Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May is here again...

I was going to start this entry/post with an apology about having taken so long between my virtual communications. 
However.....this is the spring that I am deciding to do my best not to apologize for things automatically. I encourage you to read an article that my young former student and now friend wrote.  It will make the remainder of what I write make a bit more sense. (One can only hope) The link is as follows:http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/04/23-0


I think that if you have difficulty linking directly from here, you can just go to the common dreams site and find the article. 
 

This kind of picture with many  colors is not untypical for me.  I tend to take this sort of thing with my camera.  With the very same pencils I attempt to draw.  Almost without fail, any drawing that is able to connect with the viewer has some element of sadness or ambivalence about it.
Although I am generally of the opinion that artists should not talk about their work too much, in some cases, the artist needs to examine their work and understand why it is what it is. Here comes the story:
     We all have secrets;those that we keep from others and those we keep from ourselves. If we are lucky and have the courage to live an examined life, we may begin to understand those silent ones that lurk in the back closets, within dusty closets in the back recesses of our brain.  These are the ones much deeper than that you secretly watch "Housewives of Maine" when you are alone.

One of mine is most easily seen by looking for it's footprints or seeing just how it has re-arranged my life while I wasn't looking.

I am an immigrant to this  country and often, when asked, "Oh, where are you from?", the inside of my head,speaking to myself corrects the grammar while the voice that deals with the words for the other person tends to say, "oh, France."  Sometimes, because I know it is only half-truth, I will use a "conehead" voice and then it feels less like a lie. 

I do not like people who lie and I do not like untruths, so I am in a bit of a bind here.   In all honesty, I was born in France and lived he first five years of my life there.  I have more memories from that time than one would think,but there you are. Another fact transforms this into a not quite subtle lie.  My parents are German, as is most of my family, and they were all of the generation that allowed if not encouraged the Holocaust to occur.

War and catastrophe are evil players and have the power to transform anyone into victim or oppressor, and the other way around, and disallows those who would  be neutral.  My entire generation was told by our parents' generation that this is not true.  I know that I was told again and again that nothing but neutrality was the ground that they stood upon.  I imagine a small island, crowded with people arguing who might have been to blame......

As I grew older, I knew better, and so, like many of my generation, I took on the burden of the guilt and shame that my parents refused. 

The other who faces one, does not permit the illusion or pretense of neutrality.  It demands from us all that it is due.  I spent my life working hard for social justice as I best could and with that came this unfortunate and silly habit of apologizing for things in which I had no blame.

I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to lose this unwelcome habit, which taints all I do and say with the stain of untruthfulness and just do what I do and not worry too much about it.

True empathy is silent and moves me to action while the maudlin sympathy that comes with "sorry" keeps us stuck not knowing how to make the world and the lives that share it with us shabby.

I have to stop now, as I continue to nod off onto the keyboard.  My current symptoms of whatever is afflicting me.   Love and peace to all, sopha chesterfield davenport

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