifts", parallel pen, black ink and watercolor on paper @ 6" x 9"
I’m sitting here in my chair with a nice, comfy fleece wrapped around me while layer upon layer of snow blankets the view outside my window. Right now, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philly and New York City are all disaster areas where no one is in sight. Offices are shutdown, trains and planes grounded, even the White House is closed, though the president’s dogs are having a blast. All this has led to today’s post…
“Little gifts are everywhere”. That is the text in the piece I’m showing today. I find myself thinking, aren’t snowflakes amazing little things? One tiny flake alone will just drift to the ground and melt away on a salt covered walkway, insignificant. But together, millions, no billions upon billions have the ability completely incapacitate a thriving city. Lately I’ve been obsessing about capturing the tiniest flake visually, often spending ages outside, Opie barking insistently that it’s too cold. And I’m struck by a thought. When you look beyond the whole and into the minute details that make up the world around us, it can be a truly eye opening experience.
Martin Luther King Day was celebrated this past week. Dr. King believed in the power of numbers coming together, peacefully, to take a stand for freedom and respect for ALL people, in particular, Americans. Since his time we’ve taken steps forward, proudly and with purpose. However, not all has been positive. Recently I have come to see the inequality that still exists and permeates every part of our country. How can that be?
With the election of our first black President, something was stirred up among those who still harbor hate and fear of others. In the past seven years I’ve noticed things that were probably happening all along. How could I not have noticed young men, boys and girls of color victimized by police. Is it frustration at the heart of communities that have been cast by the wayside? I’ve also noticed more hate speech. Is it that once a black citizen really succeeded to take office in the white house, shock turned into bitterness? Add to that an economy that is still struggling to regain it’s strength while bankers and hedge fund managers bring home million dollar bonuses. Anger, insecurity and unstable world politics create a recipe for disaster. It makes me wonder if this is somehow like the environment after the Civil War. Battle weary men and women, fearful of change and a new way of life became fodder for carpetbaggers and manipulators. Is that what lurks in our current times. I can’t help but hear things, words about walls to keep others out and how to keep guns in places where none should be.
I try not to lean politically in my posts, but feel compelled to speak about the legacy of Dr. King and the need to stand together again. Perhaps our efforts to seek equality need a refresher. Perhaps we need to focus on the little things again. The value of respect and care for those less fortunate as well as ourselves, respect for all religions, creeds, colors and currency, financial and otherwise are gifts we are lucky to have as citizens of these United States. Alone I am just a speck of ice that drifts in the wind, but together, my fellow flakes, we can become a blizzard for good. And when spring comes, we can all sprout seeds of courage, civility and change and see what grows.
Thanks for looking,